After several months of self-diagnosis, I have come to the conclusion that I have SchizoFriendia. Before I tell you my symptoms, I’d like to back up a bit and explain the root of this problem, which lies in my childhood.
Freud – are you listening?
As a toddler, I had an imaginary friend. To protect his identity, I won’t mention his name at this time. After all, he may still be alive and well and befriending some other little toddler in need of his affections.
Entering elementary school, I left my IF (imaginary friend) behind and eventually became friends with the one girl that I had admired from afar, who to this day is still my BFF. Throughout junior high and high school, it was pretty much the same. Me, my BFF and one or two other friends.
Without a large pool from which to pull, if all my friends were absent on a particular day, that posed a problem. I had no one to eat lunch with. Which more often than not meant eating lunch in the bathroom stall.
Lest you feel a pang of sorrow for me, please note that I gained quite a lot of knowledge about life from that hidden spot. And to do this day, the friends I see on a face-to-face basis can be still be counted on one hand.
And therein lies the basis of my current affliction. SchizoFriendia – The need to amass as many friends as I can get on my new playground: Facebook.
Every day when I log on, my adrenalin starts pumping. Do I have a new friend request? Did the person I ask to be my friend accept my friendship? Do I have as many friends as my friends have?
I search through my new friend’s friends and send out friend requests to their friends. 100 friends. 200. 500. 1050! How many can I get?
I’m collecting friends as if they are a commodities. Will the value of each friend decrease by the number of friends I end up with? Or does my value increase by the quantity of friends on my page?
Is a friend from the other side of the country, worth more than one from my own neighborhood? How about one from outer space? Or one from the other side?
And then I begin to wonder- who are all these people? Mary “feels quilty for not crying after dropping her daughter off at her first day of kindergarten.” Stan is “listing five stubborn traits of a Taurus.” Lulu thinks “the color red is dangerous.”
I wish I could stop. I really do. Because unlike my IF, I can’t even touch these Facebook friends. I can’t see them. Or hear them. But I know they are out there.
Running races, racing to bus stops, stopping for red lights, redlining manuscripts, managing office politics, politely refusing one-night stands, standing up for what they believe in, believing in the sunrise, flipping eggs over-easy and easily becoming addicted to Scrabble.
Maybe some are even wondering what I am doing. Sometimes I wonder that too, but that’s a topic for another time.
Right now, I just have one important question to ask you.
Will you be my friend?