Actually, this post ought to be called Facebook Love.

I didn’t use it because it might have been a little confusing. You might innocently have thought I was referring to the free, spontaneous meet your soul-mate service that Facebook doesn’t know it runs. As far as possible, one doesn’t want to confuse or confound people who never did you any harm, does one?

Call me weird, but I am perplexed. I have no idea when this new rule became operative. The rule in which you must publicly and verbally demonstrate your love and appreciation towards someone who lives in the same room/ house as you.

You can talk with someone for years, every day, and still, it won’t mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever…. connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.

~ C. JoyBell C.

I am certain that I have been asleep for the past hundred odd weeks like a mini female version of Rip Van Winkle. While I slept, they did the dirty on me and installed this brand new rule. The rule is:

The only official communication medium of your embarrassingly mushy (and revoltingly cheesy to boot) expressions is  now Facebook!

They even have a term for it. It is called Facebook Display of Affection or FbDA for short. Somewhat like PDA I suppose. I wonder how they pronounce it. Who knows, this might be a word!

Can you imagine the horror of the thing? Of course you can! I forgot! You’ve been following this new rule too!

I’ve been petrified ever since I woke up to the fact. I avoid looking at my children with anything akin to approval in my eyes. I’m trying desperately to reserve the showering of all affection and approval to the public domain. Unfortunately, old habits die hard and I am not able to get my act together!

I have become even more worried after I heard the terrible stories of retribution for violating this rule. What makes the situation grim for me is that out of three, only one of my kids has a FB account and she has also stopped visiting it.

The other two kids are off FB for the present, praised be the Lord! My dad doesn’t have a FB account. No one else lives in my house unless you want to be a stickler and count the frogs, mice, snakes and a couple of repulsive lizards. But for the record, they haven’t FB accounts either. At least, I haven’t received friend requests from any them as yet.

On an aside, I wouldn’t mind receiving friend requests from my humble co-tenants. They’d be a vast improvement on some of the homo-sapiens whose friend requests have been pending approval for ages.

But I digress, as always! Tsk!

I can understand when people wish to mark a major landmarks in their journey- like a coming of age birthday or a silver wedding anniversary. Some special (read public) avowal of love is acceptable for major landmarks. Love becomes imbued with a deeper iridescence when it is declared in the public.

A rare declaration of love and admiration for your loved one is precious. It creates a wonderful memory you can hug to yourself for years to come. I agree that sometimes it is not enough to love but to also show your love in action; sometimes it isn’t enough to show your love in action but to also shout it from roof-tops. I get it; really, I do!

But when a avowal of love becomes an everyday thing, the glow of it’s newness wears off. Since the oft repeated begins to lose its luster even in your own eyes, you try to make it special by making it larger and larger. You never realize that you’ve gone overboard with it. It begins to look scruffy, tacky, ugly and incredibly boring. What was golden now reveals its cheap plastic and imitation paint with the constant rubbing. And that is not pretty. It is, in fact, quite obnoxious.

I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance, and affection to be art.

~Khalil Gibran

The glare of the spotlight, for however brief a moment, blinds people to the fact of their own silliness. Bravado has an alluring tinge of daring to it. The chest expands and you look the world belligerently in the eye. There, you say, I said it! What are you going to do about it?

All my efforts to learn this new language of love is, I am ashamed to report, falling flat on it’s face. You know how a part of you refuses to budge and keeps throwing a malicious spanner in the works? That’s the part that doesn’t think that the things you are doing for social conformity is the stupidest idea you’ve have this side of eternity. There’s no way you’re going to be able to slip anything past THAT goal-keeper!

But I am really trying. Any tips?

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Public Love