Howard Feldman

The mystery behind the many Facebook requests

2017-10-11 12:27


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I don’t know what it is about me, but so many magnificent women appear determined to befriend me on Facebook.

It’s flattering but also a bit perplexing given that I have been married for twenty something years, have 5 children and can honestly say I am not exactly physically in my prime. I also don’t really have much in the way of “boyish charm” or the traditional rugged good looks, and definitely don’t fit the tall, dark and silent stranger type.

I am short and fair and only stop talking when I am chewing. And yet they clearly see beyond that, or beneath that in alarming numbers.

What is more perplexing, is that most of these women don’t have a lot of friends (on average they have like 3 or 4) which makes their selection of me even more special and more select. And meaningful.

It worried me that they often don’t have a lot of clothes – but I am certain it’s not an affordability thing. They have just bought them a size or two too small. And having only 3 or 4 friends, there is no one to advise them otherwise.

These women also appear to be upset about something. All of them, which is weird. Their bottom lip is almost always in a pout as though I have said something offensive to them. And that has brought out their inner 12 year-old girl.

Incidentally I do happen to have a 12 year-old daughter, so I am well acquainted with understanding that I will never understand, and that in doing so I have shamed her forever.

She will never be able to show her face in public again – unless it is sporting some hair treatment named after a South American country and costing their GDP.

I am also not sure what their parents were thinking giving them names like Tiffany, Turquoise and Tawny. And I don’t exaggerate when I say that in one week alone both Rubella and Malaria requested my friendship. Unfortunate names given that both appeared to be too thin to be healthy and very clearly were too unwell to eat. It was a worry for me, but my sense was it wasn’t medical attention they were seeking.

More often than not I reject these friend requests. But every now and then, if their BMI is healthy and seem to have enough friends to advise them to buy clothes in their size, I have erred in accepting their invitation.

I am more liberal than many in Facebook friend criteria because of my writing, so unless the photo screams “Ch’Dynasty” I don’t really have a problem welcoming someone into my fold.

It’s much like undergoing a colonoscopy; as bad as you might think it is for you, the patient, it has to be far worse for the poor doctor performing the procedure.

So if someone really wants my world view on Zuma, Gupta and Trump and wants to be my Facebook friend, who am I to decline?

I do get somewhat irritable with Helvetica attempts to chat to me privately in Facebook Messenger. Especially because she never seems to greet me in English. There can be little doubt as to what my first language is and although most can say hello in French, there seems to be little need to do so. Given that I ignore all 8 of the greetings, it doesn’t take a very high EQ to determine that I am not particularly interested in conversing.

That is when I unfriend. Guiltily, as I don’t like to offend anyone. I am often tempted to suggest that their French greetings might be a reason that they only have 3 or 4 friends but as they say in the classics, “Ain’t no one got time for that.”

I still have no idea what it is that Chardonnay intends to do with me if she ever gets past the niceties, and if that has ever happened for her with anyone else (poor thing). I also continue to have no idea what it is that is so magnetic about me and what my secret could be. But it’s lovely every now and then to ponder.   

- Feldman is the author of Carry on Baggage and Tightrope and the afternoon drive show presenter on Chai FM.

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