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Joyce Putnam Eblen
Author, Speaker, Humorist

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Blog

On Fall and Facebook

Posted on September 21, 2016 at 3:40 PM

     I'm ambivalent about the start of fall.  I hate to see summer come to an end.  Soon our pool will close for the season and I won't be able to lie out on the beach much longer.  Baseball will be over and I will be forced to wait until spring training starts up again.  On the other hand, I like decorating our home and yard for fall and then, Christmas.  I like winter food--hot apple cider, chili, and candy apples.   I like sitting in front of our fireplace reading a good book.  I don't like wearing long pants and having to shlep around in a coat everywhere for a couple of months.

     For the past three years, I have made it to the first week in January, holding out the proverbial carrot in front of me that this was the year that Mike Piazza would be elected to the Baseball  Hall of Fame and I could plan our summer trip to Cooperstown, New York for the induction ceremony.  For three years I was bitterly disappointed.  (To be elected, a baseball player must have a yes vote from 75% of the ballots submitted and no, I don't have a vote.  Call me crazy, but I personally think that if our presidential candidates had to have an affirmative vote from 75% of the country's voters, we might have better candidates.   But, I digress...)

     On January 6, 2016, the feast of Epiphany on the liturgical calendar,  the baseball writers had an epiphany of their own and finally elected Mike to the Hall of Fame.  (He should have gone in on the first ballot, but no one consulted me.)   So the scramble began to plan the Cooperstown trip.  I must confess that even I, fun-loving, party-seeking, overgrown Gidget that I am, had some misgivings about making the trip.   Cooperstown is a very small town, like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.   The idea of being crowded together in an open field with 50,000 other people might make us prime targets for terrorist activity.

     An even bigger fear for me was that when one attends an event with 50,000 other people, some of them are going to be jerks.  I have a really low tolerance for jerks.   To my utter amazement, however, the jerk ratio for this event at Cooperstown was statistically very low.  In fact, in the entire six days that we spent at Cooperstown,  I saw only three real bonafide jerks, and even one of them apologized.  So really, there were just two jerks in the whole crowd.   It was more like attending a class reunion with about 50,000 of one's closest friends!

     This brings me to the topic of Facebook.  I am ambivalent about Facebook, too.  I know people who have thousands of Facebook friends.  I have only a couple hundred and I have trouble keeping up with them!  I have a whole list of people who have requested that I add them as friends.  I have done nothing.  It's not that I am unfriendly.  It's just that I am overwhelmed by the list.  In fact, I am overwhelmed by Facebook!   I love getting videos and pictures from my FB friends;  I just don't need to see every video and photo that was ever taken.  I like hearing about your trips and cruises.  I just don't need to know if you are at Starbucks or the grocery store.

     I like that I can send birthday greetings on Facebook.  I don't have to look for a card, write it out, find a stamp, and put it in the mailbox.  I just type in "Happy Birthday" and push  ENTER.  Done!  The problem is that before, I never sent more than 10 birthday cards a year and now, it's like 10 a day!  I  feel terrible when I've missed the special days of friends because I haven't been on Facebook for a couple of days.

     You see,  I am one of those old fossils who does all my computer stuff on a desktop. I do not play games, get scores, or order pizza on my phone.   I don't do anything on my phone but call people or get calls.  I don't answer it if I'm driving.  (That's why I'm in the car in the first place--I'm trying to get away from people!)  Sometimes I go for days without getting on Facebook.  I have dishes stacked up in the sink, clothes to wash, and a book to finish writing.  Sometimes I just don't have the energy to scroll through all the stuff.  I have friends who are Trump supporters and others who are Hillary people.  Most of my FB friends are Christians, but some are Jewish, and a few claim no faith at all.  I count all these people as friends, but sometimes people get insulted because I don't agree with them.

     Fall is now here and next come the holidays.  Mike Piazza is now in the Baseball Hall of Fame so I have crossed that off my bucket list.  By January my next book should be done and we will have a new president.  Maybe all the people who think I'm so stupid right now might want to be my friends again.  But I can't promise that I'll be any better at the Facebook thing.  If you're really my friend, you'll understand.