Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Did She or Didn't She? Only Her Facebook Knows for Sure.

I've just done something that has made me feel extremely guilty, but so very satisfied at the same time. No, I didn't eat a whole slab of chocolate or have sex in a public place - I...wait for it....CULLED MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS!

I went through my friends list, and I DELETED people! It was awesome. And yes, I need a new life, but anything that distracts me from my current one is good in my book. I've wanted to reduce my friends list for ages now. What's the point in having all these people that you never speak to see what is going on in your life? Why should I have to follow news feeds of old school chums I last saw 12 years ago? You get my point. They're not my friends, they're my acquaintances. Part of my history, if you will - a common denominator in the sum of life. I don't have any ill will towards them, but if anything drastic had to happen to them, my universe would not shake on its foundations either.

So I had two criteria for striking people:

1) I do not recognize their name (you'd be surprised how many people I came across that made me go, who the hell???)

2) I have not spoken to them in the last 2 or 3 years / I cannot see myself speaking to them in the next 2 or 3 years

Like a chop, I forgot to check how many friends I had to start off with, but I think it was around 320. I am now the proud owner of 279 friends. If I'm right, that's 41 "friends" who will never irritate me with their meaningless mini-feeds again or have to be subjected to endless photos of me popping up in theirs (there are currently 823 photos of me on facebook; my true friends are exceedingly snap happy).

Damn it feels good! Technically, I could probably elimate 100 more quite easily if I go on the above two criteria alone. But what I did take into account was gut reaction. This came in one of two forms:

1) Oh, I couldn't possibly elimate someone who gave me their last rolo

2) Koos / Fanny might notice and think they've done something to make me hate them

And this is where the guilt and paranoia set in. It's my facebook profile, to do with whatever I want to. I do not have to cave to peer pressure and let every Tom, Dick and Harry into my life. But oh my sweet pink bananas, how terrified I am that I'll crush someone's tender heart. Of course, you might attribute this emotion to a bad case of God Syndrome and assume I think I am the centre of everyone's universe. But it's more like a fear of being disliked - who wants that? Yes, I am seeking professional help for my sad high school kid psyche!!!

Anyway, it was vastly entertaining, and I'm sure I will do another round of cuts in the near future, once I've gotten over the psychological effects of this one.

And tomorrow, I will tell you what's really going on in my life and why I've just written a whole post about facebook instead of what's really bothering me. Today was just too depressing for that conversation.

Now, go and see if you've survived the cut - you know you want to!

Monday, 18 May 2009

Strange Guy Small Talk 101

A couple of weeks ago, we had a braai at our local pub for Shoes' birthday. One of our friends, Moonface, invited along this dude she met when going to her local butcher for meat. Turns out he was the butcher. So The Butcher pulls in. He has recently arrived in London from SA, has no friends and his girlfriend of 3 years just broke up with him. Essentially MoonFace invited a stray puppy to our braai. Which is absolutely fine. But if you invite a stranger to someone else's party, they are your responsibility, fair and square.

I guess Moonface lost the Stray Puppy Etiquette Handbook. The girl showed up so unbelievably pissed, she couldn't string two words together in a sentence, leaving The Butcher high and dry in a group of strangers. We're a nice bunch, so we made him feel as welcome as we could. Shoes, however, was on his own mission that night, and didn't really speak much to our stray.

Then on Friday, Shoes popped into Sainsburys after work for some food. He was walking towards the queue with his basket when he looked up and noticed The Butcher at the checkout counter. Cue accelerated heart rate and nervous sweating. Shoes is not good at small talk. He did what any guy in his situation would do - he ducked his head and made for the nearest aisle, hoping he was quick enough to avoid detection.

"Shoes. Shooooes! HEY SHOES!!!!!"

Damn it! Spotted!

Resigned to his fate, Shoes turned to face his own personal hell (not The Butcher in particular, just the situation).

Shoes: Hey! Oh hey man, didn't see you there!

The Butcher: For sure, man. Hey! So.....

Shoes: So....

The Butcher: What you up to?

Shoes: dude. Erm, what YOU up to?

The Butcher: Er, shopping too. Obviously. Ha ha.

Shoes: Ha ha.

The Butcher: So...

Shoes: So.... So what do you do hey?

The Butcher: I'm a butcher.

Shoes: Oh right. Of course. We have a friend called Butcher.

The Butcher: Er...say again?

Shoes: Well actually his name's OJ, but we call him the Butcher.

The Butcher: *confused silence*

Shoes: Well I mean, he's not actually a butcher - not like you in any case. He just butchers tracks...never mind. It's not important. **

The Butcher: Er, no.....

Shoes: So....

The Butcher: So....

Shoes: You should come hang out some time. You know, with our group. There's a party next Friday night.

The Butcher: Cool dude, thanks. I might do.

Shoes: Ok, see you around dude!

The Butcher: See ya.

Thank the lord I am a girl with endless reserves of small talk and I don't have awkward moments like that.

**OJ often takes a trance set in mp3 format that is several hours long and cuts it up into individual tracks for us, hence his nickname The Butcher.