Like all California kids in the 1960s, I spent summer days learning to swim, riding my bike (which, looking back, wasn’t the smartest thing to do in the smog for this asthmatic kid before they had inhalers… but I, yes, digress), pulling weeds or putting on outdoor shows for money, and playing with the neighborhood kids.
One summer, a group of us kids had an adventure and by “adventure” I mean we had a brush with the law.
What you need to know before we begin: Dark Shadows (the original soap opera) was our fave show.
The scene: There was a col-de-sac up the street from my house and at the end, right in the “armpit” of the street there were two things of note. One was a huge field that was fenced off. Inside, there was a round water tower that the Jaycee’s used for storage of the 4′ candles that lined the downtown street at Christmas. I know this for a fact because I climbed in, after scaling the fence, and was locked in as “a joke” by my “friends”. Oh, no water inside. But again, I digress.
The other thing in the armpit was a gravel road. We called it, “The Rocky Road”. It was, in fact, a driveway but to our 10-year-old eyes, it was a long, winding road. At the end of the road, there was a Victorian-style house with a root cellar and what looked to be an attic. At the back end, there was a sunroom where a half-finished painting of a woman sat on an easel. Outside the front door was a tree and next to it, a hump of dirt. Clearly, a grave. <<< This is where the whole “Dark Shadows” thing came in to play.
So, we packed our lunches and went to the house, poked around… found jars of blobby things in the root cellar, and made up stories about the corpse in the yard and the woman in the painting, who was clearly being held captive in the attic room (Did you see the curtain. move? I saw the curtain move?). Day after day, we went back. For what feels (now) like the entire summer but was probably only a week.
What happened: We broke in. <<< Yeah, you already figured that out, right?
When the police came (Who called them? We never found out!) we tried to explain our reasoning. Luckily, they could see we meant no harm (and were just kids on a quest to live Dark Shadows in real life) and gave us a strong warning that we heeded, with a little help from our parents. <<< Ha! That spanking smarted! Back when spankings were all the rage. But… I … di… nevermind.
So, why am I bringing this up today?
I have my own Rocky Road to navigate. Again. I say “again” because it’s something I’ve had to do over and over in my adult life and it never seems to get easier. Though I must say, I appreciate it more. What it is? Constructing boundaries.
I’ve written a lot about boundaries. <<< Link is live if you’d like to check out my many posts on the subject.
Besides some personal revelations and boundaries that needed to be erected with real people I know… I also knew it was time to cull my Facebook (FB) list. I’d kinda accepted anyone who requested my friendship and reached out to some others who I didn’t know but thought it would be nice to get to know them. Nothing wrong with that, at all! But… as I was doing that, I allowed in some… people I would not otherwise have become friends with… you know, on the outside (real life). What they said and why it caused problems for me is not even the point. Well, actually it is. Kind of.
Of all the social media sites, FB is the one (besides this blog space of course) that I hold most dear. I have always kept my friends’ list on the smallish side because it’s my personal space to share pictures of my grandson and just more of the intimate stuff you only share with close friends. You know what I mean.
Not only were things getting out of hand politically, some people I reached out to and tried to get to know better just ignored me. Like 100%. It doesn’t feel good and it did nothing for my brand or feelings. You know me and my sensitive, empathic self.
Okay, so… as much as I hate vaguebook – you know, those friends who write things like, “Well, that did it!” or “It’s positive!” or some other vague thing that you have to ask about if you care (and of course, if you don’t ask you must not care! Ugh!) I actually did it myself by saying it was time to get rid of some people.
Wait, that’s not the same thing.
Well, see, it was a warning.
So, manipulative. And let’s face it, that’s what vaguebook is all about – manipulating. God, there I go again, digressing.
Yesterday, I read something that had me so upset that I unfriended the person. Then I went to my friends’ list and unfriended the rest of them. All 60. And it didn’t feel good. I worry about hurting feelings. But what about my feelings? Right? Right?
This morning, I feel a little worse for the wear. I did what I needed for my emotional health but it felt icky. And scary. But it had to be done.
I thought – as I sat down to write – It feels a little like I’m walking on a Rocky Road… which is when the old childhood story came to mind.
See, it all makes perfect sense. Kind of.
PS: And you thought I’d be talking about ice cream. As a final digression, I will say that Rocky Road ice cream is among the best things on the planet for eating. I wish more companies still made it. It’s never in the grocery stores and you have to go to some fancy $8 cone place to get it. So depressing. There. Be happy!