Facebook breaking up marriages? C’mon, what an embarrassing reason to give for your marriage disintegrating. If my marriage was going south I would try to think up something a little better than Facebook to blame it on. Where’s the creativity and spite in blaming Facebook? At least that’s what I thought yesterday. Today, I have changed my mind while standing in line at the post office. There I was waiting to mail a package. I had number 145. Unfortunately for me when I walked in they were just on number 112. The line almost went out the door. What’s the problem, I thought. I look at the counter and one lone woman is working and she’s helping someone get their passport. Talk about something that takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Then I look over to my left and get uber ticked off. Two postal employees are chit chatting. The line is heading out the door and two employees are gabbing. Ugh. (My apologies for any postal workers who reads this. I know you work hard but perception is everything. If your employees are on break for self-preservation purposes alone, they shouldn’t be talking at the counter when there’s a line. At the very least get thee to the break room.) This is what worries me about any kind of national healthcare. If it’s going to be run like the postal service God help us all. After I choked down my anger and talk myself out of going to Fed-X I notice the guy in front of me – Mr. 144 is having a rather animated conversation on his cell phone. Having nothing better to occupy myself with and due to the fact that he is being rather loud I listen in on his call. Jackpot! His call is fascinating. It seems Mr. 144’s wife has been having a Facebook affair. What a shame I think. Mr. 144 is awfully cute. He seems to be in his late 20’s, well dressed with really good hair. I’m talking “soap opera” good hair. I shift my box to my other side and begin to listen in earnest.
Here’s what went down. His wife, apparently, made contact with a friend of a friend on Facebook. They noticed they were both commenting on the same posts and thought each other were hilarious. (Please, who doesn’t think they’re hilarious on FaceBook?) That lead to a FB relationship which lead to his wife thinking she found “true love.” Now, his wife wants a trial separation so she can see if she and her FB honey are “really meant to be.” Yes, I got all that from his phone call. I was standing so close to Mr. 144 I could hear his wife’s voice spilling out of his phone. The poor guy hangs up and looks really sad. That’s my cue to do what I do best – offer unsolicited advice to strangers. You may think it’s rude or pushy. My husband is pretty sure it will someday get me killed. I like to think of it as doing the lord’s work. I make my move with the perfectly polite, “Excuse me sir, but I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation.” Mr. 144 looks embarrassed and apologizes. I tell him he has nothing to be embarrassed about and then I go for it. I say, “I think you should tell your wife to go ahead and run off with her Facebook Fantasy.” Now, in my vast experience of butting into people’s lives this could go either way – he could tell me to shut the @#%$ up or I’ve just made a new friend for the next ten minutes. It totally went the new friend route. He perks up and says, “Why do you say that?”
“Well, of course, I don’t know you at all and you could be a terrible husband or even a serial killer but I’m going guess you’re an okay guy and your wife on the phone sounded a little crazed. I say tell her she can have the trial separation. It will probably scare her straight”
“Really?” he says sounding all intrigued.
“Plus,she might start thinking maybe there’s someone you have your eye on during the whole trial separation thing. That,” I say, “will be a total bonus for you.”
By this time there’s four people now listening to my post office therapy session. In front of us one middle age married guy and an elderly woman with a sassy look about her. Behind us a pretty, 20-something woman and a mom who looks to be right about my age. Middle aged married man butts in agrees with my advice. But, he goes somewhat overboard. He tells Mr. 144, since he doesn’t have kids he should get out of the marriage sooner than later. He then asks him if he and his wife own a home or any property? Mr. 144 says no. That piece of information makes married middle-aged man break into a Cheshire cat grin.
“Oh yes,” he says, “Get out, get out now. It will be a clean break.”
I interrupt before married, bitter, middle-aged man can get any more enthusiastic about matrimonial destruction. Time to go for the seasoned advice of the octogenarian. Grandma, who decided she would channel Betty White and comes right out and asks Mr. 144 about his sex life. Her wisdom – “if it’s good keep her, it’s average or below get rid of her.” I can’t let this opportunity pass so I ask her “Why’d you go there?”
“I was married 62 years” she says. “ Believe me it’s always all about sex even when you’re my age.”
Hmm, didn’t know that. I don’t know whether to be delighted or disturbed by the information. The mom that looks like me chimes in. She asks Mr. 144 if he’s sure his wife is talking about running off her a guy she met on Facebook or could it be a woman?
I immediately interrupt. “Really,” I say, “like this is helping.”
The look-alike mom says, “That’s what I did.”
“Did what?” I ask.
“Fell in love with a woman.”
“Oh, okay then.” So, I ask Mr. 141, “Do you think it’s a man or a woman she’s thinking of running off with?”
He doesn’t answer right away and then says, “It’s a man. Definitely a man.”
My last “helper” is the cute twenty-something girl. She says, “You’re like so hot so I like for sure totally would so not put up with that. Seriously, I would like maybe go out with you.”
Now, Mr. 141 is looking a little less like a sad sack. I’m about to wrap up the community conversation when the grandma suggests that Mr. 141 calls his wife and tells her to take a hike right now.
I hurriedly say, “Um no, no, not a good idea. Hey, were just passing time in the post office. You should think all this through. Remember we’re all total strangers. What do we know.” But, as I’m saying this he’s calling his wife and putting her on speaker phone. This could go down as my worst unsolicited advice session in my history of offering unsolicited advice.
The wife says hello, Mr. 144, begins telling his wife to go ahead and run off with her Facebook boyfriend. Then grandma leans into his phone and says, “I’m looking at a girl right now that’s ready to show your husband a good time.”
The “girl” (twenty-something) pipes up, “Yeah, that’s right I think your husband is hot.”
Then, the mom who looks like me says, “I do him if I weren’t gay.”
The middle-aged married man grabs the phone out of Mr. 144 hands and says “I’m a lawyer and I’ve already told him to dump you.”
I’m shushing everyone, but it’s not working. They’re having a great time. The wife on the other end of the phone sounds weird. Almost like her voice is echoing. Oh shit! His wife is here at the post office and she’s walking towards Mr. 144.
Sweet Alexander Graham Bell we’re all screwed. Mr. 144 looks pale. Since I started all this I stand right beside him. I do admit to holding my box very close to my chest and face as body armor. Mrs. 144 is ticked off. She starts in on Mr. 144. “What’s going on? How dare you let these people get involved in our personal life!”
Poor Mr. 144. Then I have an idea. I introduce myself to Mrs. 144 and by introduce myself I mean say I’m a lady who was trying to offer some advice to your husband because I inadvertently heard some of their previous cell phone conversation. She calls be a “dirty eavesdropper” and she’s got a sort of point there so I don’t argue. But, is it really eavesdropping if you can hear someone’s cell phone conversation from six feet away? I decided to go in for the kill, “Hey, you might want to get off your high horse and calm down. This is just Facebook in real life.”
She looks at my like she’s wants to punch me and screws up her face and says, “What?”
“Consider me and the rest of us as “comments.” She’s still giving me the stink eye so I say, “Hey, your husband posted his “status” at the post office by having a cell phone conversation we all could hear and the rest of us just responded with our “comments.” As for this one (I lean my head towards twenty-something) she was just giving your husband a flirty “friend request” or perhaps a naughty “poke,” grandma over there was writing on your husband’s “wall” and this guy ( I look at the middle-aged married man) was just sharing a “link” about divorce with your husband.”
She still looks supremely ticked off, but lucky for me my number was called so I haul over to the safety of the postal counter to mail my package. I try to drag out the transaction and even considered updating my passport so Mr and Mrs. 144 would have left the post office before me. No such luck. There they are arguing by the stamp vending machine and P.O. box area. Why don’t they go home or at the very least to one of their cars to fight? I’m now considering my exit strategy from the post office when Mrs. 144 calls out to me. Oh goody. I walk over and say, “Yes.” She tells me it’s none of my business, but they have decided to not have that trial separation. “Congratulations,” I say, “that’s great” and continuing walking. My plan is to go across the street to the Quickie Mart, grab a Diet Coke and make sure the coast is clear before I get in my car. No way do I want to be followed home by Mrs. 144. I kill some time at the Quickie Mart and then go back to the post office parking lot. Yes, it looks like Mr. 144 is gone, but dang it his wife is still there.
She walks up to me and says, “Hey let’s friend each on Facebook.”
Unbelievable. Stunned for a second, I reply, “Awesome,” and then give her the name of my archenemy. The PTA President at my daughter’s elementary school.
She taps on her phone, giggles and says, “ Okay, I just sent you a friend request. You’ll be my 3,873 friend!”
After that, thank you lord, she takes off in her car. Wow, I think she’s not in love with a friend of a friend she’s in love with Facebook all 3,873 friends and counting. Mr. 144 doesn’t stand a chance against those numbers.
***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new Spring/Summer Snarky line of clothing and accessories. Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.) Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good. Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival. If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.