facebook, hearts and slushees


I have a friend with maybe the cutest 4 year old twin girls I have ever seen (except maybe my nieces). And the other day she brought them to lunch. Our very grown up, limited time, wine, appetizers and pasta lunch somewhere near a Tiffanys. (in other words I was underdressed).
But they sat there perfectly eating their pasta and playing on the ipads while we talked,  made toasts and got the stink eye from our neighbors for being too loud and inappropriate! (we were too loud, not the preschoolers!).

Our lunch went on well into the afternoon. And still they sat. Cutely. And quietly
Eventually it was time to move on. Plans were made and these two littles were shuffled back to the other parent. Whose weekend it really was. And they were less than happy about it.But there mom, told them the adusted plan. Asked if it was ok? and then said this…
“Is that ok with your heart”

 And I thought maybe that was the cutest most tender question I have ever heard anyone ask.

 And this girl is no sap. I have friends who were born kindergarten teachers, complete blues on that color personalitly test. Who are so sensitive that I’m afraid I have offended them at least a dozen times every time I open my mouth. But not her. She is a bad ass. A triathlete and wake surfer and a mouth that can put my own to shame.

And so this question and sudden tenderness really struck me.
And I wondered what would happen if grown ups occasionally asked each other that.

 Apparently her 4 year old was used to that kind of thing, because she just said sure and went back to watching Dora on the ipad.
I on the other hand, might have choked on my olive.
Or cried.
Or made fun of her.
But I’m thinking it is still a pretty good question.  Regardless of the response.

I spent the weekend with a few old friends. Ones I have known for decades.
And the time was limited so we had to jump straight to the heart a few times.
Asking hard questions in between margaritas and dancing in the middle of the sidewalk.
Because intensity is only good in brief spurts. And is always better with queso.

The next day I met up with a friend I have known even longer. Skipping right to the ache over my chilaquiles with someone who has known me since before I could multiply. She later texted me and said “I had no idea. I mean it looks like you are having so much fun on facebook”
And that actually made me laugh outloud.
That we can even consider attempting to discern people’s hearts from their status updates.
They are not one in the same.
They are not even close.
One isn’t meant to mislead, it just isn’t the same as someone asking you if things okay with your heart.

And please don’t read that wrong. I am having fun on facebook. I am a fun girl. It’s just there are a million other moments that don’t get posted. Some are equally great. Some aren’t. Some are paralyzingly lonely. And some are nobody’s business. Most are just plain boring. And why in the world would I post a picture of me on my dirty couch wearing pajama pants at 6:30 pm. (which may or may not be doing right at this exact moment). Instead we post slivers. Slivers that we hope will get a few likes or comments or laughs. (guilty).  But likes and comments and laughs can’t get coffee with you.  And it is bad enough that we compare ourselves with other people. But. We can not for a second start comparing ourselves with facebook versions of people. Because they are not real. They always have the best husband and the smartest kids and are always out having fun and saying clever things. When 90% of the time they are on their couch just like me wondering how early is too early to go to bed. 

When I log on, Facebook asks me “what is going on, Michelle…”
“what’s happening, Michelle….”
Or if it is being really considerate, “how are you doing, Michelle”
But never once has it asked me about my heart.

Probably because all my 500+ facebook friends don’t want to know. And certainly don’t want me asking about theirs. I feel strongly that we were made for relationships. And some of us require more than others. My husband is super introverted and probably only needs like 4 friends and to say like 1000 words a day.
I need 10X that. People and words. And I don’t always know what to do with that.

Sometimes it completely ends up unwanted and in the wrong place.
Sometimes it ends up here.
Sometimes it ends up across from me at Starbucks.
And it almost never ends up on facebook.
And every once in a while, someone takes the time to ask. Even if she was really speaking to her 4 year old.

(and as a brief followup, I thought I’d try out this fantastic parenting with my own kids. My 7 year old son gave me an eye roll. And my own sweet 4 year old girl who really really wanted to stop at QT on the way home but we just didn’t have time was told that we’d go another day. Is that ok Tess? Is that ok with your heart?
“No it is not mom! I want a slushee right now. My heart is screaming for a slushee with three colors.”  And shortly there after so was her mouth.
I held firm. No slushee.
And I think I heard my heart asking for some earplugs.)