How to Screw Yourself on Facebook

On Saturday afternoon, a friend showed me a clever play on a wedding invitation. I laughed, shared it on Facebook with the message “There is merit to this,” and turned off my phone to watch The Amazing Spider-Man (it’s amazing!).

Check out the image I posted and see if you can guess the responses I had when I turned my phone back on.

Now, I will say that a few minutes after posting this, I turned to my friend and said, “I’m going to get torn to pieces for posting that. It might be a bad idea.” I was mostly worried that (a) people would think that I agreed with all of those things–or wanted them, and (b) that it would convey the idea that I thought all women get in the way of men doing the things they really want to do.

That said, I think this image does actually have merit. These things could be true for someone who wants them. A single guy could definitely drink all the beer, Jack Daniel’s, and Captain Morgan that he wants. He could have tons of money. He could hunt.

The only part that’s not true at all is that “all his family and friends thought he was fucking cool as hell.” Come on. We all know some older dude–probably in your family, maybe an uncle–who is single, acts half his age, and looks twice his age. No one thinks that guy is cool.

Also, the post is unfair because it essentially says that you can’t have any of those things if you get married. Which, if you look at that list, isn’t true at all. You just have to find the right person.

Anyway, here were two of the first responses I got:

I love those responses. They’re totally true. The princess definitely dodges a bullet if she avoids marrying a guy who wants all of those things and believes that he can’t find a partner to share his love for at least a few of those things. Absolutely.

Then I saw this comment:

Again, very clever. But this one hit home with me, because I realized two things: One, this person’s comment made a lot of assumptions about men that I thought were unfair. Sure, the original post did the same thing, but it was a viral meme, not something I carefully composed. Two, my original post truly didn’t reflect my view on being single, and that was now important for me to represent.

So I wrote my own. It ended up being a little more vitriolic than I had intended it, but it felt good to write something so raw and true to my experience. Again, I’m not saying that all women fit the descriptions below, not by any means. But I am saying that by being single, I assure myself of the following:

The post got a few Likes, but it didn’t generate any further conversation, which I thought was interesting (and disappointing). I can’t tell if I struck a nerve or if they had simply moved on to greater things.

I share all of this with you today because (a) it’s a good reminder to use your own words, not someone else’s, to represent yourself, and (b) because I’d love to know your thoughts on the comments and discussion above. What kind of a reaction do you have when reading the original post and the comments that followed? Should I have kept my final comment to myself?

17 Responses to “How to Screw Yourself on Facebook”

  1. Orianna says:

    How did I guess this item would be the next topic? Since I witnessed the whole thing unfold, I’ll say this: Yes, it has merit in that it can and has happened. Out here on the West Coast, I’ve seen it happen. A guy’s emotional pendulum swings the other way and he lashes out. Debauchery although a temporary fix, is well, temporary. Now having said all that, it was entertaining. Did you open up Pandora’s box? Well, yes, but you did expect it too. Cheers!

  2. Gabby says:

    If only everyone on facebook/the world had read your post that they aren’t as interesting/clever as they think they are, this never would have happend.

  3. Joe S says:

    I read it and was surprised you posted – it seemed much more shallow than you usually post. I’ve definitely put up things I haven’t liked, and at times have deleted them or just ended the conversation there (see anything Tolles has commented on at my Wall)…. but then again, I don’t have hundreds of pairs of (beautiful) eyes staring at my FB wall on a daily basis like you do, Sir Stegmaier. You clearly have more to lose than the rest of us in the male species in Facebook-ville, next to Ryan Gosling, of course.

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      I see what you’re saying about it being shallow (though I cringe at the thought of you seeing my Pinterest boards…lots of humor like this, although not as offensive, as well as plenty of cute animals). Although I mostly just thought it was funny, it had a deeper message that hit home with me: That a prince doesn’t need a princess to be happy. My mistake was posting that image without conveying that deeper message.

      If no one had commented on it, I probably would have taken it down. But it generated conversation, and so I felt it was a disservice to those who had taken time to comment to take it down. Plus, I like to generate conversation (just not usually this type of conversation). I only knew one or two of the people who commented, oddly enough. The others must have seen it in their friends’ feeds.

  4. Lorena says:

    Everybody farts.

  5. Emma says:

    I definitely saw this meme yesterday and what surprised me most was this: THIS specific one, to me, is just mostly sad. It says he lived happily ever after and then describes a life that I don’t think most would consider joyful or fulfilling (but if that’s what someone wants, more power to them).

    However, it conjured up my anger and resentment toward gender stereotypes in general, despite this one being less awful than most. (Most would refer to women as princesses and men as mere mortals, for example. Gag me.) When I saw it, I had flashbacks of AIM away messages referencing guys who should want to watch you while you sleep and call you back even after you hang up on them (gag me again). To be honest, your comment on Facebook at the end includes as many gender stereotypes or implications as the original! Mostly I just wish we could stop generalizing; it’s unfair and it’s unproductive. I get that it helps people bond or empathize but it also sets unrealistic expectations and creates a “humor” that is degrading and insulting.

    The most insulted I’ve been recently is when my husband made a supportive comment to a mutual friend and the friend said, “Good answer” and then turned to me and said, “Good training!” To imply that Kyle wasn’t socially competent or genuine in his words was rude. I was insulted just by that. But to imply that I had ANY notions of “training” him (or that he needed training) made me livid. I snapped “Oh that is NOT how that works” and set her straight, but I know most people would have laughed and agreed (sometimes including said man). She was going for a moment of sisterhood and the idea that that’s how we should bond makes me sick.

    Rant over, whew!

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Emma–I completely agree about the stereotypes, and it’s certainly not my intention to help them persist. I particularly admire your willingness to stand against those stereotypes, even in potentially awkward social situations.

      The intent of my final comment on Facebook wasn’t to persist any stereotypes, but rather speak specifically from my own experience as a counter to the previous person’s comment. I’m definitely not saying that all women are like that, not by any means. But I have personally experienced those things, and I don’t miss them.

      • Emma says:

        Totally fair if that’s what you’ve experienced, but putting it into “prince/princess” terms makes it about men and women, not you and the things you do not miss. I get the intent, for sure, and the medium was part of the message. (And probably everyone realized you were talking about you and not all people.)

        Everyone has the right to vent about their frustrations and if you can work cats reacting to farts into a Facebook comment, I’ll give it to you 🙂

        • Jamey Stegmaier says:

          Definitely. I think the original post set the wrong tone (hence why I didn’t use the words “prince” or “princess” in my post).

          It’s good to know that I can talk about cats reacting to farts in public. That’s really important to me. 🙂

  6. Orianna says:

    I agree in that we realized you weren’t generalizing. But I do want to play spindoctor and say that catharsis seemed to be a factor here, in my view anyhow. Yes, you don’t need a companion, avoiding the p word on purpose, to be happy. Happiness is internal. Companionship is a plus. To paraphrase Field of Dreams, when you are ready she will come.

  7. Impostor Josh says:

    Does this Meme create so much commentary because while it is a generalization, it is a relatively accurate/truthful generalization? i.e. Have a significant number of women dated men that were good looking, fun to be around, made them feel wonderful, etc., but when it came time for commitment/responsibility those men said “I’d rather be free to date a new skinny girl instead of being at home changing diapers” ?

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Interesting question, Imposter Josh. I’m guessing a little bit of both, but I’ll let the ladies answer that one.

  8. Bob Tosa says:

    It’s an old post, but it got me laughing and thinking.

    There is no one right way, if even there is any. Life is tough but here is my fairy-tale:

    Once upon a time, a guy and a girl looked at each other and decided they wouldn’t marry and they lived happily ever after. He fucked a skinny-fit girl and she fucked a muscular man because each of them decided their health comes first.They had ample time for independent careers, designing, and other creative pursuits because they didn’t have children. Each cooked for himself and cleaned after himself because they didn’t share their finances. And they slept in different rooms so they could fart whenever they wanted and masturbate as much as they liked. None of their friends and family thought they were cool because they never overshared successes or failures. They had tons of laughs.

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