As I write this, ’tis the season. The time of the year when judgment is abundant. The hottest gifts, the best décor, the cutest family photo. Which brings me to a conversation in my living room last Friday.
I was sitting with a group of my close friends at the end of a long week, and we decided to treat ourselves to the hour of happy.
A friend of mine shared a story from the Thanksgiving holiday. Her sister-in-law had asked whether her Facebook feed was also filled with pictures of elaborate, beautifully set holiday tables. My friend looked at her and said, “Umm, no, actually mine is filled with beach pictures and comments about escaping the holiday.”
I couldn’t help but wonder: What is the trending question that divides your Facebook feed? I realize that, for me, the so-called divide changes from year to year. If Facebook had been around when I was coming of age, here’s what I would want to know at each phase to sort my Facebook friends into one camp or the other:
1. Toddler Me
Do people call you bossy, too?
2. Elementary School Me
Do you keep a diary?
3. Middle School Me
Do you have a poster of Rick Springfield?
4. High School Me
Do you have the Jordache Jeans with the zippers on the bottom?
5. College Me
Can you understand me? (I grew up on the East Coast, but went to school in Ohio. Sneakers, soda—no one knew what the heck I was talking about.)
6. Young-Professional Me
Do you also want to go back to college, like right now?
7. New-Mom Me
Is your house a Barney-free zone?
8. Rec-League-Watching Me
Do you know the score? (’cause I don’t)
9. Three-Small-Kids Me
Will you not-so-silently judge me if I’m not really sure where all three are at one time?
10. Three-Slightly-Older-Kids Me
Do you unapologetically long for some alone time? You know, like All. The. Time.
11. Teaching-Kids-to-Drive Me
Have you mastered the effortlessly calm look on the outside, while dying on the inside?
12. Competitive Me
Do you play your killer ping-pong spin shot on your kids too, regardless of their age or ability to see over the table?
13. Raising-Three-Teens Me
Do you think you are losing your mind?
14. College-Application-Season Me
No, really, do you?
15. Mother, Entrepreneur, Volunteer Me
Am I the only one running late?
16. One-Kid-in-College Me
Are you sort of okay with him leaving?
17. Two-Kids-in-College Me
Are you sort of not okay that two are gone now?
18. The-“Baby”-is-16 Me
Do you have something in your eye, too? Sniff sniff.
19. Writing-This-Essay Me
Are you judging me? (Oh puh-lease, I know you’ve been judging me since you read about the hour of happy in the second paragraph.)