It’s no surprise that since being published on February 25th, the post has already received 86,137 likes on Facebook and 611 comments.
This is because the author, Sarah Emily Tuttle-Singer, crafted an extremely clever, well-written, relevant article pointing out the potentially pretentious, yet edited-to-appear-familiar lives that we modern parents display on Facebook and social media:
“My life on Facebook is an airbrushed andInstagrammed image of my real life… I give everything a hipstacular filter to make the drudgery look interesting.”
She’s right the way she describes what she calls “Fakebooking,” even down to the part about making it look all we do in our free time is hang out in coffee shops.
I laughed when I read that because it seems like 25% of the stock photos I use of you are taken at a downtown coffee shop on a Saturday morning.
My preference is to present vague photographs of you, causing the viewer to try to subconsciously imagine the story behind the picture. Granted, I always correct the lighting and round off the corners, to help with the pre-fab nostalgic feel.
In other words, I am a living stereotype of what she describes. I am very self-aware of my condition. I Fakebook every day. Actually, I am the worst offender of Fakebooking I know!
As I mentioned earlier this week in “Facebook Status Updates About Men Who Cheat,” it’s very easy to find negative drama in the comments of my Facebook news feed. But for every comment that tells of a cheating boyfriend or husband, there’s a super positive comment by someone else is who is humbly bragging (oxymoron?) about how they have the best boyfriend or husband in the world.
Fakebooking helps balance out all the chaos in social media; for me at least.
I believe that the version of life we see is the one we choose to see. Like John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost coined it, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”
Sure, I Fakebook daily. Or maybe I’m just choosing heaven over hell, everyday.
On Thanksgiving day, Mommy and I were pulling you around the neighborhood for an afternoon wagon ride, per your request.
We pulled around the corner to find two new grandpas getting out of their trucks, so proud to go inside and see their 8-day-old grandson. The two of them had traveled from out of town to see him.
“Oh, 8 days old? That’s the day he would be circumcised according to Jewish tradition. But I guess he was probably circumcised after just a couple of days while he was still in the hospital, right?”
It didn’t end there. I went on about your circumcision and probably how I don’t remember my own.
Then, finally, I shut up.
I reminded myself to just let those two new grandpas glory in their new grandson.
All I had to do was just smile and say some encouraging comment like, “Just imagine, in two years, you’ll be pulling your grandson around the neighborhood in a Radio Flyer wagon.”
Normally, I wouldn’t have had circumcision on my brain. But I had just finished a book called The Circumcision Decision. And evidently, my filter wasn’t working.
I’m referring to the John Mayer song, “My Stupid Mouth,” where he says, “How could I forget? Mama said, ‘Think before speaking.’ No filter in my head, oh what’s a boy to to do? I guess I’d better find one soon.”
Honestly, it had been a while since I had said something that stupid, making things so awkward that the only way to salvage the situation was to politely walk away and say, “Have a nice day.”
Son, I spent the majority of my childhood saying dumb things out loud, which I instantly regretted. I remember in 5th grade setting a goal of trying to make it one whole year without saying something awkward and embarrassing myself.
Didn’t make it a week.
So much of being successful and influential in life is being able to know what to say to people, but even more important is knowing when just to say nothing at all.
As you grow up, I will be here to help direct you on this. I want you to naturally say less stupid things than I did when I was a kid. I want you to learn from my mistakes.
It’s my wish for you that you won’t be able to relate to John Mayer’s song as much as I do.
“Jack is just a little version of Nick!” is something people never say, nor should they say. Whenever I post a new picture of my son and me on Facebook, no one compares the two of us. Because, really, there’s nothing to compare.
I look like the token Jewish actor from any and every sitcom you’ve ever seen in your life and my son looks like he stepped out of a time machine from the 194o’s… from Norway.
While I’m an olive-complected (I’ve got a green tint to me; it’s more noticeable when I wear black) and have dark brown hair, my son has a porcelain shine to his skin, along with undeniable blue eyes and (for now) blonde hair.
My physique makes me the kind of guy you’d expect to play the super hero before he turns into the super hero.
Meanwhile, my son, who is in the 75% for weight, is a strong and sturdy boy who inspires people to ask me what sports I think he will play when he gets older.
(Rugby, wrestling, football… all of the above.)
Yesterday I was at the pool with my son and my wife. While it didn’t feel like anyone was staring at us, I thought how if anyone there was people-watching us, they would surely assume our son was adopted.
It doesn’t matter to me or bother me that my son is keeping alive the rarest genes of my wife and me. It’s simply something I’ve noted from the beginning. And now at 19 months, the lack of physical similarity is still very evident.
Yeah, it’s weird and it’s funny to me, but for some strange reason I sort of like the unpredictability of it.
Every time friends hang out with us who haven’t seen us in a while, they always look at Jack, then at my wife and I, then back at Jack. Then they say us, “Who do you think he looks like?”
They say this thinking that because he’s our flesh and blood, we’ll have some magic intuitiveness that helps us see some resemblance they apparently don’t.
Well, no magic here, folks.
I imagine there’s a decent chance that as my toddler son transforms more into a real boy and eventually a young man, he will begin to look at least a little bit more like me.
Or at least his Mommy.
Either way, it’s safe to say that at least, physically, he’s no “mini-me.”
I think if he and I were given a “resemblance score” we would get 0%.
But hey, I’m open for a second opinion.
If you, the reader, see more of a resemblance than I do, let me know.
This Easter, enjoy the by-products of pig bones, crushed bugs, and my personal favorite, beaver anal glands. I know I will!
Sorry for the Debbie Downer title and subject matter today, but I think you will appreciate how enlightened you will be by the end of this.
Though I haven’t consumed any meat in a long time now, I will be breaking my vegetarian streak this Sunday.
It’s not because I will be grilling out steaks or chewing on some deer jerky, but simply because I want to join in on all that marshmallowy goodness; as we evidently celebrate the bunnies and baby chicks who were present when our Lord and Savior was resurrected from the grave.
Here is why vegetarians, as well as the kosher abiding, must compromise their principles in order to truly enjoy their children’s Easter candy. And for any of you Doubting Thomas’s or blog snipers out there, I’ve conveniently paired each one with a snopes.com (or other more-legitimate-than-Wikipedia) link where you can verify these aren’t simply urban legends or Internet hoaxes left over from April Fool’s Day.
1. Marshmallows: They are what makes Easter candy special, as compared to Halloween or Christmas candy. But what makes marshmallows themselves so special? Well, it’s just that they are made with gelatin, which is comprised of cow hide, pig skins, and bones of both. Pudding, anyone?
2. Red food dye: If any of your candy contains the red food dye Crimson Lake, you will be appreciating the splendor of crushed scale insects (parasites of plants). This is why Starbucks is currently taking heat for their Strawberry Frappuccinos. Could be worse; at least it’s not made from beaver genitals…
3. “Natural” vanilla flavoring: How can you know when a vanilla flavored food is made with actual vanilla or just castoreum, which is the oily secretion, found in two sacs between the anus and the external genitals of beavers? We can’t, thanks to the FDA. But at least we can credit Jamie Oliver for bringing the truth about castoreum to the national limelight for us; just as he did for “pink slime.”