SchizoFriendia | HumorOutcasts


September 10, 2014

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?


Janie Emaus

Janie believes that when the world is falling apart, we're just one laugh away from putting it together again. She is proud to be named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year. To learn more about Janie and her books and blogs visit her website

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33 Responses to SchizoFriendia

  1. September 11, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    I’ll be your friend any way you’ll have me!

    • September 12, 2014 at 12:58 am

      I like you just the way you are!

  2. September 11, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Oh, absolutely…how could I get along without people like you! You make me laugh and that is the most important in my life right now.


    • September 11, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      You just made my day and night! I love to make people laugh.

  3. September 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Loved reading this! It is funny, crazy, and also so very true.

    • September 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks, Mary. If only my IF could see me now!

  4. September 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    That’s a hilarious thought! Hahaha! Of course I’ll be your friend! I’ve been collecting them for years!

    • September 11, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      I guess collecting friends is better than tea cups. Which BTW, my aunt decided way back, that it should be something I collected.

  5. September 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I hear you, my friend! Some days Facebook announces a dozen of my “friends'” birthdays and I have no idea who any of them even are!

    • September 11, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      And then of course, you feel compelled to wish them a Happy Day!

  6. September 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Ha! I’m so glad we ARE Facebook friends because you continually keep me chuckling. I’m pretty sure I know Lulu! Gah, it’s even worse when we DO know these people and we learn their weird ways through FB updates.

    • September 11, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      LOL! Sometimes I wonder if people are trying to come up with weird things, just for entertainment. Which really wouldn’t be so bad.

  7. Dotty DeMeulenaere
    September 11, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    That was a great piece, Janie. I’m looking forward to growing ours in November.

    • September 11, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      That we will!

  8. Dotty DeMeulenaere
    September 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Janie, that was a great piece. I’m looking forward to growing our friendship in November.

  9. September 11, 2014 at 10:54 am

    “Who ARE all these people…” Now that resonated with me and got a big, rueful laugh. Yes, indeed. I often look at my list and say the same thing!

    • September 11, 2014 at 11:15 am

      LOL! It’s a strange world we live in.

  10. September 11, 2014 at 8:22 am

    I think I am your friend, on FB and in real life. Even if I don’t know who you are when I see you. Next time bring the watermelon.

    • September 11, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Hi Wanda! The watermelon it is. EBWW 2016!

  11. September 11, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Having grown up going to a 4 room school house, I didn’t have many options for friends. In fact, I was the kicking post for the school bullies for reasons I had no control over. Today, most of my best buds are virtual as I don’t have many IRL (in real life) friends.

    • September 11, 2014 at 11:17 am

      Don’t get me wrong. I love my online friends. In fact, I wish I COULD meet them all.

    September 11, 2014 at 2:35 am

    I can never or will ever try to come between you and your BFF but I do believe you deserve to have have your own Fairy GodMother. And those People you refer to as Friends are really Fans of yours that would
    like to be your friend. It’s time for you to find your IF his own IF. He’ll always be in your your and when my Brother opens my Mothers from door your IF is still be welcome. Janie your so cute. I want to be your friend or have someone as committed to me as you treat your BFF.

    • September 11, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Diane, as you know my BFF is very important to me. As is her sister.

  13. September 11, 2014 at 2:09 am

    Your IF was a boy? Hmm. I’m sending you a friend request right now.

    • September 11, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Well, he had a boy’s name. I really would like to see him again and learn his true gender! And yes, please be my friend.

  14. September 10, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Very clever Janie!

    • September 11, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Thanks, Bob. Are we friends?

  15. September 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I’ll be your FB friend, but there’ll come a time when you’ll get so pissed off, you’ll block me. It may be sooner than you think.

    • September 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

      I don’t think so. Unless you are a crazy stalker.

      • September 11, 2014 at 5:19 pm

        I’m a firm believer in sharing. How about I send one of my crazy stalkers your way?

  16. September 10, 2014 at 11:56 am

    I’ll be your friend Janie! Hey, I don’t wanna make you jealous or anything, but I have dead Facebook friends that still poke me. Just sayin’. 😉

    • September 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Really? That has to be creepy.

      • September 11, 2014 at 2:15 pm

        Yes, really! It’s creepy, weird and hilarious. Probably just pissed that I wouldn’t play Farmville with her.

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