Friday, August 12, 2011

In Your Face Book



Gabriella Herkert


Catnapped and Doggone




What facebook friend request surprised my characters the most? I’ll admit in my life, I have gotten a fair number of unusual ones but nothing compared to my “people.”


First, there’s Sara. Now she wouldn’t be on Facebook if she hadn’t recently learned that people put all kinds of incriminating, enlightening and potentially useful facts on their pages for the entire world to see. Now maybe none of those miscreants really want Sara to know but if you build it…well, she will come. When first “friended” by Elizabeth Procter, better known as Elizabeth the Evil, who is Sara’s boss’ personal assistant and Sara’s office nemesis. It’s possible Elizabeth doesn’t know what “friend” means. Okay, for sure she doesn’t know what it means. The request sat in Sara’s inbox for a week while she tried to noodle the meaning. Talk about your no-man’s-land. Would ignoring be like shooting Franz Ferdinand? Would it be the rejection heard round the world followed immediately by open toes shoe warfare? Or would E finally realize that Sara wasn’t going to be railroaded into doing anything just because Elizabeth wanted her to?


Second weirdest request? Jeff Randall. While convicted murderers aren’t generally granted online access, smuggled cell phones can still provide an opportunity to reach out and build their social support system while doing hard time. Sara’s call to the warden of the prison was an eye opener. Possession of cell phones are a rules infraction at the correctional facility subject to administrative discipline. However, the ability to update your profile, post provocative pictures, and explain your unavailability as an oversees “consulting” job isn’t enough proof that you’ve had access to generate any repercussions at all. More interesting are the friends Jeff has on his list (primarily women, many of whom are successful professionals) and the racy commentary. Yeah, Sara did accept that request. Just because you bashed a guy in the head with a keyboard and helped send him to the big house for the rest of his natural life doesn’t mean you can’t let bygones be bygones.


For Connor, Facebook, like Skype, are his opportunity to remain connected to his other life. As much as he might want to compartmentalize his work, and must to remain focused on the job at hand, he needs them to remember why he does what he does. Without that foundation, even totally focused, he’d have a hard time doing his duty with an open heart. So necessary is the cyber-connection to his skittish wife, that Connor bought the computer and the phone and set up the accounts himself taking Sara through a technical crash course that would have been tedious if they’d been dressed at the time. His strangest request? Okay, not strangest but definitely scariest, came from his ex-fiancee Lily. Connor is long past Lily. Sara, in contrast, isn’t and if she were to find out that Lily was once again trying to connect with him, well, the wrong person might be in the crosshairs. Then there were his SEAL team buddies. Normally they share the guy code of minding their own business when it comes to women. However since they’ve granted Sara honorary SEAL status (giving her the call sign ‘Trouble’) and since Lily managed to sleep with Connor’s ex-brother-in-law, devastating Connor’s sister, and then went on to openly support the woman who not only tried to kill Connor and Sara but hired somebody to blow up Blue’s brand new truck (monster tires, spinning rims, pimped out sound system and all), well Lily is persona non grata. Call it defriending with the potential for automatic weapons fire.


Russ has a couple thousand friends. As a quasi-celebrity, he’s had his share of crazies but since he’s not opposed to crazy, that’s been working out fine. His strangest friend request wasn’t a listener, a fan or a member of the moral majority objecting to his open-minded advice giving. No. His strangest friend request was from his mother. She has spoken a word to him since he came out in his late teens but a couple of decades later, there it was in his inbox. There was no message with the request and he sent none back when he tentatively accepted. She never writes on his wall. She never comments on his posts. She remains silent when he posts pictures of himself with other men although she has no way of knowing if any of them are personally special to her youngest son. Russ follows the same unspoken, unwritten rules of estranged parent Facebook conduct. But he doesn’t sever this very fragile fiber optic umbilical cord. He can’t. He’s also never told his best friend Sara about it. She’s never met his mother and if she did, his mother wouldn’t come out the better for it. That’s the thing about Sara. Her friendship is up close and personal, her loyalty old school. Why friend someone through a machine when you can just climb the stairs and share a laugh and a meal face to face. No book required.


Thanks for reading and not unfriending me even when I seem to drop off the cyber world from time to time.


Gabi

5 comments:

Meredith Cole said...

Too funny, Gabi! I nearly choked on my coffee when I read "just because you bashed a guy in the head with a keyboard and helped send him to the big house for the rest of his natural life doesn’t mean you can’t let bygones be bygones."

Gabi said...

Thanks, Meredith. Don't you think Facebook is the perfect place to "move on?" No personal contact, no blunt force temptations and the oh so wonderful delete key. In a Facebook world, I have social skills.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

You know, Gabi, Sara might want to think about her standards. What if he gets out of the Big House and knows all about her because he's been following her status reports? Then she'd have to bash him again and buy a whole new keyboard. And those things get flimsier every year. What if it didn't take him.

I worry for her.

Great post!

Gabi said...

Becky,
You're so right about that status thing. It's like idiot GPS. So dangerous. Which is why Sara turned hers off as soon as she saw your post. You're also right about the keyboard. Sara has moved her 3-hole punch into swinging postion. Thanks for the save!

Michael Wiley said...

See, now you're making me worry about all that I post on my own FB page, Gabi -- and I don't even post all that much about myself.