I've got a head full of purple hair and no one to blame but myself.
When the economy tanked (not that that was a specific date, like "when the Titanic sank" or "when Michael Jackson finally owned up to being from Neptune") I joined the ranks of the hair self-colorers to save a little money. And when I'm doing my own hair, my stated color of preference has always been "whatever is on sale this month".
So when I ran across this groovy color called "Black Amethyst" or something equally exotic, and it was a mere $8.49 instead of the usual $9.99, well, I was in love.
Never mind that the beauty on the box was of Asian descent, and the sweet spirit in the bathroom mirror came from a long line of Danish pale-faces. The color was "Ebony Violet" or whatever, and I was pretty sure it would make my hazel eyes (according to Clinton, Stacey, and Carmindy) pop.
Having audited my family's cell phone bill the night before, you would think my eyes had had enough popping for a while. (Did you know they charge your kid a monthly fee to have "Tetris" on their phone? Yeah, neither did my kid...)
But, no, I continued my quest for even more eye poppage by applying a healthy dose of "Plum du Noir" to my head, and wouldn't you just know it, now my hair's purple.
I should have seen it coming, though. I've had a week of feeling like an alien on my own planet. (And no, Amber, this isn't another pitch for the "Hitchhiker" books, so you can stop complaining that my posts aren't in English.)
See, my bossy kids finally coerced me into signing up for Facebook.
Were you aware that every single human being on the earth has a Facebook page? Every single one. I counted. And if you think Blog World is a wacky subculture, spend an hour or two in Facebook Land.
I've never seen communication handled like this. It's what I imagine "chatter" - like in spy movies? - would look like. A billion little micro-messages, coming at me from all directions, with no apparent connection to any other message, real or imagined. And heaven only knows why they're all on my screen, along with the pictures of my new 'friends' and the things these friends have said to other friends and things those friends said right back at 'em and so on and so on and so on...
Goodness, just blogging about it gives me the bends.
Now, bear in mind, you young sprats - yes, I called you sprats - I'm older than you. By a good decade at least, judging from the types of posts you write and the fact that your faces are so devoid of lines I'd swear your profile pix were taken in zero gravity. So I'm thinking I'm pretty darn hip and with-it just by having my own blog.
And most of my peers have been 'off the grid' for so long that, in order to use Facebook as a means of re-connecting with old pals, we have to use our maiden and married names. Some of us also have to provide dental records. One or two require the counting of growth rings...
...but I digress.
So, here I am, with this brand spankin' new Facebook page, and all these wonderful old / new friends wanting to catch up by, I believe the term is "writing on my wall", and I haven't the faintest notion how to make sense of any of it.
For starters, most of these messages are obviously the continuations of ongoing 'conversations'. So there will be this alert on my page telling me that 'Taffy Polaski Suarez wrote on Mandi Manheim Mahoney's wall: "No kidding? Donny Osmond? And Velcro? Doesn't it leave an aftertaste?" '
Now tell me, what the heck am I supposed to do with that information? Clearly, it was meant just for me , otherwise why would Taffy and Mandi have felt the need to include me in their cryptic exchange?
One huge hurdle that people of my - er, demographic - have to overcome is the combination of busy lives and short memories. We don't automatically sign onto our Facebook page when we go online, and when we finally do get around to it, we've forgotten all the conversations we were having with our friends.
So we end up with a message on our walls like, "Thanks for the offer! My flight gets in at three; check-in at the clinic isn't til five, so we can catch up. You've had all your shots, right?"
Someone could do this to me, and I'd have no idea if they were pulling my leg. Simply not remembering any of the conversation that led to this rather alarming message would hardly be an excuse for not trudging out to the airport with a surgical mask and a can of Lysol to pick up my, you know, friend.
And what's the deal with these fans? On the right side of my page, there's this information telling me that Molly DeBrainless McMormon is a fan of Thomas S. Monson, and invites me to become a fan, too. A fan? Of the prophet? Doesn't that seem a little, well, odd?
What if I don't want to be a fan of Thomas S. Monson? What if I just want to love him and sustain him and do all the things we've always done to support our leaders, without joining the fan club? Does the word go out that DeNae is NOT a fan of Thomas S. Monson? Do they confiscate my CTR decoder ring? Do I have to sit on the hard chairs in the cultural hall with all the evil shrieking babies every Sunday until I've repented? 'Cause, nothing personal, but that kinda weirds me out.
(The latest one was "Want to be a fan of Temple Marriage?" Really? A fan of an institution? Where do you send the fan mail, exactly?)
Then there's the so-called 'help' I get from my kids, who feel that my Facebook ineptitude reflects poorly on their own personal hipness.
Recently, my good friend Lisa wrote just one word on my wall:
As has been observed, I didn't let the fact that my initial response to this message was "Huh?" cast any doubt on Lisa's sanity. I was pretty sure I was missing something.
The next day, another message came in, this one from Cindy (Or Melissa. Paula? See, I've forgotten already.) She said, "Well, it's about time."
When a third message offered similar sentiments of well-wishing, I finally asked my kids if they had been monkeying around with my Facebook page. My daughter said, "Yeah, I changed your status to 'married'."
(And may I add, my friends are as smart alecky now as they were in High School. They all know I've been married for exactly forever.)
But in a million years I wouldn't have thought to check my marital status, let alone notice that the wedding announcement had shown up on every Facebook page from here to Pago Pago.
Who knows what kind of mayhem a bored 16 year-old could unleash on my reputation without my having the first clue it was happening?
"DeNae has grown a prehensile tail and is using it to swing past security cameras and knock over area liquor stores!"
Needless to say, I fear my sojourn in Facebook Land is going to be brief and baffling. I just don't seem to have the multi-tasking capabilities to navigate those complicated waters.
Not to mention I need to use my Facebook time to figure out what to do with this purple hair. Apparently, Donny Osmond is coming by later for Velcro cocktails, and I want to look just right.