The Loh Life

Losing it:The Art of Fat-Friending-- part 2

Sandra Tsing Loh gets fat-friended.

I recently had a very digital-era type experience. Which is to say, ladies and gentlemen? I was "fat-friended."

It all started when I joined FACEBOOK. As a WRITER, I had a vague sense that I was supposed to BE on Facebook, for nebulous PUBLISHING reasons-- You know? Everyone kept TELLING me you’ve just got to stay OUT there-- Wherever "there" IS--But right out of the gate, I was a complete Facebook FAILURE. I didn’t have a clue. Well and good. My 10 year old DAUGHTER said she was an EXPERT at it and would SHOW me.

Of course, it turned out she was an EXPERT on it because she’d been Facebooking ON her mother’s computer-- When she started a page for ME, well, something occurred AKIN to Jeff Goldblum’s mishap in THE FLY-- EVEN though we THOUGHT we put in different email addresses, through the magic of Facebook my daughter’s and my online IDENTITIES somehow MERGED into SOME kind of hideous and--think kudzu-- surprisingly aggressive BrundleFriend.

Suddenly a giant 49 year old ICE CREAM cone--don’t ask--named Sandra Tsing Loh was tagged in all sorts of photos CREEPILY hugging FIFTH grade GIRLS at Valley Alternative Magnet. So as I imagined this image terrorizing half the Armenian CHILDREN of the WEST San Fernando Valley, my 10-year-old—as frantic as a Pekinese in heat –was REPEATEDLY trying to "friend" the WIKIPEDIA entry about my fellow ATLANTIC writer Caitlin Flanagan.

So perhaps it’s not surprising that, despite my daughter’s help, I still had no IDEA what I was doing, And I was DOING it at a rapid RATE, streaming messages out to 200 or perhaps 2000 people. Who knew? I even sent out what I thought was a mass APOLOGY-- To which -- oh, the humiliation -- no one RESPONDED. Oh no. It seems they were all too busy FLOODING my page with ever new photos of Occupy Wall Street-- about which all my OTHER friends were commenting ENTHUSIASTICALLY--

They were all FRIENDING and BEFRIENDING and REFRIENDING each other –heck, they were starting new CAFÉ societies--over my lifeless, ignored, Facebook body-- Think giant melting ICE cream cone with three DISNEY ads and one tagged puppy--

So imagine how THRILLED I was when I received a Facebook MESSAGE from my friend MARY. Yes, the missive was rather GENERIC in tone-- "Sandra? Hello, I'm using Lose It!, a free website to help me lose weight. I'd like to add you as a friend so we can see each other's progress using Lose It!. Once you set up your free account, you can start using Lose It! too!" Yes, I know it was suggesting that I was fat. But I had been friended! Fat friended, but friended nonetheless! Maybe this social networking thing wasn’t so bad after all.

Next week: The Fat Friends Wobble Forward.


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