In the few weeks I’ve been on Facebook I have gone from grudgingly giving in to family members who’d been bugging me to sign up, to enthusiastically searching for nearly everyone who’s ever been part of my life at some point. Former classmates, distant cousins, ex-girlfriends – I’ve found many, and already contacted a few.
But I had a bit of trouble writing the first contact messages. I quickly realised that just because I had a hard time thinking of anything witty or meaningful to say after two decades or more without contact didn’t mean I could just give in, poke everybody, sit back and hope for the best. You want the recipients to open the message and feel they’ve been graced with something special.
So if there is already a heap of advice out there on everything from tying your
fucking shoelaces to planning your career, I figure it’s time to post a little help on how to get in touch again.
Delete where appropriate.
The school buddy
Hey, I saw you on Facebook! / How’s it going? / Don’t you wish you had set your privacy a lot higher?
My how / time flies. / it seems only yesterday we were shoplifting at Safeway to survive. / you’ve lost a lot of hair.
It seems so long since / graduation. / that time out behind the shed after football practice. / your unfortunate lobotomy.
Remember how we hated each other’s guts after only two/ four/ six weeks as roommates?
Did you ever fulfill those dreams of / stardom? / making a lot of money? / curing your chronic halitosis?
My life has always been / one success after the other. / probably no less miserable than yours. / one step away from the gutter.
Tell me how / your life has gone. / you’ve managed to survive in the real world despite such a low IQ.
Would you like to / be my friend on Facebook? / block me? / report me to the authorities?
The former colleague
Hi! I saw you on Facebook? How’s it going?
Are you / still with Rapkapple, Birthwaite, Aftermath, Plumsteel, Spoondiddler & Prattz? / still an ass-kisser? / getting out of jail soon?
Remember how we / used to call in sick all the time and go skiing? / stabbed Taylor in the back? / amassed that fortune siphoning off client funds?
Damn, those were the /days, my friend. / happiest times of my life. /most annoying weasels I’ve ever had the misfortune of being professionally associated with.
I’ve still / got a great tan. / not spent half of it. / got another five years before I come up for parole.
Hi! I / saw you / stumbled upon your picture completely by accident / am stalking you / on Facebook!
How long has it been since we / were going out? /split up? / auctioned off that toddler on eBay?
You still / look good. / make my heart flutter. / have that funny wart thing on your nose. / make me want to go back on Prozac.
Since we split up, my life has been / a chaotic series of lurches from one crisis to another. / not worth living. / a happy romp through daisies.
Are you still /plagued with body odour?/ dead in bed? / going out with that loser you dumped me for?
I am / friends with Bill Clinton. / about to make my second billion. / going to move three blocks away from you under an assumed name and there’s not a hell of a lot you can do about it.
Don’t you wish we were / still together? / still together? / still together?
I’ve taken the liberty of / leaving my contact details for you. / sending your contact details to every spammer and Nigerian scam artist I’ve been able to find on Google. / telling the police where you hid all those bodies.
I Googled your name when I was bored one day. Are you aware that / your name is associated with a severe personality disorder? / your boyfriend’s wanted by Interpol? / your image is featured at several porn sites?
The distant relative
Hi! Isn’t Facebook / great? / fantastic? / an enormous waste of time?
Remember that time when we were kids at Auntie Jenny’s place and you / fell off the swings, beat the crap out of me and then drowned my kitten? / ate a bowl of lima beans, turned in my direction and threw up in my lap? /wrote FUCK in big black crayon on the bathroom wall, and when my Dad found it, you pointed at me and said I did it?
Well that was a long time ago. I / forgive you. / still only harbour a bit of a grudge. / won’t tell anyone how you really came to lose your left eye.
Will you be my friend on Facebook? Please? I only have / five, each one an alternate personality. / 27, but I had to pay 50 bucks to each of them. / a few months left to live now that the tests are in, and I’d like to get into at least double-digits.