Why I Should Probably Maybe Definitely Delete My Facebook Profile

So if you are like me, which is to say a socially awkward middle aged mother of two, creating your Facebook profile and reconnecting with all your old cronies, was more of a plunge than a natural progression. And though it was great fun for a while, seeing how everyone turned out, and being the new kid on the FB block, it turns out that you really don’t have much to say, and you don’t really care what they have to say, or how smart their kids are, or what they had for dinner, or how they exercised for 3 hours (but, by the way, still look fat). And come to think of it, those ‘Happy Birthday’ wishes are WAY less than they were last year despite your endless dedication to theirs, and, despite a few loyal hangers on, even the comments have slowed to a trickle.

So clearly, it’s time to trim the fat, which is to say, delete most of the few friends I have, or delete my profile. That’s right…I’m thinking of committing social media suicide.

The Cry For Help

So it’s go big or go home. I mean like I don’t want to just take a bottle of pills and go to my room weeping. I mean, I want to jump off Niagara Falls screaming and cursing.  I’ve seen people do it you know, post about how FB is making them miserable and they are going to end it all. Usually a bunch of their friends rally around with the reassuring, don’t do it. And there they are, the next day, reading a bunch of insipid posts, as if nothing ever happened.

But the ever so probable reality is, that if I posted something about how I wanted to delete my profile, no one would even care. And if I posted something like “I hate you all and I’m going to delete my profile so I never have to deal with you people again” and then proceeded to delete myself, that comment would be deleted as well, probably never to be read.

And then what??!! I mean, where does computer data go to die? It’s kind of the same thing as the great mystery of the human death. Into the endless void of nothingness?  a purgatory for HTML files?  There are probably some computer nerds with well researched accurate answers for this. But the truth is, if I were googled, my FB page would never come up again, and more likely than not NO ONE WOULD CARE!!

The Solution

Plagued with feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness and depression at seeing no numbers posted next to the icons at the top of my page, I know now that I really need help. I turn to Google in despair entering ‘Facebook Depression’ into it’s endless search engine void. And you know what I found out? I found out there are a lot of people just like me! There are a lot of people who have suffered similar symptoms and many have deleted their Facebook accounts! And many of those people have gone on to fight another day… yea to build a happier, more fulfilling life, content in the knowledge that they don’t Facebook to validate who they are. Say not “I Facebook therefore I am”’ but “I live, therefore I am!”

And with this in mind, I go to my Facebook page, my cursor hovers over the delete button. But first… I should really see if any one liked the picture I just posted of my son. After all, he is my child.  I should probably maybe definitely delete this thing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/22/facebook-study-envy_n_2526549.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-hilker/chivalry-is-dead-and-so-i_b_2168154.html

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Tattooed Manchild

42. Aren’t husbands so cute when they get to that age? Just about half way through with their midlife crisis (if you’re lucky). You’ve probably already relented and let him buy that sports car or motorcycle he’s been bugging you about for years. You know, the one where he rolls up and all the young kids stare and then they turn away when they realize it’s an ‘old guy’ with a receding hair line and middle aged paunch.

For my husband it’s tattoos. After many years, my husband is finally getting the tattoo sleeves he’s always wanted, going to the local tattoo artist to get band emblems and video game icons (sympathetic eye rolls appreciated) burned into his skin until they cover every inch of his arms.

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As a matter of fact, I think my husband is subscribing to the ‘How to Be the Rock Star You Always Wanted to Be’ school of thought. He is now working on his guitar skills and programming music on the computer. This is all great except for when he follows me around the house saying “Hey, listen to what I wrote, listen to what I wrote,” while I am attempting to do chores.

The best was when I woke up one morning and found him on the computer still awake from the night before. It seems a bout of insomnia inspired an all night writing session and drinking binge (thankfully these are rare). My husband then proceeded to spend the next hour giggling like a schoolgirl while I attempted to do my exercise videos before passing out in bed. Oh well, at least he helped me clean the bathroom that morning.

And speaking of cleaning, does anyone have a husband who willingly cleans? If so, he is not just a keeper. Ladies, tie this man to your bedpost and never let him out of your site. Even if I am on my deathbed, if I ask my husband to clean, he acts like he is being imparted the death sentence. Never is my husband so close to tears as when he is cleaning. On the other hand, he also follows the religion of Never Putting Anything Away. It’s gotten to the point where I have accepted his dirty underwear as a familiar living room centerpiece.

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And there are so many other adorable habits that come at this stage.  Just today he took a picture of me and I thought he was being sweet.  It turns out it was only because I was wearing a particularly low cut blouse. Enter here my husband emitting compulsive Beavis- like laughs and grunts. In fact if Beavis and Butthead were to ever grow out of their perpetual 14 year old state of animation, they would probably grow up to be my husband.

Now here is the part where I might wax sentimental about how my husband is, and always has been a good father and provider for my family and how deep and strong our love is. But you don’t really want to hear that. What I will say is this… many times after my husband does something that makes me wonder how he ever got through life successfully, to this point, I turn to him and say, “You’re an idiot”, and then he turns back to me and says, “Yes, but I’m your idiot” and you know, I suppose he is right.

Play Dates from Hell

As the mother of two, I am currently play dating with about 7 mothers.  As a somewhat unsocial type, I never thought my social calendar would be so full.  I guess it’s partially my own fault because I feel that if I schedule a play date for my daughter, I should probably schedule one for my son, which has me running all over Hell’s half acre trying to get this one here and that one there and get this one from here and that one from there.

But what I have come to expect is that for every child that wants to hang out, there is a mother who also expects, a chit chat at the very least if not a whole afternoon of gossip, sitting on the sidelines of whatever park, pool or cultural center we have picked for the afternoon, while hoping our children are polite and don’t beat each other to a bloody pulp. This was not the norm when I was a child, but, as they say, it’s a different time. This makes no sense to me but obviously translates to the fact that I will have to be social with parents well into my children’s teenage years i.e. there is no end in sight.

Now of course some of these women are truly lovely, but who wants to hear about them? Much more interesting is Sara, the recovering alcoholic and divorcee who left me and my child waiting for her and her daughter for two hours when we last play dated. She often questions her mothering skills and her house is a mess,  and I don’t mean a delightful, lived in, clothes strewn on the floor mess. I mean like dishes in the sink with remnants of food that are ready to get up and walk away mess.

Now let me introduce you to Mariam. Mariam seemed like a nice, sensible woman until I recommended her son join my son in one of his classes at School of Rock. Apparently my son and I are now responsible for the measure of her son’s success or failure in the class, to the point where she is insisting my son come every weekend to help her son practice, visits which are, as far as I can tell, completely fruitless.

And finally, there is the lovely Lucy who invited me to her Pasadena townhouse to show me  ‘her world’ which consists of her handmade clothing and self decorated bedrooms and bathrooms. She also bought clothing for my daughter in the hopes that she would be there to model the clothing. Alas, she was not as she, of course, had a play date of her own. I know Lucy probably sounds lovely and well she is, but the whole thing smacked a bit of heartbreaking desperation and favors I couldn’t possibly return.

So what is play date etiquette here? I could just never call these women again and hope my children don’t request another play date, a prospect that truthfully racks me with guilt not to mention awkward run-ins at the supermarket or schoolyard. So what do you say? It’s not you, it’s me? We just got out of something serious and it’s too soon to make a commitment? We need some space? Or maybe we should just choose the brutal truth and say: Listen lady, just because our kids are friends DOES NOT mean we have to be friends.”

And while on the subject of play date etiquette, I wonder, how long do you wait between play dates before you call again? If the three day rule applies in dating, do we then translate this to a 3 week rule? And how far in advance does the play date need to be planned? Do we just casually call the night before and say “Hey, if you guys aren’t doing anything tomorrow… because, you know, we’re not desperate or anything…”

Ira Isaacs: The Rise and Fall of a Porn King

I suppose I better preface this by giving those of you who don’t know who Ira Isaacs is a brief history lesson.  Well, first of all, Ira is my former boss. He is also an American film director and self-described “shock artist.” He was also convicted of five federal counts of selling and distributing obscene material in 2012. If you need any further information on him, I would suggest reading his Wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ira_Isaacs but I will do my best to give a juicier summary here.

I started working for Ira in 2003 shortly after my son was born. I was making a home video for him to distribute. I would bring the video in to his office so he could help me edit it and I saw that he was overwhelmed because the girl who was helping out in his office had quit. Before I knew it, I was gainfully employed by the man himself.

When I began working for Ira, business was booming. There were tons of orders pouring in. Ira, who came from a middle class background, was enjoying his wealth. During the three following years that I would work for him, Ira lived in a big, beautiful house in the Hollywood Hills, and owned a vintage Cadillac, a Lamborghini Gallardo and a BMW. While enjoying the high life, Ira was never a snob about the fact that he had a lot of money and he was generous with his cash. He paid his employees well and often offered to buy us lunch.  He was loyal to a lot of local businesses and did what he could to stimulate the economy.

I learned a lot when I worked for Ira. He was a very smart man with a background in advertising and I gleaned valuable information about marketing, customer service, and the computer. The fact that he saw my potential to learn, even though I wasn’t the most experienced candidate, meant a lot to me.

Now I don’t mean to idealize Ira. He had his down sides. Was he stubborn? Yes. Did I sometimes come home wanting to kill him? Yes. Was he a pervert? Yes. Was he a chauvinist? Yes. But I suppose that comes with the territory and Ira was always completely who he was, no surprises, and I was grateful for that.

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In 2005, I stopped working for Ira because my husband had opened a music rehearsal studio that was starting to take off and he needed my help running the studio and taking care of our son. While we had many successful years as owners of the studio, by 2011, our business had run it’s course, it seemed, and I looked up Ira again to see if he had any work for me.

I hadn’t really been up on the news, but anyone who had been probably heard about what happened to Ira during that time…

Apparently, the wheels were already set in motion when I was last working there. There was an IT who worked with me, I’ll call him John. John was a really likeable guy from England. The theory is that the FBI got to him and shook him down for information and evidence. All Ira knows is that someone from the office was a rat and John was the only employee that didn’t testify in court when the case was brought in. It baffled both of us that John maintained such a cool demeanor, coming into work, knowing that he was leaking information to the FBI. Did they offer him money? Did they threaten his immigration status? We will never know.

Anyway, the FBI came in there, badges drawn, and conducted interviews with the entire staff, and, suffice it to say, no one came in to work the next day. And so began Ira Isaacs’ life as a criminal.

He was tried once but a mistrial was declared because the judge who was trying the case was also found to be a fan of pornography. But double jeopardy be damned, they dragged Ira back in for a second trial.

It was at this time, between these two cases, that I began working for Ira again. It was sad to see how the mighty had fallen. The Lamborghini was gone and the Cadillac was sold during this time. He was hemorrhaging money due to the legal fees and the man who once slept well into the morning was now up early dealing with legal issues and worry. He had put up quite a battle as his own one man PR team, but now he was too poor and tired to fight and he was seeing jail as more and more of a reality.  Also, the economic downturn, and the fact that the pornography market was so saturated didn’t help matters as the orders that were once pouring in had now slowed down to a trickle.

After working for Ira another year, he let me go. There wasn’t enough work or money to justify my employment.

Ira would be put on trial two more times to fight the charges that were brought against him. He was finally sentenced to four years in prison in January 2013.

While I was working for Ira I got to see him building the defense for his case. The thing was, he was trying to fight an obscenity charge by proving that what he was selling had artistic and political value and was therefore not obscene. I was a bit torn on that one. Even I had to admit that what he was selling might be considered obscene. The thing was, he didn’t deserve to be in jail.  He wasn’t hurting anyone. If you don’t like it, you can look away.

And what’s really ironic about this, is that Ira, more so than anyone I know, lived the American dream to it’s fullest. He pursued life, liberty and happiness while fully taking advantage of his freedom of speech.  Funny though it may seem, he lived out his dreams and fantasies while stimulating the economy, providing jobs, and bringing pleasure and enjoyment to many lonely men, no matter how perverted they may have been.  It is times like this that I am ashamed of my country. Sorry, America, this time you got it wrong.

I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock N’ Roll

If anyone has lived in a big city long enough they have probably had run ins with famous rock stars. The fact that me and my identical twin sister roamed the streets of New York City and then L.A., scantily clad, with a mission to promote our rock band, probably didn’t make that any more difficult. Pamela Des Barres did a best selling rock n’ roll kiss and tell. While the ‘rock stars’ I have taken to bed read more like a who’s who of who? I still think I have some great  PG-13 rock star stories to tell so here it goes…

Dee Dee Ramone

Dee Dee Ramone was such a complicated character. He had such a great wit and truly a genius sense of humor but I believe he was also a very damaged person. It is difficult to convey this through a series of events but I will try.

The first time we went to Dee Dee’s apartment, he was living in the Chelsea Hotel with his then 19 year old Argentinean bride Barbara (who was, by the way, an awesome girl-shout out to Barbara!). My sister and I had just taken particularly strong tabs of acid. Dee Dee was so funny. I can’t remember what he said but my sister and I could not stop laughing. I think Dee Dee really liked making us laugh. I have no idea if he knew the full circumstances or cared.

The pretense of the visit was that Dee Dee was going to write a song with us for our band. When my sister and I got there, we were a bit disappointed to find out the song was already written and he would just teach it to us so that we could perform and record it. Given our state though, there was no telling what would have come out of a songwriting session and it’s a small miracle that we remembered the song at all. I guess it was still kind of cool that he gave us his song although we felt that we could have just done a Ramones cover at that point.

Eventually our relationship with Dee Dee would cool as I think was the case with many relationships Dee Dee had. He was given to mood swings and it was not long before we would see his dark side, and, as much as we loved his company at times, we knew we had to keep away.

I’m still grateful for my friendship with him and he would later give my sister and I one of the biggest compliments of our lives when he wrote about us in his fanzine, describing us as ‘big haired girls from Brooklyn who probably have biker boyfriends’. RIP Dee Dee Ramone.

Joey Ramone

Joey was a much more private person than Dee Dee so my story about him is not nearly as insightful. Joey often deejayed at the club where me and my sister ran the coat check, Coney Island High. It was great when Joey would show up for work and greet me and my sister by saying “Hey Sister Grimm!” (That was the name of our band.) Then for the remainder of the night, I watched as the coats accumulated and so many people approached Joey saying “I don’t know if you remember me but…” I thought it was so cool that of the many fans that Joey spoke to, he actually knew who we were, even if he didn’t exactly know our names.

Lemmy Kilmister

Another mainstay of the rock n’ roll scene, you could find Lemmy sidled up to the bar, at any of the hip local dives if he was in town. I have had the pleasure of running into Lemmy in New York, London, and Los Angeles. Some funny stories there…

While in New York, my sister and I were working the coat check at Coney Island High when Lemmy called in to the club to have a bottle of Jack Daniels delivered to the hotel he was staying in. My sister and I were elected to do the delivery. Lemmy came down to meet us and then asked us to come up to his hotel room. However, because we did not have ID we were refused access. Lemmy  did his best but the answer was still no, and sadly, we had to return to our East Village apartment.

However, we would run into Lemmy several more times in the course of the next couple of years and it was always great to see him. If you’ve ever heard a Motorhead song and listened to the lyrics, you can tell what an awesome guy Lemmy is and that always came through, even if he did sound like he had a handful of marbles in his mouth.

Another special Lemmy moment was in L.A. on New Years Eve, (I can’t remember the year). He was jamming with Slim Jam Phantom of the Stray Cats at Slim Jim’s Cat Club up on the Sunset Strip. The big countdown had just occurred and I didn’t think much of it when all of a sudden, who was standing before me to give me my New Year’s kiss but Lemmy himself! No tongue, but full on the lips, naughty enough but still respectable. Now how many girls can say that?

Ace Frehley

There was a club in L.A. on Melrose called The Gig (not sure if it is still there), where a group called Glam Nation had a residency. They were a group of also-ran rock stars who performed vintage cover tunes. Often they would have some impressively famous rock stars who would come up and jam with them and the evening’s guest on this particular night was none other than Ace Frehley.

After the set was over, my sister and I were wandering around aimlessly hoping someone would tell us about a really cool after party. We were approached by a woman who was the spitting image of Bobbie Fleckman (if you don’t know who Bobbie Fleckman is, do your rock n’ roll homework and watch Spinal Tap) who asked us if we’d like to join Mr. Frehley at this hotel room… would we??!!

After some finagling, this woman finally extracted the whole gang out of the club and to the hotel room. Although the years have made the night somewhat fuzzy, highlights include Ace singing and playing guitar to ‘2,000 Man’ for me and my sister, Ace being escorted into the bathroom every hour or so, presumably to snort whatever drug was elaborately presented to him, and Ace repeatedly thinking up creative ways to tell my sister and I that Paul Stanley was gay and then giggling like a 3rd grade girl. The night ended when me and my sister fell asleep on either side of Ace in the early hours of the morning. We were treated to some room service breakfast and sent on our way the next day. I can’t remember if Ace regained consciousness the next morning. They probably told him he slept with both of us.

Bruce Dickinson

Okay, this one is sad… I actually met Bruce Dickinson at the Roxy, also up on L.A.’s Sunset Strip. He was hanging out with some people I knew and we were introduced. Bruce looked at my sister and I and said “You look like the two most interesting people in here.” And we couldn’t thing of ANYTHING to say in response other than nodding lamely and saying ‘thank you’ or something like that. To this day, I regret not having come up with a more clever response AND to this day, I still can not think of one.

As my memoirs draw to a close, I struggle to think of a poignant introspection that might succinctly conclude this chronicle of my rock n’ roll adventures. But instead of coming up with a brilliant one liner that might even, dare I say, bring a tear to your eye or inspire food for thought, my mind is clouded with one thought only….Oh God, I hope my  mother doesn’t read this.

Anoreximonster

I guess it started when we were around 17. My mother used to leave us dinner when she went to her full time job and it was up to my identical twin sister and I to divide it.  I watched in amazement as every night turned into a drama of who took more or less to the point where every piece of food had to be accounted for to maintain any level of peace in our household. That was just the beginning.

I have little recollection of my sister’s eating habits at that point in my life. I only remember looking at her standing next to some of our friends and just fading in comparison. She had always been an exceptionally attractive girl but you really couldn’t tell now that she was sinking into an oblivion of bones and hair where other young girls shined.

In the coming years, we both would move out  of our mother’s house and live together as roommates. While I enjoyed my youth, it was shadowed by the fact that I was the main victim of my sister’s eating and exercise habits. I remember finding, of all things, a pear, that she had hidden in one of our kitchen cabinets. When I questioned her about it, she swore up and down it wasn’t hers with such conviction that I realized how deeply I had lost her to this horrible disease. Never had my sister been so fiercely dishonest with me. I knew she had a new best friend.

Of course friends and family noticed. (Yet many still couldn’t tell us apart despite our weight difference.) The biggest question was ‘why?’ But there is no answer. I have theories including our father leaving us or the fact that we were so often compared as twins. But without my sister to confirm that any of this is so, they remain just that, theories, and I honestly believe she doesn’t know the answer either.

I think what confounds so many people is trying to understand why  a person wouldn’t eat when food can be so delicious.  It seems like such a simple thing-JUST EAT! But the truth is that there is nothing simple about anorexia or curing it. I know it sounds cliché but yet it is so true that you can not help a person that doesn’t want to be helped. And I don’t just mean like, “hey, I thought I was having heart palpitations last night so I ate breakfast this morning’’ or, “sure it would be nice to look normal again but then I couldn’t fit into these really great children’s size 8 jeans that actually fit me.” I mean they need to, like really want to, like desperately want to, GET BETTER!

Treatment options for anorexia cost thousands of dollars and are not covered by any type of insurance since it is considered a ‘luxury disease’. No strapping her up to a stomach pump any time soon.

But there are two sides to every story and I feel I would be remiss if I did not point out these facts:

First, I too feel that I am a bit anorexic as are a lot of the women in my family. I look normal, though definitely skinny, and I am obsessive about my weight.

I also have to say that my sister never threw up or took any diet pills or laxatives to maintain her ungodly childlike figure. This contributes to the fact that though she remains anorexic to this day, she has not had any serious health scares (although sometimes I wish she might have, if just for the fact that it might scare her into gaining weight).

Finally, there are so many people who are overweight and yet there is such a stigmatism to being anorexic. I have gone over and over this in my mind and I can’t see how one is worse than the other.

I have distanced myself from my sister over the years. Although I will always consider her my best friend and soul mate, every time we try to do something together, I can’t help but think that she has some hidden agenda involving her anorexia.

My mother maintains a relationship with her. Currently, she tells me she thinks my sister is gaining weight and looking pretty good, although she is still terribly thin. It is true that my sister has gained and then lost weight over the years but I am too jaded to get my hopes up about anything as far as that goes.

I look at the relationship of my mother to my sister as that of an enabler. After all, if they go out to lunch and if my sister eats two more lettuce leaves than she did the week before, my mother would be happy. I would probably see the pathetic display of food and like to throw it in my sister’s face. But such is the relationship between mother and child, especially if you feel somewhat responsible for your child’s state.

My sister is still anorexic to this day. This brings her total years as an anorexic to 23, more than half her life. It amazes me that she has devoted so much to maintaining such a destructive disease, especially one suited for adolescent girls.

I troll the internet for inspiration on a way to poetically end this story. But while I study pictures of haunted females, more skeletons than girls, and hear their heartbreaking tales of  recovery or their continuing fights, I realize that for my sister, my family, and our fight with anorexia, there is no end until the end.

Growing Up Twin

Well if there was one question I got a lot of growing up, it was ‘what’s it like being a twin?” I thought I was pretty clever when I came up with the equally rhetorical answer, “What’s it like NOT to be a twin?” 40 years into it, I’m not sure if I have a better answer, but I guess if so many people want to know, it must be a blog worthy subject. Here are some other FAQs that brought my sister and I to eye rolling exhaustion, and the best answers I can provide.

How do I tell you guys apart?

Sibling rivalry. It’s probably right up there with the Oedipal Complex as far as things that will surely f*** you up later in life. Yet it was this question that caused people to dissect our features as we stood side by side smiling blankly. They looked at our hair, eyes, noses, weight, height, temperament. Each comparison fell upon us like some kind of victory or defeat… your nose turns up more, your hair is curlier, you smile more, you’re a little heavier… until, as my sister said, we wanted to disappear.

Do you know it’s every guys sexual fantasy to do it with twins?

Apparently this is a thing. However, I have sexual fantasies too and none of these involve my twin sister, thank you very much. But guys would try, oh how they would try, leading more often than not, to their own embarrassment, no matter what they may have told their friends. It’s okay. I give them an A for effort. Wasn’t there a punk song where the lyrics were ‘What Would You Do If I Said Yes’ about what would happen if a guy doled out one of his lame pickup lines and a girl actually took him up on it? Maybe these guys should have listened to that song.

But the truth was, despite all the male attention we got, dating was very difficult. After all, the guys all knew I already had a date for Saturday night…. my sister. And breaking that date would definitely lead to hurt feelings. And that was only for the boys who got through the first obstacle which was to dare to tell us apart, a rare feat not achieved by many people in general and I don’t think many even cared to try.

And there are so, so many more. If I hit her, will you feel it? Have you ever dated the same guy? Do you ever play tricks on people? (Why bother? No one knows us apart anyway.) Are you left handed and her right? (An odd phenomenon called mirror twins which we are not.) Are you identical or … (enter hear the word more than half the population can’t recall, FRATERNAL, and by the way, the answer was so obvious!!) All equally inane questions linking my sister and I together in a way that can never be altered. (Oh, and by the way, it’s a set of twins, not two twins which would then be four people.)

So yes, being a twin robs you or your individuality. Being a twin puts you in a spotlight, when there are times you just want to hide. But while I can go on and on about the negative aspects of being a twin, it only takes a few words to tell you what it’s like to have someone who is always there for you, someone who completely gets you, someone who knows what you’re thinking to the point where speech is not necessary. If you had someone like that, they would be your soul mate. If you had someone like that, they would be the love of your life. And in so many ways, that is what my sister is to me.