The “F” word

Despite what you think, I am not going to write about a certain four-letter word (Look it up on Wikipedia). The “F” word I am referring to is “friend”.

With the advent of social networking the term friend has become completely devalued. We now have “friends” on Facebook and Myspace, but there is now way to define the person as a close friend, acquaintance, or person you feel semi-obligated to connect with. Besides the copious amounts of spam from friends I get via Facebook, I really am trying to figure out a better way to define “friend” in the social network age.

This was really brought to the surface this evening. Hazel and I were walking around the neighborhood, just her and meMom needed a hour off.. While on our walk, we were pestered by a neighborhood child known only to us as “the fat kid”. This child is a boy about the age of ten, who doesn’t have a lot of parental oversight, if you get what I mean. He is the kid who has no limits. He is, unfortunately deemed by the style of pants he wears, also husky. At a block party, where parents who had children of similar age, who I have seen interacting with said child, don’t know his name. So we concocted a way to refer to him, is it mean? Yes. Do we say it out of our home? No.

“The fat kid” has a friend, who’s name is also not known to me, so his moniker is “the fat kids skinny friend”, also unfortunately, but he is less portly than the boy he associates with.

These two boys conned me into letting them mow my lawn for money. That was a disaster. In the 45 minutes it took them to cut the grass, I was interrupted more than 25 times. Needless to say, I could have done the project for less, with less aggravation and much quicker. So, these two hooligans are not on my good list.

Back to this evening interaction with these two boys: The boys were riding bikes around the neighborhood, while having a pillow or some other objects, stuffed under their shirts. As they rode by, they where talking amongst themselves “Look at how fat I am!”, “Whoa! I’m really fat from dinner”. We are near the end of our walk and Hazel is getting fussy, so I’m trying to get home. The boys stop riding their bikes and ask “Do you want to see us go from fat to skinny?”

Hazel was genuinely fussy and I knew that if I responded to them, I would be dogged all the way home, which I really didn’t need. So I chose not to respond, essentially pretending they did not exist. Cruel, but not unreasonable given the situation.

As they figured out that I was ignoring them, “the fat kid” said “Aww, come on! I thought you were our friend.”

Let me go over the facts again:

  1. I don’t know either of these boys name
  2. I don’t know where these boys live, or who their parents are
  3. They have previously wasted my time and money

What makes them think I am their “friend”. Now apply that to Facebook, does everyone who has the label “friends” really deserve it?