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post em if you got em

To my dear friends on facebook who post bikini selfies from some tropical island while New England is having the biggest snowfall ever and I can't step outside my house without a shovel and snow-pants and a hat that was the unfortunate end of a rabbit:

go on with your bad selves.

I had some thoughts earlier this week, some choice words for you, but your selifes have stirred in me a moral dilema. A moral dilema that is developing into a change of heart.

I want to be jealous or judgmental or flippant. But it goes agains my blogger moral code. After all, how can we truly share our lives with others if we don't TRULY SHARE with others.

Facebook is a fantastic medium for saying, "This is where I'm at right now." For some of you, where your at is a beautiful island that took a lot of money to fly to, wearing a bikini that you effortlessly slipped into four months postpartum. Even though I'm jealous to the point of rage, I'm gonna hold it in and bless you in your joy. Go ahead and snap a photo of your huge margarita. Your friends are dying to comment the word "Yum."

For other folks like me, where we're at is up all night with a baby for the 10th night in a row, in the same stupid messy house, and I can't possibly imagine what it would feel like to wear a bikini; I'm wondering whether I can fashion warmer more protective clothing out of blankets.

If you're like me, go on. Post your baby's sleep habits to facebook. No one is bored to tears by the number of hours you were or were not unconscious. Pretend that everyone wants to commiserate. Your friends are all waiting to comment, "Aw, boo."

Let's share our lives, people. Whether they're good or bad. Whether we're so tired we want to hurt ourselves, or whether we're so blessed that other people want to hurt us. Let's share.

I too have been guilty of the perfectly-timed selfie. There is a reason why all my profile pictures show me looking down and slightly to the side with a mischievous half-smile on my face. It's not because I always lovingly gaze at my children this way. It's an attempt to achieve the perfect nose-to-cheekbone ratio. In demi profile no one can see the full length of my schnoz, and the half smile is because I want my cheeks to pull up the fat under my chin, but not enough to unleash the crows feet around my eyes. It's a delicate balancing act, the pose I take on when I hear a camera click, and under different genetic circumstances I think I could have possessed the self-awareness to be a fashion model.

kissing is also very good for slimming out the face

I think, "I don't wear makeup so my pics are progressive and helpful to the feminist conversation." But really, in the depths of my wicked heart I'm saying is, "Look at me, bitches! Look at how much my cheekbones love my baby! I am a good looking hippy mama!" This is pride and it's born of comparison which breeds jealousy. And jealousy keeps me from being happy when my friends experience good things. Instead of celebrating with them their financial and circumstantial and dieting success.

Here is my hope for facebook and this blog the "life-sharing economy." I hope that we can all get more honest about sharing, while simultaneously becoming more empathetic to the people around us. Let's rejoice with those who rejoice! Let's mourn with those who mourn! Let's write our "yums" and "boos" and really for a moment try to enter into the reality of someone else's life. It can only serve to make our lives richer and less lonely.

If I, on the other hand, follow my impulse is to close off, to judge or be jealous, or to label someone else's complaints as "first world problems," if I am more concerned with my own selfie than looking through the tiny windows into someone else's existence, then I am losing out. I want to FEEL with others people and their circumstances, just as I hope you will FEEL something when you read mine.

So bring it, vacation goers. Bring it skinny bitches. Bring it married people who go on dates, and people without kids who order really big portions at restaurants. Photograph all that shit. I want to see it and be happy for you.

And if you are sad, if you are tired of shoveling, if you are just plain tired, please share that too. I want to register my concern and my love for you, and if I just click "like" you'll know that I mean "I like you, but not your situation."

It's the weekend friends. Happy facebooking!

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