#176 – Status is Everything

My wife and I squabble occasionally, and like every other couple we have our issues. On the whole though, I’ve always considered our marriage a strong one. I’ve also thought the people who know us best believed the same. But after my latest Facebook snafu, I’m beginning to wonder.

Sophia joined Facebook only a few weeks ago, and she’s already disenchanted. Last night, she told me she’s tired of the endless sniping and insipid posts from her so-called friends. She summed up a fairly extensive diatribe with: “Richard, do I look like a give a shit about Kathy’s shopping list, or any of the other minutiae on her daily itinerary?” Sophia may or may not get around to formally canceling her account, yet she doesn’t plan to log on again in the foreseeable future.

When the Mrs. joined up, I’d assigned myself the “married” status for my Facebook profile, and I’d also listed her as my wife. Last night, however, in the course of sharing her overall disgust with the social networking site, she informed me that she doesn’t want people knowing her business. She asked me to remove all references to her from my profile. Knowing as little as I do about the nuances of Facebook operation, I thought I needed to change my status from “married” to “single” in order to comply with her request.

I had no idea an alteration of my relationship status would automatically post to my wall and be broadcast to all my Facebook friends. Because I shut down my computer immediately after making the modifications last night, I didn’t learn of the curious operational feature until this morning … when I saw the “news” post stating that I’d gone from married to single, and the dozen comments which followed. All of the well-wishers seemed to think my marriage had fallen apart. Oddly, while my “friends” offered their condolences, none of them asked what happened, and no one expressed shock at the dissolution of my relationship.

As if the Facebook comments didn’t impart a sufficient slap to the face, Sophia and I both received a number of voicemail messages from those closest to us who’d heard about the “split.” All the messages for me echoed the backhanded words of solace offered by my brother: “Richard, sorry to hear your marriage is on the rocks. But it was only a matter of time, right?”

Sophia’s messages expressed an equal lack of astonishment at our breakup, and sounded even less complimentary. Setting the bar was her mother, whose words of encouragement to her daughter included the memorable: “Praise Jesus! I knew you’d come to your senses eventually!” and “Someday, I’m sure you’ll meet a nice, normal man to spend the rest of your life with.”

Neither of us much appreciated the kind words from our friends and kin. Even so, all those messages left me wondering: What do these people know that I don’t?

Judging by the comments from our friends and family, 
I might need the services of this company sooner than I’d thought.

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