I hear this phrase peddled around so often, and it always makes me want to smack the person saying it. Why? Because for me, everything is serious. I’m a certified drama queen, so I can have a massive meltdown like that *finger snap*. I can go into convulsive fits simply because he wouldn’t return my calls or answer my DMs, and it’s not like we’re dating. It’s just me, and luckily, he’s used to me. Still doesn’t make him return my calls or answer my DMs. Maybe he likes watching me melt down. *shrug*
Yesterday, I was talking with a pal, and he looked over my shoulder as I logged out of my Twitter account. He glanced at my follow list and asked:
‘How long have you been on Twitter?’
I replied, ‘Which time?’
See, this is a new-ish friend. He does’t know that I’ve been on Twitter five times, with five separate accounts, and that each time I deleted, it was due to mad drama. This time round, I have 2,000 tweets and a handful of follow[er]s. They’re mostly sensible types, so my timeline rarely has stuff about Titty Tuesday or popcorn fights or unsightly trending topics. Usually, I’ll only bump into them when I stray onto someone else’s timeline. These days, I have to really seek online drama to find it, and I’m perfectly okay with that, because my offline life has more than enough beef. I’d actually much prefer some chicken right about now.
Recently, I bumped into this whole DM hacking saga with Nana Mutwiri and Robert Alai. Nobody on my timeline was the least bit interested, so I had to snoop and sleuth before I had a vague idea of what was going on. At the end of the day, I looked at the people involved and shook my head. I thought back to the time when I was in beef, and wondered if people reacted the same way. I wondered if they thought I was a pubilicity wh*re who had simply gone out looking for trouble. I wondered if they grabbed their popcorn, stood at the sidelines, and yelled ‘fight!’ I wondered if it had simply been a game to them, and whether my pain was just a toy that they could play with. I wondered if any of them realised that to me, it was very hurtful and very real.
In my case, I deleted accounts, deleted blogs, unfollowed everyone, then got shocked and amazed to notice that a few months later, my alleged enemies and friends were all playing house. It seems the sides picked and lines drawn only meant something to me. To everyone else, it was never that serious.
As I watched this week’s DM saga unfold, I saw people start to tune out and unfollow. I watched them get irritated and bored of the drama, and some of them got reminiscent of the days when Twitter was fun and sensible, before everyone flew over from MKZ. In those days, I discovered what it felt like to be the centre of unwanted drama. It hurt to be in my little corner crying while the gang was frying popcorn with Aromatt and waiting for the next big beef. Still, I’ve always been accused of taking things [and myself] way too seriously.
As I watched this week’s drama unfold and saw people use the mess to gain hits and get famous, I realised that it really is never that serious. It’s just people playing games, and the nastiness gets amplified online. The average person knows social media isn’t real life. It’s just like reality TV. You log on, tune in, have your fun, make some jokes, go home. Equating this stuff to real life is an exercise in futility.
I know I do it all the time. I watch Supernanny and hear all the stuff she says parents shouldn’t do, and I kick myself for doing all the stuff she says parents shouldn’t do. I wonder if I can fix it all overnight like she does. Then I remind myself that she squeezed a week worth of lessons into one hour of footage and that I should just love my baby and raise her the way I know best. After all, she’s turned out great so far.
But when it comes to social media at least, I’ve learnt not to take it so seriously. I’ve learnt that most people are one way online and another way off, and that you’ll never know which is which until you see both, and either way, it’s really not that serious.
I’ve learnt that some people will stick by you and others will not, and that some people will like you while others will not. I’ve learnt not to put so much energy into justifying my taste. If I find someone I don’t like, I’ll try to see which of my unpleasant traits they’re playing back to me, fix it, and walk away. If I can.
And I’ve learnt to stop blogging like I did before. It makes me happy, I feel righteous, I feel special, I feel … better. But I leave messes and tornadoes in my wake, and there’s nobody there to fix them. Also, my writing is lazy. I come here and I transcribe the winds of my soul. It’s too cheap, too easy, and it always gets me into trouble. Kind of like subtweeting.
So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m turning fiction. I’m spending more time writing stuff like this and this. Instead of whining about my baby-raising blues and my difficulties with men, I’ll turn the loves of my life into … oh … I don’t know … cars. You know, like this [link to be inserted later]. It’ll be fun, it’ll force me to work harder at my craft, and the best part is … when I slip and tell a real story about a real person … well … nobody will know the difference. All I can say is #WIN!
Something else has been on my mind. I’ve loved many men, and some have even loved me back. A few of the men loved me enough to say the words, but not enough to go with it. I’ve been weaned on fairy tales and rom-coms. They
lie teach you that men never say ‘I love you’ unless they really mean it. So when my loved ones said the words, I heard them wrong. It turns out that while they do love me, they don’t want to be with me. I didn’t really know there was a difference.
We had this lecturer in campus – Dr. Jordan. She was a little cuckoo, but she was all sorts of awesome. She told us this story once of a guy she met at a college party. She hung out with him all night, flirted, had fun, exchanged numbers. So when a guy called her the next day, she assumed it was the boy from the party and picked up where they’d left off.
After talking for a while, she realised he was actually someone else, so she said,
‘OMG [Well, okay, she didn’t say OMG . It was like 50 years ago, they didn’t know how to say OMG!]
‘OMG, you mean all this time I was talking …’
‘… a different guy.’
She was going to say ‘the wrong guy’ but he interrupted her. In his mind, she was talking to the right guy – she just didn’t know it yet.
Dr. Jordan finished the story with a sigh and a nostalgic tone. She said,
‘I loved that man. Ladies, just because you love a man doesn’t mean you’ll marry him.’
I’m thinking about that now because there’s someone that I love, and he loves me, but I won’t marry him. Just like the one I loved before him, and the other two before that, he loves me, but he doesn’t want to be with me, and today, I tell myself that that’s okay.
Now, off to write a story where I indulge the butch in me and turn my two loves into shiny red cars. And here’s to ending a post with an adorable lolcat just because I can. *grin*