One day, you invite me into your life. You tell me all your secrets, your pain, your prejudices, and fears. You show me your joy, your loves, your passion, and laughter. We realize, together, that we share a lot.
We share air, giggles, tears, dinners, experiences, and gripes.
Your home is my home. Mine is yours.
One day, you tell me, "Heather! The kids are at their grandparents' house! Bring Tyler! Come on over for some wine and cheese!"
And I arrive, expecting an evening of friendship, cutting loose.
Of being me.
Me is a complicated person with simple pleasures. Certain wines, stinky cheeses, no sadness, only comedy, and lots of foul language.
You greet me at the door and I enter, knowing that I can be me because it's only my friends here, friends and loved ones who get me and know me better than I can sometimes know myself.
The conversation progresses, back and forth, ebb and flow. We are all communicating. Catching up. Sharing little details.
And then, it happens.
I. Drop. The f-bomb.
It happens. I do it a lot when I'm by myself or in the company of other adults who know me and aren't bothered by it. But I never do it in front of children. Elders. Bosses. Popes.
And you. You look at me. As if I've just shot you. And you say, "HEATHER! Take that back! Shut your mouth! There's a child in the next room!"
A child, you say? But I thought your children were gone for the weekend, to their grandparents' house.
"NO!" you respond, "It's the neighbor's daughter whom we're babysitting."
You never told me there was a stranger listening in. A stranger who is also a minor. Knowing there was a child in the next room would have changed my demeanor. My stance. My language.
But you never bothered to tell me.
In the real world, this (hopefully) never happens.
In social media? It's every. fucking. day.
And this is why I unfriended someone on Facebook. Someone I love and adore. Someone who chastised me for an f-bomb I unleashed that their friends could see. Their friends that include customers and children.
The lesson I have learned in the last few days is that if ANY of you have children lurking amongst your social media life, children who could possibly see my horribly offensive f-bombs, s-bombs, mf-bombs, etc. you need to tell me. And then I will probably unfriend you, too.
Because those children and their parents aren't as social media savvy as me or you.
I can search through the rooms of your house, looking for that elusive child or elder or boss or customer for whom I need to tiptoe around.
I can't search through the friendship connections of your Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr or Blogger. That's not MY responsibility. It's YOURS.
Please learn that before you make me feel like the biggest embarrassment of your online life.