Breakup a la Facebook

Some of you must be aware that I recently changed my status on Facebook from “In a Relationship” to “Single”.  It may be a trite way to inform my friends of the change, but it beats the alternatives.  It’s hard enough to go through a breakup without having to tell every single person who know you as a ‘good couple’ just why this happened and how.  Especially when you are the breakee rather than the breaker, It’s hard enough to accept the loss of your relationship, even without friends you trust discussing and questioning the decision that wasn’t even your decision.  And who wants to stand around lamenting the past?

Of course, some people would take the usefulness of this feature to the extreme.  Just like middle school, it eliminates the need to directly tell someone else your intentions.  In middle school, you could always have a friend do the actual ‘breaking’ for you.  Or, my personal favorite, there’s the phone breakup in which you curse the breakee for being a ‘dog’ and other various things just to show how serious you are about breaking all ties.  Some people might even use Facebook to avoid those delicate conversations about moving from casual dating to a full-fledged relationship.  Someday, somewhere, people might actually be proposing marriage on Facebook.  Creepy.

Still, it was pretty surprising to see the results.  People I hadn’t spoken to in months called or messaged to offer support and condolences.  Three of Mike’s friends he hadn’t told about the breakup yet only found out about it through my status change (his profile still was listed as ‘in a relationship’ at that point cause he’s a bum who doesn’t update his status).  And it was an easy way to shout out to my friends, “I need immediate and serious distraction from my own thoughts,” without having to say much of anything.  But the best part of it all is that I can still laugh at the gossipy quality to this useful little tool.  It’s still a little prideful to proclaim my new single status so quickly, and a little cheesy to feel sad about the poor broken heart pieces I showed to the world through online emoticons.  But if I can still laugh, I must be doing pretty good.

My father, the robot

There are two universal rules of fathers with daughters.  1) They will try to scare the crap out of your boyfriend.  2) They will, at some point, be utter balls of corn.  No matter if your father walked out on you at the age of three or is the most mild-mannered accountant the world has seen, your boyfriend will ignite the inner concerned and rampaging defensive parent.  No matter if your father was at one time funny or is a cold-blooded killer, he will at some point break into utter ridiculousness.

Take my father’s reaction to my boyfriend’s recent birthday.  My parents sent him a card.  They even sent him a book.  However (and here’s where the corniness and threats come in), my father also left a voicemail message for Mike.  The content of the message was simple enough: “Happy Birthday, young man.”  However, it was said with a tone of voice that some may consider ominous.  When taken with the fact that my dad was calling from his cell phone, which Mike doesn’t have the number for (unlike my parent’s landline at home, which he has in his phone), it makes me wonder if he intended that ominous note.  Perhaps he even intended that Mike would ask me what strange man from the 317 area code would know when his birthday was.  Perhaps it was simply a fringe benefit.

The unintended consequence was Mike’s assumption that my father’s voice was that of a robot.  Mike thought that the message had to be one of those online programs you can have a specific voice or weird synthetically produced voice say the text you enter on someone’s voicemail.  I’m thinking specifically of Samuel L. Jackson and Snakes on a Plane here, and some of the hype that went on for that.  It took me 15 minutes just to convince Mike that yes, I could recognize my father’s voice as recorded on his phone.  Even then, it was really my friend Gina’s corroborating opinion that got Mike to believe.

Regardless of how much the man who gave me half of my genes to me sounds like a robot, he’s still a father with a daughter.  He still will try to intimidate boyfriends and will be occasionally reduced corniness.  And now I have the proof recorded on voicemail.