This is dedicated to a good friend who was inadvertently caught in the crossfire of a really stupid “discussion” on Facebook this week. Names have been changed for humorous purposes.
Today’s lesson is: Don’t be a dick to my friends on Facebook (I won’t abide it).
So this is my life, weird but true. Yesterday my husband demanded that I unfriend (on Facebook) an obscure in-law because he indirectly (and then directly) insulted a close friend of our family and also her son, who just so happens to be my ex boyfriend from high school. Just a typical Sunday morning at our house… Here is the story, coffee around the table style. Me: “I ‘Liked’ a picture that had special significance to me, simple as that. Next thing I know, I’m in a “discussion” with this condescending person who I don’t think I’ve ever met!” Hubby: “Just unfriend him, he will only cause problems.” Me: “It gets worse. Mrs. D was offended by some inflammatory comments he made. Rather than just stop posting, he began directing the comments at her, and then he managed to also insult her son.” Hubby: “He did WHAT?! Oh you unfriend him right now. No one insults ‘Dirk’!” Me: “Yeah! Wait, what?” Then things just got weirder.
Why my husband cares so much about a dude that I dated 15 years ago…well that’s really more of a Bro Code Army thing but it added to the sweet, sweet awkwardness. The hubby, very emotional about the whole ridiculous mess, was flailing around yelling “Who is he to say anything judgmental at all about a true American hero!!” But the hubby’s right — you don’t harass the mother of a war hero, especially when — now lean in — you’re a total stranger!!! Okay, so here I am with a husband who seems to have a man crush on my ex boyfriend and a justifiably angry mom/friend on one side, and this random pretentious in-law from hell on the other. What to do?
I tried to shut down the conversation. Nope, diplomacy made it worse. I considered my husband’s demand and the consequences of allowing this relative who I don’t even know to run rampant all over my Facebook posts obliviously bedeviling my other friends. Yikes! Then I remembered how my old boyfriend, by then a brother in arms, would come visit me at my camp in Iraq in 2003 when he wasn’t busy kicking insurgent ass (and also probably being awarded medals of valor). His reputation is above contempt and his character is certainly above scrutiny or snide remarks from a total stranger on Facebook. A comment and link addressing PTSD, presumably for ‘educational purposes’ was waiting for me when I logged back in. Oh…HELL no! People, don’t give unsolicited advice about PTSD to veterans or to the parents of soldiers, especially after you have already pissed them off! Clearly this guy couldn’t take a hint.
I said to myself “No, I don’t abide this kind of bullshit at all!” and I unfriended the obscure relative, explaining why (ie: you have managed to insult one of the world’s finest soldiers and his mother, therefore welcome to my shit list). I apologized profusely to the mom/friend who got caught up in the whole mess, and she was very gracious about it. After all, the fact that she and I have been friends for about fifteen years accounts for something! Good, lasting friendships are hard to find and worth fighting for, even if it means cutting loose the people that hurt our good vibes…and allowing our husbands the occasional man crush (‘Dirk’ is pretty awesome). Yep, we do things for our friends.
If you take nothing else from this story, please remember two things:
1) Don’t be a dick on Facebook.
2) If your husband seems to have a man crush on your high school boyfriend, (I know it’s weird) just go with it. Men never have made sense to me.
Afterword: Normally I wouldn’t include additional information to a published post unless it proved crucial, but in this case there has been abundant interest expressed outside the blog, compelling me to provide extra explanation.
All kidding aside about my husband having a man crush on a former boyfriend, this particular person is a treasured friend who was one of my biggest cheerleaders during crucial times in my life. When I joined the National Guard he strongly supported my urge to serve. After he joined the Army he told me that I was one of the people who inspired him to do so, stating that if I could do it then so could he. Not many high school sweethearts go their separate ways and remain friends, but I have always felt that he was there as a comrade many times through my life. The fact that my husband has tremendous respect for this person speaks volumes about his character and the friendship that has endured for many years after our high school days.
It pained me greatly to see this friend and his mother, also a very dear family friend, put under a microscope on a public forum by a total stranger with an elitist attitude. In our family we have one rule that encompasses all rules: “Do the right thing.” Once that rule was applied to the situation, it was not difficult to decide how to handle the rude stranger. In the two days since, many memories of my old friend have come flooding back. Truth be told, I haven’t really thought of him much in years, mostly because I know he is doing well, and also because I really like my husband (I love him too!). But he really was there for me, even when I didn’t want him around. And I know that he looked out for me at times when I didn’t even realize it. Because of him, my National Guard unit was much safer during our deployment in Iraq. I will always treasure his friendship and hold tighter to my friendship with his mother.
So, as I said before, all joking aside, this was a matter of doing the right thing to show respect for friends who have always been there for me and my family. We do what is right and we look out for our own.
- People You Need To Unfriend On Facebook Immediately (buzzfeed.com)
- 7 Types Of People Who Deserve An Immediate Facebook Unfriending (makeuseof.com)
- Facebook Doesn’t Want You To Know Who Unfriends You! Do You? (socialfixer.com)