Rejection in the Time of Facebook

Facebook Friend?

 

Have you ever rejected someone in Facebook? (That is, if you have a Facebook account.) 

If you do have an account then you know what I mean… You check your notifications one morning, then you find friend requests from people you don’t really know… or people you used to know in earlier life but never really talked to.  And so for a moment you contemplate on befriending them because, after all, you have matured and you are friendlier now.  Or maybe because the stranger’s profile picture looked just like George Clooney… oh wait, it IS George Clooney in the picture! Duh?!

Sometimes I feel bad not responding to someone’s friend request that I just let the invitation sit for, say, about six months… Okay, so maybe that person would have already figured out by now that I didn’t really want to accept the friend request.  Though at least technically I haven’t really rejected said person so I have no reason to feel guilty.  But then again, not confirming the request is pretty much telling.

Facebook friend wannabe

So am I a bad person if I hit the “ignore request” button? But then again, do I really want to be friends with Monsieur Delifrance from Paris or Mr. Macho-Wearing-Tank-Tops from uhm, the gym?  What about this high school classmate that I NEVER breathed a single word to, all those years we were classmates?  All I remember is that the boys used to tease him a lot.  And Mean Girl Me couldn’t help but laugh whenever they teased him (gimme a break, I was very young then!).  And then now this guy wants us to be Facebook friends.  If I hit the ignore button, then it’s like rejecting him all over again. 

Now I feel just like JLo (yes, the new American Idol judge).  We both just can’t say NO.  Watch American Idol auditions and you will know what I am talking about.  (This is not a paid advertisement for AI, you don’t really have to watch the show if it’s not your thing.)

Back to Facebook.  What I am saying is, nobody likes being rejected.  Unfortunately, while to some people Facebook is a great way to ‘find’ friends, well it can also be an avenue to reject people. 

Facebook friend hottie

But of course, you can’t say yes to all friend requests, especially the ones coming from total strangers.  They may look hot and yummy (did I just say yummy?!), but didn’t mother tell you not to talk to strangers??  I guess Mr. H & Y wouldn’t mind being rejected.  Besides, even if he does mind, you don’t really know him so who cares, right?

What about Mr. High School Teased-a-Lot?  Is it right to reject his invite?  But when I think about it, do I really want to know his status updates? Do I really care?? And if I see him walking somewhere, will I even smile or say hi to him (like Facebook friendship gives you a connection). I think not.  I don’t even how he looks like now (no photo uploaded), so I wouldn’t know if it’s him. What’s the point, right?  

Several months ago I received a friend request from another high school classmate (let’s call him Mr. Teased-a-Lot #2).  Despite the same misgivings (I didn’t really know him, I never talked to him before, etc), I accepted the request.  Funny thing was, the profile photo he uploaded was the picture of the wrestler Batista. Yey, I am now friends with Batista.  Maybe I can smile at him (Batista) when I bump into him.  See?! What’s the point in being Facebook friends with someone you don’t really know anything about?  

Facebook friend ferret

The next time I checked, his profile picture was a ferret. Great, I’m friends with a ferret.  Now I am thinking of ‘defriending’ the ferret, but I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

Rejection.  Some people really just ask for it.

Truth be told, I can only think of one Facebook rejection that I had.  Back when I was pretty new in Facebook, I sent friend requests to friends (and not really friends) both from high school and college.  I remember sending this guy (an old college crush) a friend request thinking that he knew me from school anyway – because I was always stalking him (haha, that was a joke, of course!!).   Seriously, at some point in our college lives, we talked a few times. And so I was just being friendly. And mature.  Yeah right.

Two and a half years later (that means today), my friend request is still probably sitting—or rotting – in his friend request box.  Or maybe he has ignored it the moment he saw it.  So there, I was rejected in college… twenty years later, I was rejected once again, this time, in Facebook.  How fun is that?

A Goddess Rejected

Because I don’t do well with rejection, I stopped inviting people to be my Facebook friends.  As much as it pains me (such drama!) to hit the ignore button on someone’s invite, my psyche also can only take so much rejection, so why risk it? 

Besides, the people who really matter know where to find me. 

In real life. Not in Facebook.

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photos via weheartit.com ; Macho Man Randy Savage via google images

Tuning in to the 80’s

Music, indeed, has the magic of transporting you back in time. 

I was sitting in front of the computer this morning when I heard the radio blaring from the neighbor’s lot.  There’s an ongoing construction and it seems the workers are hard of hearing that most of the time, the radio is in full volume.  This particular morning they were playing mushy love songs from the 80’s. 

Ricky Martin rocked my world!

Before long, I found myself humming along to Menudo’s “If You’re Not Here.”  Okay, I admit, it was more fun belting out the song.  Humming doesn’t do it justice.  And as if Menudo is not enough, the next song was from Air Supply.  I didn’t sing along anymore this time, but truth be told, I do know the lyrics to the song, as well.  Shame shame shame. 

To the young ones reading this who have no idea who (or what) Menudo* is,  Menudo was a Puerto Rican boy band formed in the ’70s but achieved success and became really popular in the ’80s.  Long before the Backstreet Boys, NSync and 98 degrees, was this boy band.  This was where the ultra hot Ricky Martin started (he was still a young and cute Ricky Martin then, though I always knew he had the potential…).

Going back to the main point of this blog, music does have a way of zapping you back to another time.  Sometimes when I hear certain songs, it feels like I’m back in time… at the same place, exact same moment.  Being an 80’s girl — I was in high school during the latter part of the decade — I truly get a certain sense of ‘high’ whenever I hear 80’s music (mushy or otherwise). 

80's music rocks!!!

Allow me to share some 80’s songs that still transport me back in time and the reasons why…

1)  You to Me are Everything by the Real Thing.  “I would take the stars out of the sky for you…Stop the rain from falling if you ask me to..”    How can you not like that? 

I remember our school fair, sophomore year.  My friend and I requested this song to be played for this senior guy I really, really liked.  In secret, of course.  Senior guy saw me sitting on a bench while the song was playing, walked straight to me while singing along.  I was on cloud 9.   I was 14… and I thought I was in love.

2)  Upside Down by Two Minds Crack – One morning after a marathon telephone conversation the night before with senior guy, I woke up and heard this music playing on my radio.  The weather was cool, the day showed so much promise.  It was a moment I wouldn’t mind reliving.

3) Take On Me by A-Ha.  Loved the song. Loved the video. 

4)  Melt with You by Modern English –  My sister’s anthem. Because of the number of times that I heard her playing said song over and over and over again, of course it stuck to me.  Recently I saw again on tv the movie Valley Girl (where the song was played).  Couldn’t believe that it was Nicholas Cage who starred in said movie! 

5)  Borderline and Crazy for You.  One word: Madonna.  Along with Like a Prayer, favorite karaoke songs ever.  No shame!

6)  For Just a Moment (Love theme from St. Elmo’s Fire).  “We laugh until we had to cry and we love right down to our last goodbye…”

I remember one afternoon in a house in San Diego, my best friend/person and I were in a room and we were singing this song.  I remember one of us holding a piece of paper with the lyrics (so we can do it right).  I think I was about to leave in a few days.  We were both teenagers then.  Fast forward twenty years, we are still the best of friends.   

lookin' for the love getaway...

7)  Love Shack  by B52’s.    “I’m heading down the Atlanta highway, lookin’ for the love getaway…” 

Moment in time: Me singing and dancing to the song… while someone on the other end of the phone patiently waits — and listens.  Best guy friend I ever had.  Still holds a soft spot in my heart ’til today.  I wonder where he is now…

~ * ~

It’s nice to reminisce.  It’s nice to sing and still know the lyrics of the song.   Whenever I hear 80’s music, I remember my friends… I remember my growing up years… I remember having fun.   I think about the people I shared those moments with and I am grateful that my friends then are still my friends up to now.  Well, at least most of them.  I remember about past loves and heartaches and realize that I have outgrown them all.

We hear these songs and we remember… and we relive the moments.  We smile, laugh, we cringe, we get embarrassed.  But mostly, we feel good… and the feeling stays somewhat.

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Note : *Menudo is also a traditional Mexican dish made with beef stomach in clear broth.  May also be the traditional stew from the Philippines made with sliced pork and calves’ liver (reference: wikipedia)

**Info on Menudo band from Wikipedia

***photos via google images

Finding friends in a place least likely

It is amazing that people can find friends in places least likely. 

When I started blogging, I didn’t really know what to expect.  I mean, I hoped I will get readers, and I hoped my readers will appreciate my writing — or at the very least, learn something from me.  What I didn’t expect is that there will be some kind of relationship that will be formed between me and my readers, or me and the other bloggers whose works I follow.

I often say that modern technology has made the world smaller.  I even blogged about my long distance romance in the ’90s and how the presence of emails, ym and sms could have helped the relationship survive the distance.  Now, because of all these forms of communication, it is much, much easier to meet people from other parts of the world… from various continents, even.

The thing I love about following other people’s blogs is that more than the entertainment value that some may give, or the admiration for the blogger’s writing style and skill, basically, reading about their experiences reminds me of one’s humanity. People are the same everywhere.  Regardless of race or skin color, or continents where they are at, people go through the same experiences in life.  Okay, so maybe in varying degrees.  But parents from two different places may have the same struggles concerning their kids.  We may all have the same victories and joys, too.

It is a journey.  Life is a journey. And if there’s one good thing that this so called blog world had given me, it is the feeling that no matter what personal struggle I may be going through, or I have gone through, or may go through, there are other people out there who have experienced the same… who can offer some form of learning or support.  People who will unselfishly join me in my journey.  Simply because they have been there… and they just want to reach out and help. 

Last week’s bad encounter in cyberspace with some sicko may have been very disturbing.  Yes, there are disgusting people out there — in real world and cyberworld, alike.  But there are good people, too.  I have read so many words of support given to a blog “friend” of mine from people who are practically strangers… people  she probably has never met in person.  And that is something. 

One of the highest points in my blogging experience was when a writer (a real book author) made a comment in one of my posts.  I was thrilled.  In fact, I was ecstatic. My first thought was, “Wow.  She is a real author.  And I am just a fan!  I have read about four of her books!! And she’s commenting on my blog post!!!”  It was pretty surreal. 

Then I realized that she is human, too.  Author, or not, she experiences the same emotions that I do.  In fact, she posted a comment because she was so thrilled to find out that I have been reading her books.  She is just like any ordinary human being, capable of feeling joy and excitement, as well as sadness and grief.  She reaches out to people with her works, and she reached out to me by showing gratitude and appreciation.

There still are good people.  One can find friends in places they don’t expect.  Even in cyber world…. even in blogworld.  Maybe I should say, most especially in blogworld.

☮

it's a small world after all...

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photo via weheartit.com

  

For the love of the game

 The GQ Eye: GQ

You wake up really early on weekends because you have to bring your son to a baseball game. Even when you’d rather stay home in bed, you trudge along even before the sun is up.  Sometimes you endure a long drive just to get to the venue of the game.

You stay under the sun for several hours.  Under the scorching heat.  Sometimes, no amount of sunblock can keep you from getting toasted.  You still go home feeling (and looking) like a roasted chestnut.  At times you get almost dehydrated — you can’t drink too much since you don’t know where the nearest bathroom is.  Most of the time, you have to cross the whole field to get to the nearest bathroom.  The nearest bathroom is just way too far.

You see different personalities on the field.  The ones to watch out for are on the bleachers.  From the field, you learn about team work, unity and courage.  From the bleachers, you learn about parent-bullies and know-it-alls.  You learn about friendship, too.

You go home tired and feeling drained out after the game.  Sometimes you feel like you were the one on the field playing, not just a mere spectator.  Sometimes you tell yourself you will decide to miss the next game — and the game after that. 

But you know in your heart of hearts that you will still go… that for sure you will be there in the next game, cheering your heart and lungs out.  So why do you still go?  After all the whining and complaining, what makes you go to a game again and again… and again?

Perhaps it’s because you know that your son loves baseball.  It’s because of that smile on his face whenever he is around with his teammates.  It’s because of the discipline that the sport is teaching your child.  It is because you don’t want to miss that hit… or that home run.  And you want to be there when he makes that winning catch… or winning run.

Maybe it’s also because of the new friends you have made while sitting on the bleachers… the parents you end up having weekend barbecues with.  Maybe it’s the friends that your child has gained, being part of a team.  The little boys you know your child will grow up with.

Despite the heat, rain, long drives and long hours, you know that you cannot stay away.  Mainly because you know that the game makes your child happy. 

And perhaps it’s because you wouldn’t want to miss a moment.  Whether it’s a moment of victory or defeat, joy or sorrow, excitement or boredom.  Whatever moment it is, you would want to share it with your child.  You would want to be there.

Or maybe, just maybe, you have grown to love the game, as well.

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photo via: weheartit.com

Psychobabble

I haven’t blogged in a while.  I have been quite busy counselling some people that i never got to sit in front of the computer.

 Don’t get me wrong, I am not doctor nor therapist… not even a guidance counsellor.  Nor am i a pastor or a church elderly.  I believe i am just a good listener.  And sometimes, people just need someone who will listen. 

Sometimes we get so busy –engrossed — with our own issues that we tend to take other things for granted.  It feels so good to vent, whine, complain… Yackety yackety yak… feel sorry about ourselves… force someone to listen to our woes so we can feel sorrier for ourselves.  We get to be so wrapped up in our worlds that we fail to see that there are other people hurting, grieving… or just plain alone and in need. 

I spent the past week listening to my dad as he shared his thoughts… i listened to my mom as she shared the exciting (as well as non-exciting) parts of her week i listened to my brother and all his woes… i listened to my helper and all her woes… i listened to the drivers and all their woes… I listened to a friend as he kept quiet about what he’s going through.  Sometimes  you don’t have to hear words in order to understand. 

The whole exercise of listening is pretty exhausting, really.  It somehow feels better (and more fun) when you’re the one doing the talking– specially when you’re dumping on someone else the baggage that you are carrying.  And if you’re the type who loves to hear the sound of your own voice, then yackety yak away.  

But when you listen, and i mean REALLY listen (astral projection during the conversation is not considered) you are not just sharing your ear, but you are sharing your time, your presence, your whole self.  

A good listener is someone who suspends judgment, avoids criticism and keeps himself from interjecting his thoughts just so the other party will think he is so smart and knows a lot of things.  Listening entails patience.  Sometimes you are so itching to say something, but then maybe you are not expected to solve whatever problem the person you are talking to has.  Maybe your listening ear is just what the person needs, not your wise solutions to his or her problems.

It’s true, we do learn more when we listen.  We get fresh insights, we acquire different perspectives, we build — or rebuild — relationships. 

We listen not because we want to impress others.  Talking can do that.  We listen because we care. 

 And most of the time, that’s all that really matters… knowing that someone cares.

    Tumblr

 

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photo credit: weheartit.com

Sentimental reasons

I have had this small, orange face mirror I think since I was in high school.  It’s one of those estee lauder freebies that comes in a bag or pouch with other toiletries or sample make up.  I really love it since it’s flat and handy… can fit in whatever bag i bring.  Back in high school, i used to put it inside the pocket of my blouse (on my chest… for easy access).

My mirror and I have gone a long way.  My best friends from high school call it my prized possession.    It has seen my transformation from ugly duckling to swan.  I have shared with it all the possible facial expressions i can have.  It has seen every smile, every frown, every blemish, wrinkle, sparkle in the eyes… etc etc etc.  One can only wonder how a small inanimate object can be so much a part of one’s life…

At times, it is much, much easier to hold on to objects than people.  I can’t help but think of the friendships that I didn’t try to save — maybe because of the distance… or the time and effort needed… or simply because I didn’t care enough to salvage the relationship. 

I had an interesting chat with an old friend the other day.  We haven’t spoken to each other for quite some time. Ours is — or was — an on again-off again friendship that goes way back.  We have known each other for years, in a sense grew up knowing each other.  We had shared secrets and jokes.  We took time for each other.  But then something happened along the way, that for some time i chose to just ignore the person fully, and this old friend decided to do the same to me.  Until the other day.

Recently, something happened in OF’s (old friend) life that made OF think of me.  While OF was going through the whole thing, the only person OF can think of sharing everything — the story, the emotions, the thoughts– with was me.  But i wasn’t there.  I wasn’t around because we have been ignoring each other for the longest time.  We were both busy doing our “i don’t need you if you don’t need me” routine.

Maybe that was the time OF realized that our friendship had value… and swallowed all pride to admit so.

I was pretty stunned at first.  My first impulse was to be smug about it.  For a split second I wanted to berate OF for being stuck up and detached.  But then i realized that OF was reaching out… trying to salvage the friendship.  So, what’s the point in saying “I’m the better friend” or “It was all your fault.”  OF was extending a hand and the best I can do was take it.  No apologies, no pointing of fingers… just the peaceful feeling that comes with the knowledge that all is well. 

We chatted for several minutes more… shared a joke that we used to tell each other some 20 years back — and we laughed at it as hard as we used to.  I believe it was a nice afternoon for both of us.  I spent the rest of the day with a smile in my heart.

If i could hold on to a mirror for years and years, how can I not hold on to people, as well? 

Yes, we win some, we lose some.  But I have realized that if something is truly of value, it will find its way back to you in time… 

 

Of broken hearts…

I got to talk to an old friend of mine earlier.  It wasn’t one of those light, funny conversations that we normally have. This time there were more deep sighs and moments of silence… mainly because she is nursing a heartache — and I basically just listened for the most part (that is, during the times when she was venting).  I just listened and processed the whole situation in my mind.

She said she was sort of seeing this guy for several months now.  She said she didn’t really think she would fall for the guy at first because, well, she just never expected that to happen.  But the guy was pretty persistent, was really very sweet… held her high on a pedestal.  He made her feel really good about herself, like she was some goddess (okay, this was the part where i giggled a bit, but then not wanting to be insensitive, i pretty much kept the giggling to myself). 

So basically, she says, the guy became a part of her everyday life.  Whatever reservations she had in the beginning were set aside.  She let herself start to feel something.  And it was a good feeling, she told me… When you’re not fighting whatever it is you are feeling.  She was basically in 7th heaven for a time.

Then several days ago, things changed.  All of a sudden, the guy who was running after her for the longest time seemed to have decided (on his own) that he doesn’t want to be sweet anymore.  He became distant…  It’s like the roles were reversed.  She became the paranoid one, always thinking something’s wrong, wondering why he’s not as “present” as he used to be.  While he boldly tells her she has so many issues, too much drama…  She said she really doesn’t know what went wrong, but she felt it was the beginning of their ending.

And then she ended the story there.  Basically kept quiet for a while.  I was at a loss for words, didn’t know what to say right away.  But I felt her pain.  I was expecting her to start bawling, but she didn’t.  She said it was too tiring to cry.  She just kept sighing deeply.  Eventually, I was doing the same.   

Some things really don’t change.  Whether you are 16 or 36, these things happen.  You fall for the wrong guy… wrong guy hurts you. Or you fall for the right guy, yet right guy also hurts you.  Sometimes they do the best cop out– that is, the Harry Houdini act.  They will basically just disappear without telling you what the heck happened.  Sometimes they are scared to get too attached.  Sometimes it is just about the novelty… or the conquest. 

Sometimes we meet someone who makes us happy, but the circumstances just don’t agree with the relationship… so we have to let go.  Sometimes we meet someone who we think can make us happy, but eventually we find out we cannot force things to happen.  Sometimes, things just happen. 

Yes, our hearts can break — whether we are 16 or 36. 

But the difference is, at 36 we know better.  At 36, we know that life goes on even after a heartbreak.  At 36, we know that crying doesn’t really make one glow, but merely just puffs up our eyes.  We know that guys can still hurt our feelings (the same way we can hurt theirs)… Our hearts still break.. but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.  We wake up the following day to the same sun, sky, earth… Sometimes we may feel like we are running out of air, but when we breathe deeply, there’s still oxygen going in.

At 36, we know better.  We know when to hold on and when to let go.  It may be difficult at first, but sometimes we really just have to will ourselves to move on… and we will.

                                                                                forwe♥it (weheartit.com)

anything and everything

There’s really nothing more relaxing than spending an afternoon hanging out with a girl friend… over coffee — or iced tea… talking about past escapades, present happenings and future adventures…

I had such a blast with a good friend this afternoon. We giggled like little girls, exchanged anecdotes, talked about people we liked and we didn’t like.  We laughed at the silliest jokes — and people… and after realizing how silly we were becoming, we laughed some more.   Time truly flies when you’re having fun.   

Here’s to all the girl friends out there who love and accept you for who you are.

Friends do make one’s life bearable and worthwhile…

          Delicious Ambiguity.   (from weheartit.com)