You have likely been unfriended before in the FB world, right? It happens. You get busy with your own self absorption and fail to pour into one of your face book friends’ self absorption. Maybe you don’t even realize that your 608 FB friend count is now 607. However, when it’s your own flesh and blood daughter, well, it’s pretty noticeable, and devastating. Yes, bloglings, my daughter unfriended me, and if you hang around I will tell you how in excruciating and humiliating detail.
By post 412 you must know that I am a joker, gadfly, comic, teaser, bear poker, a smoker, and a midnight toker. Okay, I’m getting carried away with Steve Miller’s song cycling in my hamster wheel of memorized songs. Wherever that hamster wheel stops, there’s a song to be sung. OOh, oooh, Sunshine Daydream by the Dead comes up on my shuffle. I’ll be right back. You don’t buy coffee; you merely rent it.
Anyway about a year ago, yes almost exactly at this time of pre-holidays, my lovely lawyer daughter sent out a FB post about employers being liable for their party goer guests if they served alcohol and their guests got in some smash up later. Liability is a big scary word to legalists. Now it was very well written and professional as a gold plated fountain pen. However, I failed to distinguish her professional FB account from her personal account when I responded foolishly, thinking “She’ll get a laugh out of this response.”
I replied to her warning. It was a Friday as I recall… the last Friday for my already blemished dignity.
“Dear Ms. MCHammer,
I read your article with much interest. Now, I am self employed and work on the second floor of my building, up a flight of 15 steps. My legal question for you is this: If I have a holiday party and get myself drunk, and then if I should fall down my stairs and injure myself, can I then sue myself? Can I be both plaintiff and respondent? How would that work? ”
My real name was attached.
Never hit send, bloggidos, unless you have thoroughly checked out your global liability. Of course, I hit send and chuckled about the anticipated funny response. My daughter is a funny girl, by the way. Oh, but it was not a funny reply I got.
Monday morning she was called in to her boss’s office. The company CEO was on the phone. They asked what the FB message was all about…. “And who, pray tell, is this guy?”
Horrified, she read the message for the first time under their glare, imagining the end of her brief career in law. “Uh, he’s my dad.” Gulp. Shamefully she looked down at her cute suede mauve shoes. They were comfortable and would be kind to her feet as security escorted her off the campus, she thought. Later on, these shoes would give her steps bouncy energy as she walked from interview to interview, hopelessly trying to escape this professional disaster.
Stunned, the two bosses waited for the other one to say something. Finally the big boss said, “It must have been hard for you in high school.”
She laughed out all the nervous energy that had been building up in her organs like steam.
“You have nooooo idea!”
It is a little known scientific fact that many people laugh spontaneously prior to their own executions. Apparently it helps them relax and die peacefully. It’s an autonomic reaction just before one voids his or her bowels.
“Jack, what do you want to do with the message?”
“I don’t know, Jim.” Pause. Smirk. ” Just leave it up. Hell, it is pretty funny. It’ll show we have a sense of humor here at Litigation Nation.”
My daughter sighed a deep sigh of relief. “Oh, thank you. I’m sorry. It will not happen again. I promise….”
“We know because you are going to unfriend him. Block him from any attachment to this company. Disenfranchise this clown. Cut him off….”
“Yes, sir. I will. I was adopted, by the way. We are nothing alike. I’ll bring in my birth certificate and take a DNA swab if you like.”
“That won’t be necessary.”
Later that day I got the upset word from my daughter. Man oh man!! Have you ever felt like your body is melting away? My feet melted, then my legs, as my stomach dropped to a pig farm in China where, coincidentally, pig stomachs were being harvested on that very day. Shame, like ice cold formaldehyde pumped through my vascular system, embalming me in that moment, naked in my sin, on display for all to mock in the Norwegian wedge of Antarctica. I felt like I’d killed her dog, which is the best dog ever. It hurt in a hollowed out way, not sharp local pain but all consuming galactic pain that burst out into deep space. I hate to hurt others, but hurting my daughter felt like instant lung cancer. Breathing suddenly hurt, as if shards of glass were in every breath.
I was exiled. Sent into the desert of social media to wander aimlessly till the end of my useless, shame filled life. Only ghosts and specters, slivers of shattered humanity inhabit that wasteland. Unplugged and unfriended, they hide by day and watch distant fires by night, knowing they may never approach. Modern day millennial lepers. I’m the guy on the left in the picture below.
Never lose hope, my one-humped blog camels. Forgiveness may show up one day like rain in that arid wasteland you are wandering through. It did for me. As I painted my daughter’s house this past month, she asked me how she could ever thank me. I saw an opening and took a shot. “Refriend me on Facebook. That’s all I want. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.”
“That’s all? You know I’m resigning from Litigation Nation in two days, right?”
“Yes, I know. Please reinstate me. I will not be improper ever again.”
Suddenly my leper chrysalis fell away and a forgiven butterfly slipped out to float away on a breeze of mercy, never to fart in the wind again.