My sister’s best friend from elementary school just Facebook-friended me, so I’m now updated on the fact that she is as tall and gorgeous as ever, is married with a cute little boy, threw some sort of New Year’s Eve party that her friends declared really fun…and is a member of “I Support the California ProtectMarriage Constitutional Amendment.”
This isn’t a big shocker because H is Mormon—as in blonde, one-of-five siblings, never-drank-soda-at-my-sister’s-birthday-parties Mormon. In case I sound like one of those anti-Prop. 8 Mormon-haters, I should add that H’s entire family was always incredibly nice. My sister spent so much time at our local Mormon temple—which was always putting on awesome kid-friendly events—that there was a time when I thought, Maybe when I grow up, if I’m not married and don’t have any friends, I’ll become Mormon and everything will be built right in.
In those pre-Facebook days, I saw the Mormon temple as the ultimate social networking site. Of course, the reason I was worried, as young as 11, about growing and not being married was because a little part of me knew I was gay. (As a chronic worrier, I also found my mom’s advice—“If you want to get married, you’ll get married”— suspiciously simplistic. Surely someone got left without a chair when the music stopped. Why not the girl with the big nose and bad bangs?)
So yeah, becoming a Mormon wouldn’t have really helped. Not even with the hair.
2. facebook is the real “social experiment” here
But my thoughts at the moment are about H’s thoughts when she befriended me. I know my Info page is a little cluttered, but did she see that I’m a member of such groups as “One Million Strong For Marriage Equality” and “Gay Families Are Not a ‘Plague’”? At the very least she must have seen my relationship status.
So were her motives:
- Spying on the other side?
- Pent-up libertarianism?
Sometimes she has engaged in healthy debates, which have gotten less healthy at moments but ultimately changed a few minds. Other times she’s decided to avoid the shittiness of reading people’s right-wing status updates and de-friended folks.
In a way, I think Facebook is a cool and interesting place to see all these issues play out. Less high-stakes than a dinner table, less anonymous than a message board. In another way, I think anything that lures me away from playing endless rounds of Scramble via the Scramble application is a good thing.
I accepted H’s friend request—it never really occurred to me not to. And maybe it never really occurred to her not to send me one. But I probably wouldn’t have sent her a request to after seeing she was a member of that group. Because I would have assumed she’d reject me on principle? Because I was too good for a hater? I’m not sure. The annoying thing is, as with the election itself, the ball is always in their court.