By GINGER GORMAN
Facebook and I recently had an altercation. I logged on at the end of the day to idly flick through a few posts before bed.
One day I’m going to have kids just so I can bore my friends to death on Facebook :), a ‘friend’ of mine posted as his status. (In the physical world he is an acquaintance, not a friend.)
The comment riled me and I repeatedly tried to comment underneath his post, attempting to explain the joy children might bring to a life. I went back a few days in a row, wishing to write a sentence or two underneath. Each time I deleted half-formed thoughts and in the end, wrote nothing.
It seemed there wasn’t a single word to say on the matter that didn’t seem condescending and self-righteous. A married person talking at a single person about how ‘wonderful’ her life is. I got angry – first with myself and then with my Facebook ‘friend.’
“Your comments are trite, Ginger,” I told myself.
My mind came back to this Facebook post numerous times. I was forced at ask myself why it irked to distraction. The answers – because there was more than one – were confronting. I had to open doors that were deliberately and forcefully shut a long time ago.
On the kid front, let’s be clear. I’m not a person who loves standing around talking about the mind-numbing details of her children’s lives. And many Facebook posts are like that. They tell you what someone’s child is wearing, what they will or won’t eat, a ‘cute’ thing the child has done today.
Rewind to 2004. I was a perennially single 28-year-old and my former boss invited me to her two-year-old’s birthday party. I found myself stuck drinking cups of tea with half a dozen mothers of other two-year-old children.
Endless chatter about whether one’s child eats avocado or is now skipping their midday nap struck me as the very idea of modern torture. Looking down at my expensive shoes, I silently swore that if I ever had children, I would not be that kind of person.
But things change. And people change. It can take a cataclysm to do it.
In 2007 I nearly died. Twice.
During a conversation with a work colleague, she walked away from my desk and then I strained my neck at a strange angle.
“What the fu*k is that on your neck?!” she screeched.
Thyroid cancer, was the answer.
“How long would I live without surgery?” I asked Dr Peter Barry the next day.
With crisp blue eyes and kindness, he smiled at me.