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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Writing Prompt: A Facebook Story

By Marilyn Friedman

Happy end of April! Make sure to comment on this blog this week--it is the last week for you to enter the March/April comment contest for a free class! Also, we have lots of fantastic classes starting this week and next week. Here's what we have to offer (call 323-333-2954 to enroll):

One Day Classes

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Writing Prompt:
This writing prompt was suggested by the talented writer and Writing Padder, Ersilia Pompilio. Thanks, Ersilia! Make a list of three interesting internet or facebook interactions that you have had (or maybe a character from your project has had). Perhaps an ex has located you through facebook? Or maybe an acquaintance has asked you for a weird favor? Take ten minutes, write about it, and then post the results in the comments of this blog for the chance to win a free class!

Comment on this blog. Have you had any interesting facebook or internet interactions? Post your story in the comments of this blog for free praise and the chance to win a free class at Writing Pad!


Writing Pad said...

He found me through Facebook. I don't know why he wanted to find me, but Dhon found me. Dhon's real name was Don, but he wanted to be more avant garde. In true LA fashion, he had changed the spelling of his name to Dhon which prompted everyone to mispronounce his name like "Day hon."

I met Dhon ten years ago at a party in Boston. We dated off and on for a few months. He was working as an airconditioning engineer at John Hancock, but he really was a poet, photographer, and musician. I was interested in a relationship, but he was still obsessed with his heroin addicted ex-girlfriend who had cheated on him with his best friend. Dhon strung me along. He made me think that he was interested in something long-term. He even introduced me to his parents. But in the end, he was just using me for sex.

I remember the last time that I saw Dhon. We went to see the movie, High Art. And as we waited for the movie to start, I couldn't stop crying. The tears plopping from my eyes stung my lips which tingled from too much popcorn and salt . "You'll meet someone. You will," he said to me.

10 years later, I received a friend request from Facebook. Dhon not only wanted to be my facebook friend, but he wanted to take a writing class with me. Did he think that I had amnesia? Did he forget how poorly he had treated me? I wrote Dhon back, saying that I didn't feel comfortable having him take a class with me. I requested that he stop contacting me because I was married, and I don't maintain friendships with ex-boyfriends.

He responded back, saying that he also was married, and that he didn't understand why I wouldn't let him take a class with me. I deleted the message. Six months later, I got another facebook message from Dhon. It said, "It's too bad that you wouldn't let me take a class with you. Now I'm moving to Seattle and it's too late."

What a jerk! I hadn't thought about Dhon for 10 years. Why was he bothering me? Was he bored in his marriage? I reported him has a facebook stalker and deleted the message.


Lorinda said...

Why is it that all the jerks I used to date decide to reach up out of the cold dead past and try to worm their way back into my life via Facebook? Ok, granted, the sheer number of sociopaths I dated in proportion to the number of real relationships I have had is another issue, reserved for a deeper psychiatric introspection at a later date.

The point is that the second I spot a friend request from an ex,I have to admit, hitting "ignore" gives me a momentary twinge of satisfaction. Even though it is only on the Internet, it feels good to know that I am finally the one rejecting them .

I figure, the desire of these sleaze bags to be Facebook friends with me must mean that these sorry excuses for men are still thinking about me in whatever way and have now decided to seek permission to be let into my life, years after they collectively broke my heart, bruised my fragile adolescent ego, and in one case took my virginity and promptly forgot about me

But the tables have turned. I don't even give them the satisfaction of a message. I simply ignore them. After all, they don't know me anymore.

Ersilia Pompilio said...

Hello ,

I hope you remember me, I am the (?) rep and I met you at Dr (!) office a couple of years ago... I was just thinking about you since I believe you mentioned that your mom works at Nordstrom. I am engaged and are going to be married this July, and I still need my bridesmaid dresses. I saw two very cute dresses, but they are quite expensive since my bridesmaid are from Mexico and several of them can't afford them....I remember conversations with you about shopping and discounts so I thought maybe your mom could help us out. I understand if she can't, but it is defenitely worth a try....You can also reach me at
By the way, I saw that you are working at (?), congratulations. I hope you are doing well in every area of your life.

Take care and I hope to hear from you soon.

God bless!

The Bride .

Dear Bride,
Congratulations on your pending nuptials, how exciting!!! Sorry to say, but my mother retired a few years ago.. yes it was sad!! But she is living a grand life, and doing well... thanks for inquiring!!.... and yes (?) is amazing... much better than the rat hole in la puente...

I'm deeply sorry to hear about the financial issues that your bridesmaids are facing... that's a tough call... perhaps you should try and recycle cans and plastic bottles. You would be helping the enviornment and helping your bridemaids.

However... I do admire your ginormous balls for asking me for a discount that's actually not even mine??? As memory serves me, I don't believe we ever knew each other on a personal basis outside of the clinic???

But, if your mother/ or any family members have "special" discounts anywhere, please let me know... even though we knew each other on a professional basis for a brief time... that should not matter...

good luck...
The person who no longer has a mother who get discounts @ Nordi's

impossibly me said...

It was our fifth day in New York, and we woke to 19-inches of new snowfall in Central Park. Record snowfall, following two days of record lows, and I'd finally conquered the 30-second shedding of scarves and overcoats and gigantic knit gloves and hats that swallowed my upper body.

I was in the lobby of the Met, showing off my newly mastered tricks of unwrapping myself to my equally chilled boyfriend, when it happened. When She happened.

She was wearing a hand-knit cream poncho, looking like a bloated Native American bride about to give birth to a seal. She just smiled and said hi... small world... nice to see you. Smile smile smile.

I knew her at first icky glance. His ex. All the way across the country on the same vacation in the same city on the same day at the same minute in the same historic sacred tourist trap that I'm sure I love way more than she does.

Her smile smile smile faltered as she pretended not to understand my name when he introduced me (I could see him stunned as well).

I consoled myself by realizing that she's prettier than me in pictures (of course I'd Facebook-stalked her tons of times), and taller, and probably has better skin... but I'm prettier in person. She's a big oaf, and I'm little and cute and I have him now.

We never mentioned the incident ever again.

Even when I saw her post to his FB wall the next week, "Small world. Nice seeing you again, (insert cute pet name here that I refuse to acknowledge). ;)"

Winky face.

The fat bitch.

Months later another FB wall post:

"see you at coachella? :)"

see you at coachella. smiley face.

what the hell is wrong with the fat-faced bitch who wants to flaunt her old pictures of her used-to-be thin ass in my boyfriend's face? (yes, she updated her profile pic to a landscape sunning shot of her lower half in a bikini)

i happily discovered that FB gives one the option to "Mark as Spam" or, even better, "Report as Abuse..." on other people's comments on other people's pages.

tempted, so tempted, to ask my close cohorts to team up and report...

as abuse

dot. dot. dot.

Ashley Laub said...

(this might have been closer to 15) 10 minute exercise, 4/26/11:

In the age of Facebook, there is nothing more superfluous or more serious than the Facebook message. Superfluous, in the sense that you get bombarded with messages from that lame concert in Long Beach or the birthday party of a long-lost acquaintance that you were invited to but have no interest in attending, or serious, in the sense that it’s the best friends’ and boyfriends’ method of choice in starting toxic fights and ending a relationship.
The great thing about Facebook messages is that, like email, you don’t have to actually face the person to deliver any bad news, but unlike email, you can guarantee the recipient will receive it – who under the age of 35 doesn’t check Facebook at near-obsessive levels?
I speak, of course, from personal experience. Being a member of a particularly ditzy, back-stabbing sorority, I received these from passive-aggressive roommates (I will keep blaring the TV until you stop bringing your boyfriend, Chuck, over and kick me out every night, Suzanne), cowardly ex-boyfriends (Yes, being drunk still counts, Adam), and equally as cowardly future boyfriends (sure I’d like to go out sometime, just define “sometime.” Also, try the phone next time, Jack.)
The most grating, however, had to be the near-weekly Facebook messages of drama that I received from my big sister, Jamie. In a sorority, the Big Sister (or Big) is a position every girl covets in the house, in which an older member of the sorority mentors a younger member. You only get one Big, and the decision on who you want is an important one. The bond, in theory, lasts forever.
Unless you’re stuck with a nut job like Jamie, who will break you like how a vengeful ex-wife will break her cheating husband. Each letter would be worse than the one before, calling me out for “staring a fight,” like her stealing my boyfriend, or for “stabbing her in the back,” like stealing back my own boyfriend, or “talking behind her back,” like how she constantly talked about me.
It took months before I stopped allowing myself to get sucked into her drama because, as she held the important title as my “Big,” I wanted to please her. Other girls had close, almost too-close relationships with their own Bigs, and I craved that. I had no biological sisters. So I bought in. With every fight brought the inevitable Facebook message from Jamie. She would claim I brought this on myself and she would have to do the unthinkable… de-friend me off Facebook, which would be irrevocable black mark on our friendship. So I would apologize, beg for forgiveness, and promise to never do it again. And she would oblige, just to restart the cycle for the next drunken weekend in the nearest frat house.
What broke the cycle, however, was her final action. Clearly sick of me, she decided to get another little in the sorority. Because, unlike Bigs, in which you only have one, you can have as many Littles as the sorority would allow. So she took Jerra, without telling me.
Although we were “Twins,” meaning we shared the same Big, I knew what it meant. I was replaced.
After that, it was easy for me to cut her out, like an abusive parent in my adulthood. I no longer needed her, her acceptance, or her approval. In fact, I rebelled. I ignored her, I found my own footing, and my own friends. As she grew closer and closer to Jerra, the more I pulled away. The last time I saw her was in a Starbucks after she graduated. She called me over and tried to chat, that we should “catch up.” I nodded, saying of course we should.
I haven’t spoken to her since. I saw her Facebook status recently (we’re still friends, she never made good on her threat), the drama queen finally hooked her man and had a ring on her oversized, overtanned finger. The wedding is in September. I’m not invited.
I’ve changed a lot, in big ways and in small ways, because of her, but every time I see that little on Facebook that shows I have a message, my heart races before I open it up.

Erin said...

So I have missed the contest, but wanted to comment on this topic. Just saw it on the blog!:

College was hard. I went to a Big Ten school three hours south from Chicago. I was a small town girl from three hours even farther south of my college town, Champaign-Urbana. Most of my fellow classmates were either from Chicago proper, or the suburbs. Often times, they were befuddled there was anything farther south than C-U, which to them was a miserable experience wading through cornfields. And how they would complain and complain, until I wished I could will them back to Naperville or wherever else useless suburb. I found a group of friends from South Side Chicago much more tolerable than the prissy suburbanites. They at least seemed like they actually knew what City Life was, which i found fascinating at the time. At least, opposed to the suburban brats that went shopping on Michigan Ave. or Oak Brook mall once a month or so. A group of friends had a dorm room next to mine, so I started to hang out with them, like peanut butter on jelly, more or less.

Those were the days, but they were also filled with debauchery. I remember feeling some weekends like I would rather have been at home reading a book or writing, but I was afraid these so-called friends would disappear. Leave me to face the massive college campus alone and the loneliness that comes with solitude.

One of the girls I used to hang out with found me on facebook a few years ago. We actually kept in touch by email, although I hadn't seen her for over five years. She still lives in Chicago and has worked at the Historical Society for over ten years. I find this existence somewhat bleak, but opted not to address it as such.

She invited me on a road trip on the PCH with another friend of ours from college last June. And so I went! It sounded fun, like a reunion of sorts.

Unfortunately, I soon realized they weren't my friends. They probably never had been my friends, at any time. Friends care what happens in each others' lives. These girls didn't care about me, they just wanted me to chip in to cut down expenses on the trip. During college years this is tolerable, but that kind of attitude has an expiration date.

Fuming at the utter waste of time I had inflicted on myself, I returned home and deleted both girls as my facebook friends, without explanation. The one that had invited me on the trip in the first place went batshit when she noticed--she sent me messages on facebook and emails that seemed rhetorical at best: What was my problem? It wasn't like her feelings were hurt, just her ego took a blow. She even texted me on my birthday. I was repelled by this even further, as she had never to my recollection, wished me a happy birthday before. I continued to ignore her and know it was the right thing to do.

I will at least say this for facebook: It is a quick and efficient way to say you feel, in little or no words! And if you decide it's time to finally purge toxic "friends" from your life, simply hit Delete.

Writing Pad said...

Lorinda--I love your piece! I love this line: "the sheer number of sociopaths I dated in proportion to the number of real relationships I have had is another issue, reserved for a deeper psychiatric introspection at a later date." I love that the narrator finally gets to be the one that is rejecting the ex's by hitting ignore, and I love the specific examples of the one who took her virginity and forgot about her! Nice!