I retired at a relatively early age (mid-50s). We had, as my Beloved
Spouse so eloquently put it, lived like animals for 20+ years so that we could pay off our house and cars, and live happily on a somewhat reduced pension. And so I left behind the unusual world of working for the Federal government, where we employees mixed corporates and secrets for a dizzying combination of paranoia and studied normalcy, and public scrutiny and keeping one step ahead. But I digress. My point is that I was suddenly free of all the pressures of the Politically Correct (PC) work day!
Gradually, I embraced social media. I chose FaceBook, or FB, as I off-handedly reference it, and my Beloved Spouse (yes, BS), went with Twitter. I reconnected with many of my work friends, and an amazing group of my high school friends and acquaintances. Amazing because I attended a DoD school outside of Tokyo, Japan. I had a relatively unremarkable high school career, focusing mainly on getting out of school and leaving a despised home life. I ran with the odd kids, the witches and rockers, remaining on the Principal’s List while hiding the fact. I married right out of school and am still married to the same wonderful man.
We group up together, raised two oddly dissimilar children and now live with cats and each other. We are happy. He is happy with his Twitter, enjoying the madcap 140ers as they shoot thoughts back and forth, lightly insulting, always insightful; I envy their carefree approach.
FB is Twitter’s darker, wordier uncle. I enjoy sharing everything from cat videos to recipes to photos of relatives, friends, and obscenely-shaped donuts. But at this time in our lives, an ugly inevitability has crept into our lighthearted banter, our friendly one-upmanship.
I call myself an Independent, because that is the closest I can come to “don’t give a damn, but I do vote” and still appear legitimate. BS is a veteran, disabled, and worries obsessively about our country, so I will occasionally post things for him to see, but I try to stay inoffensive as I do. That really is getting harder to do.
Which brings me to my dilemma. I ran across a political joke, featuring a picture of a certain Dem female who is running for president, sobbing, while her husband is trying to cheer her up by telling her that a certain African leader had to be in jail only 27 years before he became president. For some reason, this hit my funnybone. I thought it was hilarious. I wanted to run to my faithful Samsung and fling it far and wide to my wonderful FB friends, as well as those who choose not to FB. But I stopped short as feelings of high school rushed over me. I would offend some of my newly rediscovered chums. I would anger others, make many laugh, and others just: meh. What should I do? I have seen many comments and cartoons lampooning people I admire, or at least don’t hate. I simply pass them by. But I have observed that some people can’t do that, they do get mad, even nasty. I don’t want to go through that again, concerned that I might be “unfriended” might be left behind, no longer part of the old gang. So I didn’t pass it to FB, only to some of my non-FBers. Very well received.
Well, I guess talking this out has helped me resolve this little issue. I am not so concerned about maintaining my friend list as I am having people think less of me because of a silly joke I shared. I have always been that way, through school and work and that’s not going to change. I would never knowingly offend or hurt anyone. And really, is that so bad?