Wednesday, September 29, 2010

To unfriend or not to unfriend

Occasionally, I take to my blog to write about my in-laws because they don't know I'm here.

Pants' brother and his wife got a divorce very recently. Pants insists the papers are signed and its done, but it's so soon I'm not sure that's true. There is no child support, no alimony, no muss, no fuss. She moved him into a nearby townhouse that she pays part of the rent on and they can't sell their house because they got the First Time Home Buyer's credit and have to stay there another 18 months or pay back the $8000. But whatever yanks your chain.

My problem is the overshare. I'm FB friends with her, with their kids, and now with him because he just joined up for unknown reasons (so very unlike him). It's nice to keep tabs on the kids and it's always been easy to share pictures, say hi occasionally, etc.

But she's been posting song lyrics for a few months and, knowing what I know, I can't help but read into them. It only became uncomfortable, though, when she changed her FB relationship status to single the day he moved out. I read all of the comments running the gamut from congratulations to WTF. I don't think you should announce your divorce on FB, but I'm not sure how else one navigates this type of thing.

But it was so much worse when she switched her status on Monday to "in a relationship." It's not my place to judge but I am SO JUDGING HER so I've just chosen to keep my trap shut and not comment and just monitor the situation from a comfortable distance.

Then she sent me and Pants' sister a (joint) direct message, dragging me into the fray. It's all about how she loves us and she totally gets that we might unfriend her on FB because of the divorce and she's lost some people on there since then and whatever we decide is totally fine with her and she'll understand. It does not feel genuine, it feels like I am being asked to choose, like she is tallying her belongings after the tornado and am I staying or going, I would like to put you on the list in the right column please.

Aside from this message directed at me that seems specifically designed to create drama where there wasn't any, the only thing that actually makes me want to unfriend her is not that she's "in a relationship," but that she felt the need to announce it to the world. A world that includes her 12 and 13 year old daughters who had no inkling any of this was coming just two months ago.

Maybe it's the wanton selfishness, destruction, and ignorance of that destruction that I'm having a tough time swallowing. She may think she's been "divorced in her mind" for a long time, but the girls were in an intact family two months ago. Maybe she could cut them a little slack before trotting in a new man? Because it's not just about her wants and needs this time through the dating pool?

Do I tell her that she might be hurting her kids, since they are part of my family and as an adult, I should try to protect their interests? Or do I continue to keep my opinions to myself, since that's all they are?