For the record, the title has absolutely nothing to do with New York and is a play on words, taken from the movie Sex and the City in reference to the changes we experience in our lives and those inevitable changes that occur in places over time. Maybe you’ll find that one day, your favourite coffee shop or restaurant has closed down. Maybe your friends decide to move away to other towns, cities and countries. Maybe it’s time to change that job that you’re a little too comfortable in. Maybe a healthier lifestyle is suddenly the way to go. Maybe you’ll get married or get that baby mill working long before you planned to. Maybe you’ll find that your dreams and aspirations change as you go along because “Life happens while we’re busy making other plans”. It’s amazing how things change all the time.
Take Facebook for instance. It used to be this beautiful haven where you could stalk people as you liked, in the comfort of your own home. That was before all the bureaucratic red tape. Gone is the social media platform where one could keep in touch with friends and make new friends… misty water coloured memories… those were the days. These days, Facebook has become that horrific 10-year-high-school- reunion-that-you-desperately-wanted-to-avoid-but-got-tricked-into-attending-anyway-wearing-your-gardening-gear... the past just found a whole new platform to come back and hauntingly bite you in the ass, and on a global public scale too.
The old Facebook reminds me old cinema. There’s something enchanting about those vintage reels of tape hooked up to a projector in the middle of the room. It’s warm, timeless and a little romantic. The new Facebook feels like your life is on display at half price, on a mass produced IMAX screen in 3D, for the world to scrutinize through a microscope. And it doesn’t matter how much or little you choose to reveal, it’s still leaves you feeling… cold.
A few days ago, I received a friend request that nearly had me pee-ing in my favourite black pants. It was from a guy I knew way back. I mean WAAAYYY back. Back when I was still counting on my fingers and toes and thought that multiplication and division was God’s way of punishing me for taking more than one choc-chip cookie from the jar. I had known him for a couple of years after that (more like a decade or two) but we’ve NEVER EVER exchanged a single word! In fact, he was an ass and such a colossal ass that I had branded him and his entire family as Onagers, named after the Wild Asian Ass aka the Fugliest Donkeys in the whole world. And even that was giving him too much credit.
Needless to say, I was shocked BEYOND my core. Why on earth would he want to be my friend? This is the same guy who not only thought that he shat Italian gelato and pissed liquid gold, but spent most of our primary school days ridiculing “lesser” beings like me for not conforming to his kinds’ definition of sick inbred cultural practices. But I always gave as good as I got, sometimes even better and spent a significant amount of my seething-cussing-through-slit-eyes-&-clenched-jaw-quota on him.
So why want to be my friend? Why now? Is it because we have all these “friends” in common? (I knew that having close to 150
friend’s acquaintances from my schooling days would have its pitfalls someday). I honestly don’t see what he’ll get out of it. It’s not like I’ll ever invite him for tea, or to my wedding, or the birth of my first child. And it’s not like him and his kind are the remorseful-we’ve-changed-and-wish-to-make-amends type.
I don’t see why someone like him should be privy to my personal information, my photos, my life, after he has done absolutely NOTHING to deserve to be there. I’d rather have complete strangers looking through my intimate details; and I’d rather have freaks and stalkers going through my stuff too (provided it’s harmless). So his invitation hangs there in the electric abyss of cyberspace, looking at me questioningly, waiting to be answered.
And so Facebook has; like many things before it, and many yet to come; changed for me completely, forever. The warmth is gone. I have over 475 “friends” but I only ever see and converse with 20 of them. I’m either online at all the wrong times or they’re avoiding me. And either way I don’t care.
I just think it’s sad though. How things change. It’s like this moment right here is the best it will ever get because it will soon be gone and come tomorrow, you will never be able to re-create it, no matter how hard you try. I always think of my girls and I, and the summer of 2005. For me, it was the greatest summer of my entire life not only because we were all living and working in London, but because there were so many moments during that summer that I wish I could have captured and bottled for eternity.
After 1001 beautiful moments, the summer had waned and things had changed. Some had moved to Paris, other’s had evolved to take on adult responsibilities and I waved goodbye to what was probably the best era of my life. And even now when we meet, all of us in the same spots, in the same season, in the same mood… we can never re-create those moments. It will NEVER be the same again.
And just like that, life goes on right before your very eyes, before you can even realise it's happening. And this ladies and gents, is just another reason to live each moment like it’s your last… because technically, it is your last.