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Let's Collectively Say Goodbye to Being Fake

I sat down to write, lots of words swirling in my head. I have not had time to get on the computer or really my phone to type this all out so its going to be long since its been rattling around for a bit. I actually have had a few moments in the last week where I felt like I was placed in a bizarre time in history where I do not belong. I am constantly at odds with life in in the 2000s. Don't get me wrong, the ability to easily communicate with friends and family through text is amazing! And not having to lug around a camera is awesome!

Most days I don't carry anything with me but my cell phone. I have a credit card pouch with my debit card, insurance card, and license attached to my phone case and I am off. I can even fold up some money or tickets in there if needed. I mean, who would've thought the world would be at my fingertips with a mini-computer in hand?! While the wonders of communication are endless so are all the ways we use them as scapegoats and excuses.

I am not always up for talking, but I can often muster up a text message. In that, I sometimes come out of my shell when I am not feeling up for the world thanks to technology. I am somewhere between wanting to be a hermit.. no a hobbit... and just enjoying my dinner a la Bilbo Baggins at the beginning of The Hobbit and between wanting to be the brave, strong, adventurer who joins a part of mortals and men as I head to Mordor to destroy the one ring in LOTR. I don't classify myself as an introvert or extrovert. I am like most of the world, sometimes I like to go out and about and party but most days I want to spend with my #1s. I would not trade snuggling up in bed and watching High School Musical 2 for the first time with my little girls last Saturday night for most girl's nights out I have every had. That is the way life rolls on.

Lately, however, in the wake of all the over-social-mediaed we have become, all I see is EXCUSES. I see articles with titles like "Reasons why good moms are bad friends" or "Top 10 things you should know about my ___________" and you can fill in that blank with everything from depression to anxiety to introversion. And please, don't get me started on the introvert and extrovert thing. I read an article by Heidi Priebe recently, and she said, "We created a cultural dichotomy that implied introverts are deep and complex and extroverts are shallow and thoughtless. We told everyone that the only qualification for being an introvert is being intelligent and requiring alone time – two traits that every human being on earth is quick to identify with." I think this rings true for the majority of the people who claim their introversion gives them an excuse to be inconsiderate.

The bigger problem with all of these things isn't that it's hard to be around people, it's hard to be a true introvert, its hard to deal with depression and/or anxiety... the problem is that people identify these "tough to be me" traits and do nothing to actually evolve. I have probably seen 30 articles about people claiming to suffer from anxiety shared on Facebook this year. I would love to comment and ask ANY of these people, any of my friends, if they have ever seen a therapist, read a book, or tried an activity to relieve their triggers in any capacity. I don't do it though, because I already know the truth. No. They haven't. They want to be identified with this group so that they have excuses for whatever that current Thought Catalog or HuffPost article says they are "allowed" to do because of their issue.

I have a friend who has had a really hard life and had to grow up mainly on her own. She is a sweetheart with a tough exterior and that is what I love the best about her. When she is too tough on me I feel comfortable saying "You know what? This was a big deal for me, it doesn't matter if you did this when you were 14, I am doing it now and I need your support." She will answer in kind and say "You are effing fabulous, keep on keeping on. I am your #1 fan!" However, she uses excuses sometimes. She and I once talked about wanting to see a play and when she finally got tickets she invited someone who had seen it already. I thought she had seen it already also so I figured maybe they went together the first time. When I finally got tickets and texted her excitedly from the theater she was bruised a little like I was rubbing it in because she and said friend hadn't ended up going and she had never seen it. I am not sure if she was bruised because I got to go and she didn't or that the douche she invited instead of me ruined her weekend when it had happened. Regardless, none of it was my fault. And knowing how much I wanted to go from the start I felt like she should've asked me instead of the douche she ended up inviting.

She's my Seth Cohen (O.C. ref for all my 80s/90s babies).  She and I are great friends now and always will be, but she will always take care of herself first and that works for us because she has had to for so long. She is a good friend, I am a good friend, and we have created a friendship around who we truly are. When we don't get to talk to for a while no one is ever defensive, no one is ever remiss, no one has to share articles making excuses for our insecurity. And the two of us, we've been through some shit and we are drawn to each other because we don't make excuses.

Don't get me wrong, I have great friends-- most of which who don't subscribe to the social media excuses (must like my Seth Cohen mentioned above). I have my ride or die bitches. I have girls who have my back thick and thin. Girls from work, girls from childhood, about a dozen people who I know I can turn to if I am down and out. I feel like I am losing people to this whole technological world. I want to sit on my back porch with fresh brewed iced tea and hear the sounds of my record player wafting through the air as I burn my homemade lemongrass bug repellent candle and read a book or laugh as we make smores around the fire pit.

But I have other friends who are lost in the idea of fake happy. I tried to get to the bottom of why we don't talk as much. I gave myself time limits. First I would delete texts in my imessage once they hit 6 months old so that the thread would be anew if I got texts or text someone. Then I whittled it down to every 3 months, and eventually down to monthly. In that first year I realized that there were some people I truly love who wont hold on a conversation any more or at least with ME. I took that shit personal. Every six months before I deleted their thread I would find an excuse to shoot a quick text. By the time I hit the next six months and there weren't any messages from in between I knew they were lost in the shuffle. And I realized that these are the same people with generic, staged posts on instagram and fake happy facebook posts.

I also realized that I had to have a real talk with our kids about it as we realized more and more that this was the life the kids were exposed to when they weren't at our house. First it was the kids telling us they had to recreate a picture that we took on the beach in Rhode Island when they were at the beach with their mother, then it was finding out they were taught how to "fake laugh" to make pictures look candid when they weren't, then it was our eldest being allowed to try complex yoga poses that she did not know how to do so her mother (who does not know anything about practicing yoga) could post pics of her on Snapchat, and all those I closed my eyes and took a deep belly breath and told myself that they will figure out that that is superficial. However, it got worse than that. Getting in the car to drive 3 hours to a museum or zoo or park that they only stayed at for an hour "and most of that time was in the gift shop" but that "mom posted lots of pictures online" from.

Just as being fake happy makes you FAKE, being a bad friend makes you a BAD FRIEND and you can blame whatever issue you are currently having or post the latest mommy blogger has posted as click-bait because bloggers who want to make money write to make their target audience happy (obvs I make no money here so I am free to rant as I see fit). And before I end rant here, there is a legit awesome Yoplait commercial out there (I saw it on Hulu last week so bear with me if its old or rarely played) that basically gives the advice that we should all just MOM ON because we are going to be judged for all the choices we make by people who have no right to judge us. In the spirit of that, I want to apologize to anyone I offended but I am trying to keep this real. Be true to yourself. Be honest with the world. Be with the world. Lets all be present as moms and as friends- we owe it to ourselves, each other, but most of all to the littles that look up to us.


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