Monday, January 26, 2009

What if Sybil were on Facebook?

I don’t have quite 16 or whatever large number personalities Sybil had but the various versions of me that have occurred from high school through adulthood have all converged on Facebook and it is somewhat unnerving. I wrote before about how the transition to high school was hard for me so I fell in with a "bad crowd" well I didn’t stay with the bad crowd my whole high school experience. I was on the college track which a lot of my smoking buddies were not, so eventually my peer group shifted to the smart but risky crowd.  (The smoking automatically eliminated me from the smart and sweet crowd before I even had a chance to petition for entry.)  There was smoking and a little pot and a little hash, a LOT of beer and occasionally things like golden grain and orange juice and gin and tonics and before you know it - high school is kind of a druggy drunken slutty blur. And that girl is having fun reconnecting with old friends on Facebook!

Then off to college to try for a fresh start. I used a nickname, joined a sorority (actually two - one social, one service), did the "right things" for awhile. But some of my old bad habits came back to haunt me and pretty soon college became a tipsy whirlwind - no drug use - that was out of my system - but plenty of opportunities to drink and I continued to smoke. I had several serial boyfriends. So that girl, with that nickname, she's on Facebook too.

The post-college years when I met ex-Marine and started my family have had the big twist. I converted to Catholicism. At some point along the way, I reined in the drinking to the point where I am now a "one glass of wine" girl (most of the time). I became a Catholic school teacher, then a government worker, a school board member, a PTO volunteer. In other words - the Church lady - a pillar of respectability and responsibility. And she's on Facebook too. And, BTW, so is her daughter.

And, finally there's the private me. The one that reads voraciously, that blogs, and enters writing contests. The woman that has an online community of friends to which my nerdy self is fully revealed - but not any of the other parts of me - up to this point, no real names, no real pictures. But, of course, she's on Facebook too, so that wall of anonymity is slipping.

When I open up my Facebook wall, it is a complete crapshoot over whether the postings will refer to Rocky Horror Picture Show or Pope John Paul's Theology of the Body. I get invited to join the cause that opposes gay marriage and the one that promotes it. I've been sent flair for both Obama and McCain. There are pictures of christenings and weddings and school performances. And then there are rock concerts and parties and a logo for a monster truck that says "My other ride is your mother." I guess I'm going to trust that God allows me to love all these people and I'll hope that he will allow them to love me back - all of me -even the parts they didn’t know about before.

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