Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be the single gals enemy. I can’t tell you how many times I can already be in a little bit of a vulnerable state and I log onto my Facebook account and there is a new engagement announcement, wedding picture, baby bump shot, or pictures of perfectly smiling families with their 2.5 kids standing in front of their huge house with the white picket fences dressed alike smiling for the holiday cards. And don’t get me wrong, I am sooooo not a hater. I am happy for my friends. I enjoy seeing my childhood friends as adults with their adorable kids and handsome husbands. But if you are in a little bit of a slump you can look at these pictures and think, “Will that ever happen for me? When will I be able to change my Facebook status from non-existent to Engaged, and married? When will I be able to post pictures of my kids and my husband? Why? Why hasn’t it happened? When is it going to happen?” I’m just being all the way honest. Most single women have had that thought; they just might not be honest enough to admit it. The same rings true for some of my co-workers. You walk into their offices and see pictures of them with their families lounging at a resort pool on vacation. Then you walk into my office and there is just… paperwork. And I am okay with that, but sometimes it can be a little discouraging.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine invited me with her to a barbeque in Manhattan Beach. Manhattan Beach happens to be one of my favorite beach spots in LA. Venice Beach is full of a bunch of derelicts and is dirty. Santa Monica Beach is too commercialized, Malibu is just too dam annoying to get to when it’s nice out, the PCH can be a bitch to drive through. Manhattan Beach just has a great flavor and it is not too ignorantly crowded. So of course I went with her to the BBQ. When we arrived to the location we pulled up to a beautiful white house with oversized windows. Did I mention this house was on oceanfront property? It was essentially my dream home. It’s not often I am in awe. Living in LA I have had the privilege of seeing a lot of beautiful homes in Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Calabasas. But there is something so spectacular about a Manhattan Beach Oceanfront property. We parked the car and proceeded to walk into the home. The furniture was spectacular. All white and there was an oceanfront view from every single window. We made our way to the pool side and were greeted with a glass of champagne. It wasn’t a large crowd. It was a very intimate setting . There were probably about 30 people there. And everyone was friendly. It wasn’t the young Hollywood scantily clad group of skanks. As we walked in I took a second to take in the magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean and sip on my champagne. I took a deep breath and exhaled. Now this was definitely a great way to kick off the summer. I looked around and was excited to see my co-worker’s husband sitting down on the couch bopping his head to the music having a beer. It’s always great running into someone you somewhat know at a party. I made my way to go say hello to him and greet him.
Me: Hey there “Derek” what a small world!
Derek looked up at me and he looked like a deer in headlights.
Derek: Heeeeey… what’s going on?
Me: Not much. This spot is beautiful! Is “Linda” here?
At this point Derek came close to me and whispered.
Derek: I’m not here. You don’t see me.
Derek: You don’t see me. I’m serious.
At this point another woman came up to “Derek” and put her arm around him and handed him another beer. She stood there waiting on him to introduce me. Derek introduced us and I stood there in complete and utter shock. It was times like this I appreciated my degree in theatre. I was able to quickly pull it together.
Me: I need to head to the ladies room.
Derek: Follow me this way.
“Derek” showed me to the ladies room. He actually took me to another area of the house. As we walked down the hallway, I noticed pictures of “Derek” and some of his clients. He was in the music industry and hung out with the likes of Lady Gaga, Usher, etc. He was a big time executive. As we walked to the rest room it became clear this spot was “Derek’s.”
Me: Uh… Derek… what’s going on?
Derek: This is just my other office.
ME: Your other office?
Derek: Yeah. We entertain clients here. It’s more cost efficient.
Me: I see….
Derek: But seriously, I need you to keep this between me and you. YOU- DID-NOT-SEE-ME!!! “Linda” wouldn’t understand.
Me: It’s really none of my business I don’t plan on saying anything to her. But I don’t think you’re giving her enough credit. She is an executive. She would certainly understand.
Derek: I don’t think so. Look around, she wouldn’t be cool with me hanging out here without her.
Me: Like I said, this is none of my business. I don’t plan on saying shit.
Derek: Thanks. I appreciate it.
I inhaled my champagne and went back out to the pool and immediately got another one. Unfortunately I didn’t drive so I was stuck there. How in the fuck was I going to stay at this barbecue looking at my co-worker’s husband and his jump off at his house that he brings his side chicks? I literally was looking at his wife’s Facebook page just the other day. She had just had their 3 child. They finally had a boy. I remember looking at their recent Christmas pictures thinking about what a perfect family they had. And to top it off they had finally had a boy. I looked at the life she displayed on Facebook and I have to be honest, a lot of times I found myself envious (not in the crazy psycho bitch kind of way). I was happy for her. But I would always wonder if I would be “fortunate” enough to have that kind of life. And now as I proceeded to have my 3rdglass of champagne I looked at her husband sitting on the couch drinking a beer sitting next to his jump off. My girlfriend came up to me and asked if I was having a good time. I didn’t notice I was tuned out. I told her I was fine I just needed a glass of water. I made up a bullshit excuse that I drank my champagne too fast and needed to get something to eat.
I was still extremely bothered by what I had just experienced. I was more bothered than I thought I would be. I got to thinking about reality versus the images we portray on social media. It made me question everything. Luckily for me, when I was married it was right when Facebook had just became popular in my group of friends. Luckily I didn’t have a Facebook account and Instagram didn’t even exist. But if it did I am sure even in my unhappily married state, I would have posted pictures to portray the “perfect” life to the outside world. I began to wonder how many other people were living a lie on social media. How many people whose lives I envied up to this point were living in pure hell behind those smiling pictures they post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter? Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware there are some people who really are living the life they post. They really are happily married and in great relationships. But I had a feeling there were a lot more people than we realize who are hiding behind their fake lives. Who really are in miserable marriages and some that are even going through divorces but for whatever reason they are portraying their lives as being better than it really is and for what? Who are we living for? Why do we feel the need to show an unauthentic life to the public?
I made the conscious decision not to say a word to my co-worker. If this was one of my close friends it would be a different story. But I didn’t want to get involved. Besides, for all I knew she knows what a fool her husband is. Lots of times, the person who divulges the information to someone who isn’t mentally or emotionally ready to accept it ends up looking like the hater.
When I got home that evening I walked into my home and suddenly had a great appreciation for the life I was living. When I post a picture on Facebook or Instagram it is of my authentic life. I don’t have to pretend to living a life I am not. Granted I would love to be remarried and have my 2.5 children. But damn it, I would rather be living the life I am now and be happy and authentic than be creating a bullshit life. That night when I got in the bed I slept in the middle of the bed… because I can. I turned on the TV and blasted it and channel surfed through Bravo TV, Lifetime, Oxygen, and WE… because I could. I had finally gained such a great appreciation to living the single life. It’s better to be alone and happy than with someone and miserable and pretending. I could sleep well knowing that each and every single picture I posted, status update I made, and Instagram picture I put on the live feed was true to who I am and where I am in my life. And damn it felt good!