Half-Joke, Half-Vent: Facebook Interpretations

The other day I lived through an example of how things said online aren’t always what they seem. After a Murphy’s Law hour, when everything that could go wrong did, I blew off a little steam on Facebook and then got down to the business of dealing with All The Things.

My oven is broken and there’s a mouse in the back porch. Also, I’m all out of Milky Ways.

Yes, I was whining. And venting. And trying to make light of the situation, all at the same time.

After the fact, it was interesting to do a little people-watching in terms of the reactions.

Some people sympathized.

  • Boo.
  • Oh no!
  • Dislike!
  • Triple trouble.
  • Noooooooo
  • What a bummer of a day for you.
  • Disaster!

Some people got the joke. And the need for chocolate at a time like this.

  • The worst was the last one. 🙂
  • Me: I’d definitely be dealing better with the first 2 if that last thing wasn’t also a factor.
  • That’s some serious <redacted> you’re dealing with!! lol
  • Without the chocolate, I would not be able to deal with the other two issues! LOL! 😉
  • Me: EXACTLY.
  • You can’t handle all that stress without chocolate!!
  • Local friend who understands my weakness for ice cream: Guess you need a trip to The Meadows
  • That last one is the deal breaker really
  • Noooooo!!! Not out of Milky Ways!!!! I’m sorry for loss.
  • This ranks as a State of Emergency.
  • Barb, you were on the Nightly News no Milky Ways !!! lol
  • Local friend 2 who likes my homemade cookies: It was the Milky Ways that really make this sad! Oh, and your oven, too (no cookies)!
  • Crumb. Any other chocolate?
  • Oh no! Out of Milky Ways!!!Yummy

Then we got down to solving some problems.

  • Me: Mouse-in-the-porch plan: when Street Urchins arrive, promise them donuts if they find the mouse and safely relocate it OUTSIDE. Not that it couldn’t get right back in again, but…
  • Friend: broken oven– I switch to the steel wok on the grill, or a crock pot– but that last one– out of chocolate with nuts– oh that is major bad!
  • Me: I have a toaster oven and a Nesco roaster, so I can make it work (though there won’t be cookies).
  • Friend 2: I have made cookies in a toaster oven…cannot be helped when you have a cookie craving in the middle of a heatwave… Lol
  • Friend 3: First things first: Make a run to the drug store!
  • Friend 4: Tomcat traps are great. You never have to touch the mouse’s carcass —- OR you can get a humane trap and bait it with peanut butter and/or chocolate. You just have to be sure to haul the catch far, far away (3 or 4 miles, or on the other side of a creek or river) so they don’t return.Then follow Friend 3’s advice and run to the store for those Milky Ways! LOL
  • Me: Street Urchins are currently debating whether a donut is “worth it” in this case.
  • Friend 6: You can solve that milky way crisis pretty easily. The others, not so much….
  • Friend 7: Mice hate peppermint and a mini peanut butter cracker on a mouse trap works quite well. you’re on your own with the oven. I’d call a repairman or someone with those skills.
  • World-traveling friend: It is too hot to turn on the oven. Pay the urchin five bucks for catching the mouse. Amazon should take care of the Milky Way problem, unless you want British ones and then I can bring some back next week. Let me know.

And then, a progress report:

Me: Looks like the Street Urchins have prevailed over the mouse! (And killed a giant bee as a bonus!)

Friend 4: HOORAY!!!!!

And then, a ray of hope for my broken appliance:

  • Friend 5: Barb, my husband repairs ovens! What’s wrong with it?
  • Me: Well, it is flashing E2 F3 in the display and burning SUPER hot.
  • Friend 5: I will have him call you! What make oven and how old. Gas or electric?
  • Commence discussion re: make, model and what’s a good time to call.

Further resolution of the situation and other good news:

Street Urchins have been repaid for the safe capture and relocation of the mouse with donuts. And I have a caramel iced coffee, so I think we’re pretty much all set.

For the record, it was decaf. And very much needed.
For the record, it was decaf. And very much needed.

AND things keep looking up. I requested jury duty postponement so it wouldn’t be during TheKid’s summer vacation, and I just got a postcard saying I’m excused!

(And there was rejoicing in all the land.)

Final report:

The urchins caught the mouse for 2 donuts each plus Klondike bars. 🙂

World-traveling friend: Excellent financial negotiation skills! Amp him with sugar and send him home

Further on down the line, after it was all over:

Friend 8: actually, i don’t like this like this. i am saddened by this, but like that you find humor even in the broken mousiness and the absent milky ways…
Me: That’s my survival skill, 🙂 At least we got the mouse safely to the woods down the block instead of my porch.

Friend 9: This sounds like a very bad day! 😦
Me: Fortunately, it got better. But all that in one hour was not fun.

And then there was this:

First world problems …

Now that’s the comment I don’t know how to take. Because it didn’t come with any emoticon to soften it, and the person who typed it isn’t someone I know in person (but who is a friend of many of my friends, and professionally I do wind up “friending” such people).

I am well aware that the lack of a working oven and the presence of a mouse are not major crises, and that not having any Milky Ways in the house does not constitute a State of Emergency.

So, OK. I was complaining about some pretty minor stuff. My friends got that it was minor, but upsetting, and the back-and-forth helped me get through the afternoon with some semblance of my sanity intact.

But now I feel like I am being judged, like I’m being told, “Suck it up, buttercup! There are starving people in <insert Third World Country here> who would love to have your ‘problems’.”

I wasn’t kidding when I told that one friend that finding humor in this situation is my survival skill. The humor here was that there were no Milky Ways, and bargaining with the Street Urchins for donuts in exchange for safe mouse relocation.

I can’t be sure that this person’s comment was meant as a put-down, but that’s how I interpreted it. Again, it’s hard to tell, just based on text and not knowing the person behind the words.

This may indicate that it’s time for me to evaluate whether it’s a good idea to have people as friends just because we have 47 mutual friends on Facebook. I might need to make an announcement that if I don’t know you in person or work with you, I’m unfriending, and then direct folks to “like” my author page.

(And yes, “work with you” counts because I work with over 100 people whom I’ve never met! If those people send me friend requests, I grant them.)

I’d love your thoughts on this one.

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5 thoughts on “Half-Joke, Half-Vent: Facebook Interpretations

  1. I’m always wary of making people I don’t “know” FB friends. I’d much rather have them at my author page. That’s usually not where they find me though. Maybe a thoughtful redirection is in order,

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  2. Usually people who say “first world problems” do it as a joke….by being self deprecating. people who say it in judgement of others often 1.) Don’t even remotely understand third world problems at all nor do they actively seek to alleviate the problems they are insinuating are worse than yours so they aren’t really “helping” they’re just trying to shame you. 2.) And I’ll bet you they are just as guilty of complaining (or sticking their two cents in) about the daily frustrations of their own day to day lives….so they’re just hypocritical. My response to such people is always the same…I ignore them. If they’re gonna throw shade on your life I just walk the other way. People feel way too comfortable judging other people’s lives when they’ve got the security of hiding behind a screen and keyboard. Undoubtedly that person would never have spoken to you in person that way…ugh! I’m frustrated for you, but don’t let it stop you! Social networks are designed for people to talk to each other and to share their burdens. It’s your wall I say post what you want to and let them be silly heads if they so choose.

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  3. Street Urchins: is this how you refer to your kids? SO FUNNY 🙂 I wish I could insert the laughing/crying emoji here, but that is beyond my tech skills.

    Some days are just bad. It may seem like nothing to others, but they are others. I’m sorry you had someone’s text bog you down. We all have our own crosses to bear, and they’re quite personal. I’m keeping you in my prayers. May you be blessed with no mice and always an abundance of Milky Ways 😉

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    • Actually, the Street Urchins are my 13-year-old’s friends. There are 4 or 5 of them, and most of them are on their own a lot due to fragile family situations. One of them told me once that I’m the only one who “always lets them in.” I keep them in root beer, potato chips and the occasional grilled-cheese, and I yell at them just like they’re my own kids.

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  4. I will often use #firstworldproblems MYSELF at the end of a vent/rant to show that I do understand how I understand silly it may sound. I AVOID writing it on other’s vents because, IMO, it can come across as condescending. (Something like “there are children dying in Syria and you are complaining about a mouse and some Milky Ways?” **eyeroll**)

    Life is too short to treat yourself like a martyr although some people like that sort of thing.

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