How many friends do you have? Likes, views, hits, followers? Is social media really a community, or just a false sense of belonging? And is the F (riend) word being tossed around like just another casual acquaintance?
Its 2:30 on Friday in West Hollywood and my car is making a weird clicking noise, so I’m stopping at the gas station for help. I get a text. It’s my new facebook friend-of-a-friend, I’ll call her Christina, saying how she needs me to save her asap in Century City to pose as her fake-partner in her personal organizing business, and take over the organizing job that she’s too busy for. She knows I need the money (from my real friend) and can act the part. There’s something about this online pal and her constant 911 status that I’m drawn to, although I fear it’s the whiney, wounded, victim in me that relates to the same in her.
“Clack, click, clack,” I say very quickly to the mechanic, mimicking the probably belt-about-to-break noise that I hear only when my car is running over 20 miles an hour, which it isn’t – since I’m parked in the gas station. Now its 2:55 and I have to get there, find parking, the building, the office and not be strange-and-stressed chick but rather, cool-and-organized partner. I ditch Arco and pray the belt holds.
God knows how she caught me wearing heals, boyfriend jeans, a white v-neck tee under a cute red cardy, instead of my uniform sweats. I recently made the commitment that at least three days a week I will dress like a girl, even for no reason. I fully admit that I’m in my workout garb way too much of the time and that my love of fashion stays locked in my closet like the picture of Dorian Gray. In fact, I have a reoccurring dream that I’m on the red carpet and Joan Rivers says, “So who are you wearing?” And I say, with pampered excitement, “Addidas!”
I drive, I park, I lipstick, I tossle, I scurry. I’d forgotten that I like Century City because of its stature. There’s not enough city for me in Los Angeles and for a moment this consortium of asphalt reminds me of home – Manhattan. I’ve always loved being a spec amongst the steel and concrete, as if in a comic book, the bustle of Gotham feels familiar and stirring.
There they are — Diva-Christina-negativo (I recognize her from her photo albums) and two of the largest female TV producers I’ve ever seen. Not because they are of such extreme civilian heft, but because I’m usually the fattest woman in any production office at a size 8. I like them, they like me, Diva has a puss on. It seems she is skeptical about time constraints and the tasks at hand. She rags and spews and I leave with a foot long to-do list.
It’s now Sunday evening and I’ve spent two solid days researching lighting, seating, rug cleaning, paint colors and flat screen tv prices, all the while in constant text or email touch with La Diva who’s ready to open a vein because the clients are not honoring her rate. Whatever the subject, she reacts as if she’s a Corleone and the family’s been shamed and someone must die. Unfortunately, I have to hang in because I need the money — always my kryptonite.
I watch myself waste my entire weekend listening to her desperate attempt to validate anything that might disguise her truth of having the lowest of self-esteems, by exaggerating a production company’s sport of haggling and rather interpret it to mean she’s been defiled. I try to show her any angle that might keep me on the job and shut her up. “Just give them my number and I’ll make it happen. I’ll do a great job and make you look good.” No such luck. Her email to them reads: Dear Blah-blah, I’m sorry if you misunderstood, my rate is $45 an hour. If you are only willing to pay $25, I will have to pass. But my friend might take the job, if you want to contact her.
Friend? What happened to fake partner?
Like the icing on a cheap wedding cake, the bullshit was already applied too thick for them to trust me or anyone associated with her and I know it. Why am I even in this situation? Why didn’t I get out days ago?
I turn to Facebook for an escape. And on queue, there it is… a sappy, quotable plaque – that fits the bill.
Needless to say, I haven’t talked, texted, pm’d or emailed Chrisdiva since. Some people are too invested in their own wounded ego, to even notice when they are wasting your time. Not mine. Un-friend. Click.