This evening as I waited for my casserole to cook and to dispel the rumbling in my tummy, I took to the computer to surf along to pass the time. I googled old friends and acquaintances and found them all on Facebook. I had kept away from Facebook forever until I joined a radio station and it became the easiest way of communicating with my fellow presenters. And so I relented. Reluctantly.
This evening I 'caught up' with all those faces that I used to see so frequently. People who had seemingly been part of my life by virtue of familiarity. At every diplomatic cocktail party the guest list was the same. And the conversation too.
The timeline of the past years was easy to calculate- when the first baby was born, the marriage (usually after the baby then and these days), the spreading girth, the shorter hair. And yet these lives all look so perfect in the Facebook 'story' but as I recall, they were anything but. There was a whiff of scandal at the choice of boyfriend, now settled into middle age and respectability. There was a bigger whiff at the birth of the child out of 'wedlock'. Now the child is quite lovely and grown into a woman. The affairs, the pot-smoking kids, the horrid in-laws, the whirly twirly of life, the career aimlessness, the waiting for the in-laws to die to inherit loads of money, the waiting for the grandmother to die and hiding from her the choice of spouse as it would have meant instant removal from the will, all those things that we used to speak about for hours on end over endless rum and sodas, well, it seems everyone has settled into a mundane state where the former rebels are now teaching yoga and have achieved some sort of enlightenment, peace, call it what you want.
I felt a pang of sadness at my orphaned state, my family-less state and could have drowned in tears had I wanted to. But I remembered that nothing is ever what it seems and we see what we want to see in this life. We feel what we want. We think what we want. We are what we choose. And so I hurried back to my casserole, poured a glass of wine and gave thanks for not wanting what I don't have. Fraud that I am.