Author's note: I'm going to be 'out of pocket' this week (does anyone know what that means these days?) Well, busy, gone, unavailable, you know...out of pocket. So, I thought I'd share this post I wrote about this time last year with you. Now, Facebook has informed me that we've been together for nine years, which is longer than my last wife lasted! Enjoy and I will see y'all next week...
I got out of bed the other morning, trudged through a dark house, finally finding the light switch in the kitchen right where I left it, and aware of the jingle behind me, opened the door to let the dog out to pee. With the coffee gurgling, I trudged into the living room and turned on the morning news and picked up my laptop. You can bet this is how every morning starts for me. Even my web surfing is predictable. First I check to see if anyone clicked on a Google ad on my site. I make a nickel...sometimes a dime if someone clicks really hard. Then over to Amazon to see if anyone bought a book while I slept. They hadn't, but I made thirty-five cents because some Amazon Prime member read forty pages of my book. I checked my email and erased four days of unread messages and...oops, the dog was still outside so I let her in and poured a cup of coffee. Sitting back down in my easy chair, I made my final stop...Facebook. My gosh! They were having a party!
A colorful notification graced the entire page announcing that today was my eight year anniversary! Balloons, party hats, confetti, and random pictures of my past...all just for me. Well, I think Facebook was a whole lot more excited about our eight years together than I was. But, the event did jar some memories loose.
I don't know what drew you or those other billion users to Facebook, but mine was, well yes...a woman. As Facebook so subtly reminded me, it was eight years ago when I met her and if you've known me for any length of time, you would guess I met her out on some dance floor or another. I'll just call her Tammi...Tammi Jones since that's the name I used when I may or may not have eluded to her in 'The Search For The Perfect Woman.' (I don't usually put ex-girlfriends in my books, but I felt she deserved it as you will see in a minute.)
On that night eight years ago, Tammi, a strawberry blonde with sparkling blue eyes, had caught my attention as I danced beneath the neon lights with a girl I'll call Sammi (since that's what I called her in the book.) During my dozen or so dances with Sammi, I had become aware she was a bit of an odd bird so somewhere during the evening, I asked Tammi to dance. And boy could she dance. Eventually, they turned the lights on and told us all to go home, so I walked Tammi out to her pickup and laid a kiss on her. And then I asked for her phone number, to which she responded,
"Last thing I need is a needy man calling me all the time."
That put me off...sunk my battleship, so to say. I turned and headed across the parking lot, mentally crossing her off my list, but then she hollered out,
"I'm on facebook! You can facebook me!"
I wasn't real smart in those days. It took me till the sun came up the next morning to figure out how to get on facebook. Once I had set up a profile, I searched for 'Tammi Jones.' There were millions of 'em. I finally found her about the time the sun went down that day.
She took me on a three-month long roller coaster ride...no, not like that. Shame on you. I don't want to get too personal, but she really wasn't much fun...I found out there toward the end that she was also a lesbian, which explained why she wasn't much fun. So, to wrap that story up, had I never gotten on Facebook...
Facebook is a problem child for me. I've reconnected with people from my past and have enjoyed catching up. Invariably, after a date or three with some woman, she'll 'friend' me and, well there's all sorts of problems there. Lucky for me (?) they never last too long and I can unfriend them and get on with my life. I had two ex's keeping tabs on me at one time. That was like sitting on a park bench between the two of them. I've been stalked on Facebook...more than once. And then there's the government snooping on all of us.
I find new challenges these days. I wrote under the alias of 'The Rusty Goat' for seven years...not once did I attach my real name to my work. An author's success relies on name recognition and with the release of my first serious book, 'The Chimera Parables,' somehow the tag 'A Novel by Author Rusty Goat' just didn't seem to fit. So, one year ago this week, I made a difficult decision to put my name out there. I weighed my decisions carefully and decided if I am to continue trying to put my books out there, they would have to have my name on them. Sacrificing my privacy was not something I took lightly and as you would expect, there have been complete strangers show up on my personal Facebook page. And that's what it's all about, right? I also gave up my freedom. When I was writing incognito, I had freedom to write whatever my imagination wished. Now, I have to evaluate every sentence I write. Will this hurt or embarrass someone close to me...jeopardizing a friendship I truly value? That's not to say I wasn't discovered once or twice before I went public. Take for instance that long tall little filly from once upon a time. She never let on that she knew...she played me like a fiddle.
So I tend to be a bit cautious and perhaps even suspicious when folks I don't know crop up on my personal Facebook page offering their virtual friendship. In this day and time, one never knows whether some evil hacker is trying to overtake Facebook or some random misguided woman stumbled in searching for her next ex-husband! But I do have a nice 'Rusty Goat' facebook page where I welcome everyone with a friendly Texas-sized hug. I'd love to see you stop by and let me know you came to visit!