Don't mess with Sandra Tsing Loh, a "mommy on Facebook."
So as I’ve been saying-- By accident, I saw one of my preteen CHILDREN flamed in a Lord of the Flies-type COMMENT thread on Facebook. Because--
FIRST news flash? Middle school hasn’t changed! Do you RECALL that time of life Anne Lamott so memorably described as Springtime, for Hitler, and Germany?
Middle school is the pack of WOLVES surrounded the hapless lamb crumpling in slow MOTION under his BACKPACK, going nu-uh-uh, nu-uh-uh--
And then the SLAP: “Guess what? Yesterday the ENTIRE SEVENTH GRADE took a vote and the unanimous decision was that YOU ARE WEIRD and NONE OF US LIKE you. We don’t like your SHOES, we don’t like your HAIR--” And today it’s ALSO “We don’t like your emoticons!” Because--
SECOND news flash? On Facebook, the wrong EMOTICON means “You are weird,” “What--I am not!”
And then another SLAP: “Oh yeah? Then why are you Facebook friends with your MOMMY!”
That’s the phrase I saw hurled at my child, people, “facebook friends with your Mommy.”
The 12 year old AUTHOR of this comment, whom we will call “George?” Let’s just say that this “Mommy” in question has known George ever since he PEED in his pants his first day in kindergarten. This “Mommy” has iPhone photos of George at the Cheesecake Factory back when everyone was FRIENDS, and knows quite a few of George’s SECRETS, like his PENCHANT for musical theatre.
“Facebook friends with your mommy”? Oh George. How little you understand, and I don’t just MEAN that if Mommy is on Facebook, oh!
That means Mommy can read in real time what everyone is typing! It’s deeper than that. Which is to say while the word mommy SUGGESTS a nice lady in a house dress with a tray of nummy nummy muffins, this Mommy is 50, in periomenopause, and I don’t HAVE any estrogen, honey, I just don’t. My womb is so empty one need only brush aside the COBWEBS to make room for the onslaught of Medieval HURT I’m going to bring down.
Not that my anger management issues are new. Even when my daughter was in her crunchy granola PRESCHOOL, where a PHILOSOPHY of non-violent conflict RESOLUTION spawned the worst behavior ever SEEN, one day when the play yard bully—Andy, four years old, pure evil--pulled this mommy down and started PUNCHING ME IN THE FACE, when the other parents weren’t looking I picked the kid up, pinned his arms back, and whispered: “Andy? You punch me again and I’ll kick you in the stomach so hard you’ll wish you’d never lived.”
In short, the question is not, AM I going DOWN to the schoolyard to take this 12 year old out, it’s: Which ballgown will I wear?
Next week? High noon.