Life as I know it has come to an end. My mother requested that I “friend” her. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. Sure, I’ve heard the tales: adult children of parents in their 70s and beyond, guilted into “friending” their parents, only to be mortified when those same parents begin to freely weigh in on everything they’ve worked so hard in life to exclude them from. These once self-described technophobes, now hunting and pecking at breakneck speeds to be first to comment on the photo of their friend/child’s embarrassing limbo attempt, “Shake it until you break it, honey! You’ve got my moves down.” These formerly wizen authority figures -- people who under no other circumstance would you associate with -- now liking you like crazy and harassing you with pillow fight requests.
But this wasn’t me. My mother was Mormon. She didn’t hold for all this computering business (except for email). I even wrote these very same words on my wall. “Happy Birthday,” I typed, or some such greeting “to my mom who doesn’t believe in all this computering business, except for email,” though I knew she’d never see it. I wrote this with no hesitation because knowing my mother, I knew she wouldn’t be caught dead hanging out on Facebook. But now, with this call for friendship hovering out there in FB request pending land, not only was I a non churchgoing heathen, but it seems with her inclusion into Facebook’s highly selective universal family, I can also now be tagged a liar.
The thought that my mother, the woman who signs all her cards Mom, not Love, Mom, but simply Mom, had willingly joined the ranks of those who readily and thoroughly catalogue every thought, impulse, those acted on and those merely mulled over ad nauseam, just didn’t seem right. The same electronically challenged Mormon mother who refuses to get caller id, and prefers to simply call people back when a call is missed to ask, “So, you called?” I mean, sure Mormon’s hardly Amish, but this person only checks email once a week – as a rule.
Now every time I think to post a flippant status update, that offhand remark I’d have no problem blurting out to a real friend at 3am, while devouring cold lasagna and downing Bacardi & Cokes, now I must ask myself if I really want to be subjected to “How in the world could you say that, girl? I’d never say that.” And course she wouldn’t. Mormons don’t announce to their friends, “Eighteen months a counting, not climbing the walls yet, but wouldn’t mind climbing…” They don’t update their profile page with celebratory pics of themselves in a two piece it took three months and fifty sit ups mornings and evenings to sport, with a big cheesy grin, saying “How ya, like me now?! ;-)”
No, I don’t think I want to live in a world where my mother is my friend. For a mother that I would gladly hand over a kidney, lob off a lobe of lung, excise a section of liver, as hard as it is to do, I feel I must at this time ignore her friend request. Really, it’s for the best. If I don’t, who knows what this friendship thing may lead her to do next: blogging, tweeting, signing Love, Mom?
Update: I accepted my mother’s friend request. Status update for 2010 and beyond: All is well.