November 12, 2010 by Kat Richter
I’m sitting at my desk, snacking on raw almonds and thinking “Hmm, these nuts are rather nice without chocolate, actually” when my phone rings. It’s a text from my friend Marisa: You have a boyfriend???
Marisa lives in LA. This means that Wednesday’s misunderstanding, as promulgated by my unfortunate use of the word “girlfriend,” has gone bi-coastal.
Great, I find myself thinking, just great. Before I know Date #17 himself will get wind of it, and then there’ll be no convincing him to join me for the annual Hooper’s Island Black Friday Martini Bar Soiree.
“Read the rest of the post,” I text back. You know, the part where I explain that I took artistic liberties with the “girlfriend” portion of Wednesday’s title?
As much as I’d like to be Date #17’s girlfriend, and as much as I suspect the feeling’s mutual, we’re so not there yet.
In this digital day and age, there are certain things one must do before taking one’s relationship(s) to the next level. I am referring, of course, to the obligatory Pre-Dating Facebook Profile Purge. I have yet to “Friend” or be “Friended” by Date #17 but when the time comes I can’t have him thinking that I still listen to Daddy Yankee or Usher (or that I dance around to Jason Derulo while getting reading to go out, usually half naked).
Hence the need to purge (and I know for a fact that I’m not the only person who does this).
Date #17 took me to see The Social Network last weekend and there’s nothing like a two-hour film about Facebook to point out the obvious flaws in one’s profile. For example, given Date #17’s attitude towards snacking, I probably shouldn’t list the consumption of chocolate amongst my “interests.” And I should probably un-tag a few of those grad school photos… my Facebook pictures would suggest that I spent the entirety of my course in London posing— rather provocatively— on various forms of mass transit (busses, tubes, trains, planes, etc. as illustrated in my photo in the “About Kat” section of this blog). Obviously this was not the case. I also hosted fondu parties, and went to nightclubs too.
If the entire point of Facebook is to construct an online profile that’s slightly cooler than the real thing, then the Facebook purge is needed to maintain the charade. According to my Friday night pre-teen tap students, old-school Usher is cool again (and I am cool by extension because I actually own Confessions) but I’m not sure how Date #17 will feel about my musical tastes. I know for a fact that he admires me for my intelligence (“Your nerdiness is really sexy, Kat”) so I’ll leave the Vivaldi listed under my “music interests” and the Dorantes (for which I’ll definitely get major “culture” points because no one has heard of Dorantes; he’s an obscure flamenco pianist who’s music I decided while studying in Spain nearly a decade ago). But the Usher, methinks, has got to go.
I’ve already found Date #17’s profile page and since his security settings are rather low, I’ve ascertained the following: he is in fact single (which I had presumed all along, but it never hurts to confirm that one’s purported online status matches one’s other purported online status, by which I mean that Facebook profiles and Match.com profiles ought to both read “single” until the girlfriend-to-be is notified, preferably in writing, or in chocolate, or in writing in chocolate).
Also, he posts on his wall more often than other people post on his wall, which is good because I tend to get a little anxious when I come across other chicks staking their claim; girls on Facebook are worse than dogs peeing on fire hydrants when it comes to marking their turf (and this is why I’ve not yet posted anything on Date #17’s wall).
Finally, as most importantly, my little recognizance mission has revealed that I have more Facebook friends than Date #17. This is extremely comforting because in real life, at least as far as Philadelphia is concerned, Date #17 has way more friends than I do; my evident online popularity, however virtual, serves to redress this imbalance.
For now, despite the confusion caused by Wednesday’s post, our respective statuses remain at “single” (or rather his remains at “single;” mine remains at mysterious and unattainable, by which I mean it’s unlisted). I have rather strong feelings about listing relationship statuses online—a fact which my last boyfriend found out the hard way— but before I tell that story, I’d like to pose a question: what are your thoughts about going official via Facebook? Tasteful or tacky?
(And to Marisa and the rest of my girlfriends out there: rest assured. If and when I consent to becoming somebody’s girlfriend—or indeed a certain somebody’s girlfriend— you’ll be the first to know! Probably because I’ll call/text/email you in hysterics to solicit your opinion on my latest wardrobe crisis…)