Friend is Now a Verb

Kate at Kate Said posted that she has been reluctant to join Facebook for a few reasons, one of them being online security. I have had those same apprehensions, and in fact was going to post about them the other day but that post morphed into a post about frugality instead. Sometimes these stream of consciousness posts do that – end up in a pretty different place then where I thought I was going when I started.

I just joined Facebook about a month ago and I’m really enjoying it.  I’ve reconnected with some great friends that I’d lost contact with, and caught up with a few with high school and other acquaintances.

Like Kate I have also have had security concerns, but use my full name there and feel pretty confident that it’s relatively possibly safe.  Even so, there are a few issues that still make me a little uneasy.

One thing that’s a bit freaky is that you get news feeds of what your friends are doing with THEIR friends (little snippets about who is now friends with whom, who posted what photo, who commented on someone else’s status, etc.) . Some of the notifications I get are about people I don’t know or  know and am not fond of, but I get the notification because they commented on a mutual friend’s photo or something.  Each time it happens it’s a tiny shock to my system.

That means they are getting similar notifications about ME.  Lovely.

Another source of discomfort cropped up the other night. I enjoy playing poker. The poker application that Facebook uses in the same one used by MySpace and other networks, so I can be playing at the same virtual table as just about anyone. That’s fine, except that there’s no way for me to change my username to something more anonymous. It shows my avatar and my real full name. In and of itself that doesn’t freak me out too much, as all it is is my name and a photo of my son.

What’s happening, though, is that being the smartass that I am I have somehow picked up some people who not only want me to be their “poker buddy” (a system whereby you can find other people on the tables and play together), but they also want me to “friend” (that word is now a verb, by the way) them on Facebook. I was nonplussed the first time, and just ignored it. But now I’ve gotten several more requests to be added as a Facebook friend, and after thinking about it I’ve decided to decline these requests. I tell them that I enjoy playing poker with them, but am only adding my in-real-life friends for security reasons. One person got her panties in a twist, but that’s just too bad. I’m all for having a poker buddy, but I don’t want some unknown person and their unknown friends and friends of friends to have access to my info. Thanks, but no thanks.

So, I’m limiting Facebook friends to people I know in real life, and a few message board friends that I’ve known for 5 years, many of whom I’ve met (and I look forward to meeting the rest).  Everyone else will just have to deal.

And if they’re going to deal, I’d love two Aces, please.  And a nice flop.

Lackadaisical Housekeeping Seems More Accurate

Recently I received an e-mail from a woman wanting to interview me for an article she was writing for a “national publication”. She’d seen my article about how I got Comcast to lower my bill with just a phone call, and she wanted to find out what I did and how I did it.

Being that I’ve never completely given up my adolescent quest for fame (albeit fifteen (or even three) minutes), and though we already have a Paris Hilton, I demurely accepted the invitation. I joked with my friend that the national publication was likely Cat Fancy, though the joke was not as well appreciated since the friend has two cats herself.

This morning Margarette called, but I was outside wrestling with a witch (Seriously. It’s 60 degrees here and I had a plastic witch taped to my wonderful slide-screen door. The witch had to go, and she decided to fly away rather than be taped to my dirty garage door. I had to clean it for her so the tape would stick. Stupid witch.).

I called her back and waxed poetic about the great deal I got, other things I do to save money (I even confessed to buying some holiday gifts at garage sales – they were brand new items!) and how I marvel that frugal is now chic.

She then tells me that the article is for Good Housekeeping! Huh. That’s not Cat Fancy, is it?

She asked for my first and last name, which I was happy to give. It did bring up an issue, though, about my anonymity on this blog. I’ve chosen to be BeThisWay and not divulge my name, for reasons of safety and anonymity.

I’m happy to report that my principles flew out the window faster than that plastic witch and I’ve decided that fame is more important than anonymity and, apparently, safety. After all, I’m on Facebook now, so the gig is up.

I am such a fame whore. Though it’s funny that I’d be mentioned in an article in Good Housekeeping when mine is…not.

Husband Had a Date With Another Woman, And I’m Worried

But not about the date.

Tonight Husband had a date. Her name is J, and she was just laid off from the company where Husband works. She’s a nice girl, and Husband is very concerned about her (going through a divorce with two young kids) and the company he works for.

Husband’s company has laid off about a third of its workforce in the past eight months. That would be surprising, but not when we’re in the middle of a real estate slowdown of epic proportions and you happen to be an advertising agency whose specialty is real estate. Management is swimming upstream in floaties trying to secure new, more diverse accounts, and throwing off baggage left and right, including baggage they need to keep afloat.

So, I’m worried about the viability of this company.

I’m worried because Husband makes 25% more working for this agency, who is well aware of his special qualifications, than he would be for a new company not used to paying his current salary to someone in his position.

I’m worried because Husband has Diabetes and Son has asthma and we’ll be paying thousands a month in COBRA until he gets past his probation period with any new company.

I’m worried because we want to move but can’t sell our house.

I’m worried that he’ll get a job in another state and we’ll be separated until the house sells.

I’m worried that he’ll have to take a job at too-low pay doing something that will leave him unfulfilled and frustrated.

I’m worried he won’t find a job at all.

I’m worried that I’ll have to go back to work.

I’m worried about depleting our very comforting and healthy savings balance.

What I’m not worried about is Husband spending time with another woman.

What I know is that we’ll make the best of whatever comes our way, even as I’m worrying.

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