i am so in awe of my friends. in 2011 i made and delivered — more or less — on a resolution to meet and spend face to face time with my 325 facebook friends. it was harder than i anticipated and way more rewarding than i expected. in 2012 i made and sort of delivered on meeting new facebook friends.
my facebook friend lesley riley is someone i wasn’t blessed to have as my friend in 2011. she came to the bat girl cave from her home in california in order to say “hey, you’re not just a facebook friend!” i admire her a lot and think she’s adorable!
so it’s getting to be that time again. i think all of us start the year with optimistic plans to lose weight, quit drinking, give up smoking, be more organized. what’s your new years resolution?
or even if you do . . . . there is always a negative aspect. which somehow will become all that is remembered.
i left my father in tallahassee and his provenge treatment went well. i met two new facebook friends–william taylor and ron winegar. i wasn’t able to meet others i was scheduled to see, most particularly jennifer brand clair from tampa. jennifer built me a facebook cake to celebrate what would have been our first meeting.
the cake is like an open book, with one page about facebook and twin laptops–hers and mine. the other page has an airplane flying down to florida to meet jennifer. she sent me the cake as an attachment to a message. buttercream frosting doesn’t taste as good when you’re trying to lick it off your screen.
i flew from tallahassee to charlotte and from there to chicago–the t.s.a. were definitely more attentive and they’ve implemented the “second look” policy at the gates.
this morning, i was surprised to find the following article. i had forgotten that more than a week ago, a reporter called and wanted to talk about my new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends. he kept focusing his questions on the negative. . . things that went wrong, friendships that weren’t good, unfriending, disaster. and i think i sound like i am a more negative person than i think i am.
in order to succeed, a million things must go right. in order to fail, only one thing has to go wrong. i admit that on the morning of august ninth i was thinking there’s going to be that one thing today. four friends coming together for lunch at laconda verde in new york city. one coming in from japan. one from brooklyn. one from staten island. and me? i get lost everywhere.
i just didn’t think it could happen.
facebook friend #316 carolyn quinn woke up on that morning and had a completely different mindset!
on may 9th of this year, i met michele piersiak of staten island. she is the 317th facebook friend i have met with since i made the new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends. so often, we have friendships and partnerships that exist online, on the phone, on facebook or twitter or instagram–and it’s important to supplement those interactions with real time.
michele followed the progress of my resolution because she shares a characteristic with me–we are both agoraphobic. we both have awful panic attacks and tend to look for our “safe” zone–and that zone can expand and contract. in my case, it has expanded considerably because of my facebook project. in michele’s case, she had been nearly housebound for more than a year because leaving the house affords too many opportunities for panic. but she’s just too young and pretty and bright and with so much to offer . . . it’s a darn shame to take that away from the world.
i’m a believer in tackling small goals and in doing so creating courage for tackling bigger ones. for michele, a big goal is to become a doctor to help others with this condition. a smaller goal was to have lunch at laconda verde. i said if she could make it to the restaurant in manhattan, i would fly out and take her there. she’s been working on getting out of the house and this morning she would get on the staten island ferry. we picked her up at the station. she was accompanied by her boyfriend anthony.
michele did something that is really important. she planned what she was going to bring. as someone who now lives out of her little orange bag, i totally understand.
we got off the ferry and took a cab to the restaurant. we were met by facebook friend #326 azusa watanabe who had flown in from japan a few days before.
the second most wonderful thing about lunch was dessert! the most wonderful thing was being with friends! after lunch azusa, carolyn and i went to have our auras photographed. michele and anthony went home to staten island. i think michele can do anything she sets her mind to!
tomorrow i will meet a lot of new friends. they might or might not be facebook friends but they are part of my new years resolution of last year and this year. last year i endeavored to meet all 325 of the facebook friends i had. i reached ninety percent of my friends.
the other ten percent? some of them moved during the year, some of them didn't respond to my requests to meet, some of them became too famous to be bothered, and some . . . weren't even people at all!
this year’s resolution is to take what i have learned about friendship, about travel, about anxiety and about doing things even when you’re a little bit afraid and i’m going to find twelve facebook friends who want to meet me! i already have two meetings set up which means that i’m on target for this year’s resolution.
tomorrow i will meet a whole group devoted to anxiety and panic attacks. these are people who know what it feels like to be me! they are the anxiety and panic attack support group of bolingbrook and i will learn a lot from them, i’m sure. they meet on the first and third wednesdays of every month and give each other encouragement. oddly, i’m a little anxious just thinking about going there–it will be dark and i don’t like to drive at night, there will be people i don’t know, i’ll be expected (or i’ll expect myself) to be witty. i will fail at that last one.
but i have spent so much of the last two weeks sitting in my house reading messages from facebook friends, many of whom share my difficulties, that i know that i have lost practice at leaving. i need to go.
at the beginning of the new year, the ancient babylonians made promises to the Gods that they would return borrowed items and repay their debts. the romans made their new year’s promises to janus, the two faced God for whom january is named. and the medieval knights made a “peacock vow” right after christmas to reaffirm their commitment to chivalry. these days, a lot of people make new years resolutions. fully 40% of americans make resolutions. the most popular ones being losing weight, exercising more, getting a better job, getting control over one’s finances. but 88% of people fail at their resolutions, almost half giving up before the end of january. last year, i resolved to meet all 325 facebook friends that i had at the time. for a variety of reasons, i managed to meet up and have real face time, with 292.
in the third episode of season three of the hit series glee, mike chang's father demands that the principal force mike out of the glee club because mike has received an A- on one of his tests. the A- is referred to as the asian F, in part because of the stereotype that asian parents expect perfect grades from their children. i met 90% of my facebook friends last year so i guess that's an asian F.
this year, my resolution is to meet 12 facebook friends who would like my help getting out from behind the computer screen. i think we sometimes use facebook friendships as a way of avoiding the chaos, confusion and just plan scariness of modern life. and some of us have our worlds get smaller and smaller.
i made three new years resolutions: one, i have to lose ten pounds. i gained that much over the course of last year–damn, those taipei soup dumplings, the weiner schnitzel in dortmund, the smashed peas in bristol, the seven course meal in eastbourne. . . the next is a little more embarrassing.
white wine, we have to talk. . . . i like you too much. so we have to break up. i'll still let myself drink beer but the white stuff's offlimits. if you see me with a glass like this in my hand, call me out on it!
and the big resolution is that i will take what i have learned and visit twelve facebook friends who are stuck. and i will do what i can to help “un-stuck” them. but january’s nearly over. i have to get moving. people who are successful at new years resolutions do two things: they engage in interim goal setting and they announce their intentions and ask for support from their friends. in order to make my facebook new years resolution work, i will have to meet one facebook friend a month. and it can’t just be one meeting or one interaction. it’s going to have to be a little more intense. but i have made the first step:
on january 26th, i will be in pennsylvania meeting with a facebook friend who has been housebound for some time. she would like to be a “better” mother and see her son succeed at things like little league games. i will be meeting her for the first time.
on january 29th, i will fly out to boston where i will meet with a facebook friend who has similar issues. i hope she’ll let me take her to lunch at the “top of the hub” restaurant in boston because one of the focuses of her anxiety is heights and elevators.
if you want to succeed at whatever you’ve chosen as your new year’s resolution, you should announce what you plan to do and you should celebrate your interim successes.
new friends who said “one more facebook friend isn’t going to kill you”: 11
friends i will visit: unlimited but first the 335
friends i have today: 1605 (i visit the new years friends now and if i have time left over before new years 2012 i will visit them or if they are available in a city where original facebook friends reside)
my weight (as of 2011 new years eve): 138
new years eve resolution 2010: lose five pounds, stop drinking, be more organized, be nicer to my neighbor mr. radnor
success rate on 2010 new years resolution: gained two pounds, drank like a fish, please don’t audit me because i have no idea where those receipts are, and mr. radnor i just can’t warm up to. ever.
new years eve resolution 2011: meet every facebook friend. . . .
friends i’ve seen so far this year: 151
friends so far who are relatives: 4–friends #1 eastman, #30 justin, #31 casey, #61 joseph
friends so far i had never met before: #95 nipper castino, #102 1/2 rachel li, #110 jeff barnes, #131 rodger gerberding, #79 yoshi maeshiro
tornadoes i have been exposed to: 4–one outside raleigh, north carolina, one outside cedar rapids, iowa, one outside blue springs, missouri, and another in kearney, missouri
percentage of friends who have been in a twelve step program, should be in a twelve step program or who have a spouse in a twelve step program: 50%
percentage who have asked that such a thing be kept secret: 0%
friends who have told me their license sticker has expired: 1
friends who have told me their license sticker has expired and they want that to be kept secret: 1
friends who have told me their spouse has committed an act of infidelity: 14
friends who have specifically asked me to include comments about that act in my blog: 5
new skills i have acquired: can open a champagne bottle with a saber sword (thank you #24 gretchen), break a board with my hand (thank you #87 ron), a perfect squat (thank you #14 chris), troll fishing (thank you #111 lon)
skills that will elude me forever: boxing (#90 sally, i’m sorry i get so scared in the ring), zumba (#92 jo caylor, you knew that was going to happen), and opera singing (#132 john hill)
friends who turned out to be an alternative identity for someone else: #49 mc kato (really winston chang), #54 IndaLoop (actually richard “mop” furniss, #74 stu fast (actually steve quick), #60 william clark (actually lanny jones, his biographer)
friends who wanted totally anonymity: one, mr. 88
friends who freaked out after they saw me: one, miss 116, who asked that the post be deleted in its entirety
my weight as of today: 142
my last visit before i left los angeles was to allen and sarah colombo. i asked them, as they opened the door, if they were familiar with the secret. they were. but instead of an evening of thinkng or talking about that inspiration, we had champagne, steak, veggies, gossip, music, bright lights.
i believe that allen and his wife sarah are some people i could call if i accidentally ended up in jail. if they didn’t have bail money at least they’d bring me sandwiches. and here i am at the end of a wonderful evening with them. . .
i’m still not quite sure what this project is, but i think it’s a diary. an interactive diary because everybody who participates in this ends up being in the diary and it’s an open diary (no lock with a precious key) because everybody gets to see it. this might be too a guest book although that makes it sound a little like i’m a hotel.
and i’m not a hotel. i’m a gal who wants to meet all my facebook friends, even the ones i have never met. maybe particularly those friends. last week, i did something new–
and then i returned to not quite what i was when i got started. which is sort of how i assume this project will turn out. by the way, my usual new years resolutions are to lose weight, stop drinking, get organized and be nicer to mr. radnor. this past week i accomplished the last of those . . . briefly.