I agreed to be her test bunny (yenta bunny?), but given that I had just come out of a relationship, I wasn’t quite ready to meet anyone just yet. “Well, at least check out his Facebook profile,” she said, giving me his name.
I typed his name into the little blue spacebar but all I got was a photograph and the ubiquitous “You must be friends with – let’s call him Facebook Man – to see his profile” or something like that. “Add Facebook Man as a friend.” I told my friend – we’ll call her Yenta-in-Training – that I wasn’t quite prepared to “friend” a complete stranger on her say so, but I couldn’t see any information about him so I had no idea if this was a good match or not. Luckily, a few days later Facebook Man requested to friend me, and I agreed.
So, suddenly, here I was with a slew of information on Facebook Man. Information that you probably wouldn’t know normally until date 3 or perhaps date 33. You know, important stuff like what he eats for breakfast, what he purchased at the farmer’s market last Tuesday, and his penchant for t-shirts with chipmunks. I also knew where he’d been on holiday (in his photos section), what he did for a living, and even what his mother looks like. This was just downright scary. I mean, what’s the protocol for all this? If you already know intimate details about someone’s life before you’ve even met them, let alone been on a date with them, what on earth are you going to talk about when you eventually do go on a date? I dreaded the conversation going along the lines like this:
Me: “So, what do you do for fun?
Him: “What, don’t you read my Facebook page? It’s all there under my “hobbies” list.
So here I was with a “friend” I didn’t know at all, but whose life kept unfolding on my home page with alarming regularity. Still, I forgot all about him and moved on with my life. I was still getting over my breakup anyway.
Three months passed with this man still on my “friend” list, and the semi-regular “have you heard from him yet,” queries from Yenta-in-Training. And then suddenly, out of the blue, I received a Facebook message from him saying something along the lines of: “Yenta-in-Training suggested that I get in touch with you and after reading your Facebook page, I think she may be right.”
Thwack! (Mime slapping hand to my forehead). I’d completely forgotten that if I’d known about his idiosyncrasies via his Facebook page, it went without saying that he knew about my regular breaking news items, which consisted mostly of updates on my sick dog, writing deadlines and weird cravings for certain foodstuffs. Yikes!
Facebook Man raised the stakes on our “friendship” by suggesting (shock horror) speaking in person on the phone. What a concept! The man is real. How will I cope? Turned out I needn’t have worried. It was a good conversation and we agreed to meet in person. I think they call this a real, live date. Would we be able transition from being three-month-long Facebook “friends” who didn’t know each other at all, but already knew way too much about each other, to actually carrying on a conversation in real life? Doesn’t this fall into the category of backwards dating? Is there such a category? If not, perhaps it’s time to create one. Did we already know too much about each other thanks to Mark Zuckerberg (the nice Jewish boy who we can blame for the whole Facebook shemozzle)?
So how did our real life meeting go? Sorry, you’ll have to wait till the next posting to find out.