When I was in high school, year 7 in fact, my friend had a birthday party.
All very exciting it was, one of my best friends. Four of us sat together all the time and had been friends in Primary School as well.
Except - I found out about the party AFTER it had happened.
I asked him why I hadn't been invited when I knew our other two friends had gone and so had another guy in our year. Someone we weren't as close to and certainly didn't play with all the time.
He answered honestly.
"My mum would only let me invite three friends....and I knew YOU would understand.".
Well fuck me. I was suddenly the good friend? Old reliable? The one you could take advantage of because seemingly, I wouldn't kick up a fuss.
How do you respond to that when you are a 11/12 year old?
I think I just said..."Oh".
Not the best comeback I've ever had I admit, but I never made that mistake again.
Some of you who know me might wonder why I always have a comeback, always have a response....it is pretty much thanks to this day some 27 years ago.
Don't be the pushover, don't be the one who gets taken advantage of...don't be everyone's butt-monkey.
So why am I mentioning this today?
In a conversation some fortnight ago, someone was talking about a collectible store everyone in the 'nerd' side of life here in Melbourne visits and spends outrageous amounts of money at to buy plastic or paper crap.
During the conversation I mentioned that the store was good, sans a particular sales assistant who is essentially an over-the-top John Inman. Think Julian Clary with a megaphone instead of a regular voice.
I referred to him as a "loud, massively gay guy" and I said I wished he would STFU.
He is loud, he has no inner monologue and he talks at a volume that far exceeds a comfortable level for everyone else in the store.
I even mentioned it to the worker at the other end of the store and he said "Yeah, that's just him, lots of people complain.".
We bought our over-priced comics and left.
Anyway, my comment on this guy was not well-received. apparently he is a sweet, awesome guy.
That may be so, I'm sure Hitler's buds said nice things about him too, but it doesn't eliminate the obvious.
No, this guy is not Hitler, I realise that, but my comments about his volume are not invalid because he's "awesome".
So when my friend linked the guy to the page, he apparently read my horrible comment and slipped into a 2 week depression and unfriended them.
Not wanting to upset the shop-assistant, who I assume is how this friend knows him....as a shop-assistant, I was defriended and the loud guy informed....thus refriending was achieved.
Where am I? Unfriended.
Told my comment was akin to "bullying" (really?) and that I was unfriended so as not to damage the relationship between Mr Sales Assistant and my friend.
...I assume because "I'd understand".
Well yes, I DO understand.
I understand perfectly well.
The difference 27 years later however is clear.
I'm 38 years old. High School was a reasonably long time ago and the behaviour associated long gone.
Facebook has a way of dragging the child in people out through guilt or playing people against each other.
So what is the moral to this story?
Well there are a few.
1. This is me...I voice my opinion. This is not a strange and new fact.
2. If you are offended by something someone writes on your page. Tell them and delete it.
3. If you are caught in the middle of a disagreement between two people like this...don't be a wimp.
Facebook does echo real life in many aspects.
But not all those aspects are in 2013...some may be from 1986.
They should have stayed there.