Get widget

Friday, July 29, 2011

Forays into Facebook

I don't spend much time on Facebook, but every once in a while I can be sucked in for hours. I've got something like 300 or 400 friends on there. I never know when anyone cuts me. I only know when people add me because Facebook tells me through request.

So, am I getting involved in controversial political or religious debate? Am I increasing my realm of knowledge by clicking on links to thoughtful, provocative articles and prose? Am I attending online events for noble causes like curing cancer and ending poverty?

Unfortunately, no.

I'm creeping on your pictures.

Facebook opens a magical world of make believe for me that I allow myself to slip into now and again. It is a world of happy people, shining faces, adventurous and fun outings that I'll not be partaking in any time soon.

There's my oldest friend, of course. She's my age and childless. Her photos include pictures of her numerous worldwide trips every year. She's vacationing, she's dancing, she's partying on rooftops. I'm watching. It's glorious to be transported to those happy times, not only to pretend I'm part of the new ones, but to remember the old ones that we did together.

There is my young cousin...maybe she's 19 by now. Always dressed up to the nines, a flawless sense of fashion, on top of the world. She's smiling with her friends. She's duckfacing in the university hallway for a cellphone shot. Her hair is curly, straight, black, blond. She's on the beach, in a car prepping for a night out, playing beer pong in someone's basement. She reminds me of me when I was 19. A better me. A perfectly styled me (I've always had a bit of trouble looking completely trendy.) These pictures gratify me both as a person, and as a mother as they show me a light at the end of this toddler tunnel of doom.

There's my former coworker who just got married. A beautiful white lacy dress, cutting the cake, dancing with her dad. Her honeymoon. Sunsets off a cruise ship, kissing her new husband, fancy dinners, fourteen days utterly and enviably alone. Her pictures take me to a slice of life I missed out on, allowing me to live it vicariously and fill in the blanks with my own imagination.

There are the glowing pregnant women, pictured happily patting their bump, and then one day, the pictures a beaming mother, kissing her newborn on the head. Oh the happy days of joy surrounding the birth of a child. In the pictures, you see, there are no sleepless nights. There are no round-the-clock feedings. There's no colic or crying. There's only the happiness of the moment when that shot was snapped.

And I have to remember that those pictures are what other people see of me, too. Currently my profile picture is a childless shot of me in a pretty dress and make up. Gives the impression that I still have a life outside of my kids, which I guess I do, though I often feel I'm being swallowed up by motherhood. The picture serves as a nice reminder of who I am as a whole. Other albums show our family relaxing and playing on the beach, having fun at Nana's, fooling around at the pool, or just having fun in the house. The pictures don't show the colds we're fighting, the state of the house right now after a week of sickness, the cranky tantrums. The pictures show a family that gets out and has fun and loves each other.

People say photos don't show the real picture, which is what I tell myself when I'm feeling low about myself and jealous of others.

But so much more importantly, we must remember that photos DO show the real picture. They show slices of life that we forget as we're buried under loads of laundry, trying to keep our eardrums from splitting in half as our kids fight over a plate/spoon/block/imaginary speck of dust. Life so often seems dull and drab and boring and wasted.

When you feel like this, I suggest you visit Facebook. Look at the pictures. Not of other people. Look at your pictures. You see those beautiful children smiling into the camera? You see that laughing family outside enjoying the sun?

That's you. That's just as much you as the dishes you have to do while your kids pull each other's hair. You are interesting and happy and adventurous. I bet you've got the pictures to prove it.

If you like this blog, please vote on Tales of an Unlikely Mother is number17, just scroll down and click on the thumbs up! Thank you so, so much.

1 comment:

  1. I photo-creep too. I like clicking random people that comment on articles through the local news and such and checking out the photos they have to offer. The wayback ones are the most fun. You get to see snips of a person's entire life in one boring evening.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...