Women and Facebook: My Reality (and new cuts)

Posted: February 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

Blogger’s Note: Cuts appear toward the bottom of this post.

Since I’m now in the tenth day of this 50 day experiment, I have already removed around 100 friends. The first 100, I’m quite certain, will prove to be the least emotionally trying of any set of 100. Even as I tried to make cuts for today, I found fewer and fewer individuals instantly cut-worthy on the grounds that I didn’t like them or hadn’t seen them in years. My newest cuts come in conjunction with my girlfriend expressing deep frustration with my methods. As a result of her frustration, I feel it necessary to respond to a particular question she posed.

To paraphrase, she raised the following queries: “What is the point of cutting married or engaged girls? Why is that relevant to whether or not they’re your facebook friend? Ultimately, this led her to urge me to explain to my readers what my philosophy of facebook really is, particularly with respect to those of the fairer sex. Well, dear, as today painfully confirmed for me, the cold, harsh reality is this: with many notable exceptions, if I’m friends with a girl on facebook, there has been a time in my life that I’ve hooked up with them, attempted to hook up with them, or at least thought about hooking up with them. It’s truly astounding how high a percentage of girls that is and it gets at a core facebook truism: deny it all you want, but the site does function as a constant reminder of virtually all romantic or sexual encounters that one has had throughout their lives. And the only way to un-remind yourself about your past relations with girls is to remove them as friends. Which sounds simple, but is actually quite difficult.

It’s difficult for a couple reasons.  For one thing, there is a certain reassuring quality to the fact that we have the ability to look back on a part of our history at any given moment. That’s equally frightening and potentially depressing/destructive, but if employed with cautiousness and emotional tact, it can be nice to look back at a girl you made out at a middle school dance and chuckle about your 14 year old self. Keeping friends with whom you once had a sexual encounter allows you to maintain a virtual timeline of your evolution as a sexual creature.

The other issue about de-friending females that poses problems is that, should the woman learn that she’s been defriended, there is a fear that she will be of the belief that you didn’t value the experience in the first place. That belief has the potential to affect your off-line persona in a negative way, as the de-friended might suggest to mutual friends or contacts that your de-friending was further proof of your nasty composition as a dude.

So, why then is it OK to de-friend married girls? Well, because in case I haven’t made this abundantly clear: their existence as romantic creatures with anyone other than their new husband is effectively over. As a result of their unambiguously taken status, any reminders of your one-time romantic feelings or involvement should be shed as quickly as possible. Marriage, though often a wonderful sign of commitment and deep love, should also represent the death of curiosity on the part of the past crush, fling, boyfriend, or one-time hook-up. It’s a debt of recognition to the dude who chose to spend the rest of his life with the girl, an acknowledgement that even a hint of wondering on your behalf crosses the line. To steer clear of that temptation, it’s easier to go cold turkey as opposed to weaning yourself off while teetering on the precipice of violating a code.

And now the Cuts…

Around two years ago this weekend, I had just been dumped by my collegiate girlfriend.  I was sad and lonely and unsure of how to get back in the game. I went out with two of my best friends in the Greenwich Village area and at the end of the night, we went and got pizza. Outside of the pizza place was a really tall and attractive red head who exuded a confidence that normally would have intimated me, but on this night seemed welcoming. I struck up a conversation. Soon, I was at ease and guessing (correctly) where she went to both high school and college (both were HPJ institutions, though she didn’t harbor any overtly jappy tendencies). Myself and the two buddies went back to her apartment and kicked it there til close to 4 AM. Privately, she vowed to me that we’d hang out again soon. She gave me her number, but ultimately didn’t return my calls. Two years later, I’ve finally cut her. This is a difficult cut because it rids you of your lone memory with a fun person and ensures that, in all likelihood, this L.A.-born red head will never be in your life again.

Same thing for a legendary HPJ from my sophomore year at college. She got teased for her slight resemblance to a member of the equine family, but I and at least one other close friend made out with her. I don’t regret it. She was actually really intelligent; her classic jap-gear and swag belied the fact that she had a real brain and thought deeply about things. But she transferred to an even jappier institution after her freshman year and I really haven’t seen her since.

During the second or third week of my junior year in college, a buddy and I took two freshman on a double date. We went to a chic Cuban restaurant in a newly-gentrifying St. Louis neighborhood. The conversation flowed reasonably well, but it didn’t seem either of us were making a real connection with our dates. Later in the night, we went to a famous frozen custard joint. On the ride home from the custard joint, I inexplicably fell asleep in the backseat of my buddy’s car, my date seated directly next to me. I awoke only a minute or two later, but it might has well have been an eternity. I never really talked much with the poor girl and then saw her this past September after leaving a restaurant in NYC on the night of my birthday party. I wonder if she even remembered that. I hope not, but I don’t have the courage to risk it: she’s cut.

The first girl I semi-legitimately dated after college was, in fact, a girl with whom I went to college. During college, she always struck me as having that “untouchable vibe,” like she just couldn’t be approached. She struck me as classy though a bit too cool for school and not especially kind. She was from the upper east side and just had a certain upper crust, ole money sensibility ( I ended up being wrong about this) that said “Beware, I am judging you” each time you looked her in the eye. Then, essentially out of nowhere, I texted her two Aprils ago, roughly a year after we had graduated.  What ensued was a delightfully unexpected, near-two month  fling. It got to the point where it was increasingly monogamous and I’m not sure either of us wanted to continue progressing in that direction. In short, I made a woeful blunder on what turned out to be the final day of our fling, one I will omit from this blog and one that I regret, if only because it was tasteless and probably left her with a poorer opinion of me.

It also led her sorority pledge mom to think lowly of me and that ticked me off, because the mom always has these huge July 4th parties on the coast of Massachusetts and I not-so-jokingly joked that I really want an invite to one. Thanks in part to my poor handling of the end with the untouchable upper east sider, I pretty much can assure myself of not getting an invite to that ostentatious celebration of our nation’s birthday. I don’t want to shame myself any further with either of these, so I got rid of the both.

Gotta run, more cuts later.

Cuts 118:. Cuts to go: 382. Days Remaining: 40. Follow along @500fewerfriends on twitter or e-mail feedback to 500fewerfriends@gmail.com.

  1. Don Todrin says:

    Andre you need to defriend with flair, invest in your process, send a gift and memorialize the defriending, a momento of the glorious experience…. I will donate $10.00 to the cause.
    1500 friends, competing to be defriended and win a prize…could be a huge profit center and a source of great grass roots power when you later run for office or build a practice.

    A reality blog in the making, the other side of the story, what your defriends think about it all…. Why they are defriending you,

    I see a new app for facebook, a defriend app, work on it. Lets see how many will defriend you….

  2. EZ says:

    Loved this post for two reasons.

    1) I thought your analysis of the real root of maintaining facebook friendships with long gone girls was spot on. Of course we maintain the connection via facebook so we can momentarily revel in what was or what could have been or what couldn’t have been, but we wish had been. It’s the same reason I am still friends on the book with kids I played soccer with who are still playing professionally at some level.

    2) Your description of the 2 post-college experiences were hilarious interludes in some dark days and worth remembering.

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