Ladies, gentlemen, and individuals who choose no gender normative title, I have an announcement to make; I broke up with my boyfriend.
Like, six months ago.
I know, I know. I am a terrible person. How could I not tell my best friend, the inescapable insatiable maw of the internet the very second it happened?
But I didn't. I decided that ending the longest and most meaningful romantic relationship of my life garnered a certain amount of delicacy, and deserved a degree of privacy. So I told people slowly, and in person, and even then mentioned it infrequently. I skirted indirect questions and said nice things about my ex because he's a nice person, and just because I don't want to spend the rest of my life with him doesn't make him Hitler. Or Moussolini. Or Stalin. It turns out there are literally millions of people in the world that I don't want to spend the rest of my life in an intimate relationship with, who are also not terrible people. Apparently there is some middle ground between committed loving affection and bitter abject hatred.
But I digress.
Lately people have been bugging me. And by people, I mean those many charming casual acquaintances I would have forgotten the names of by now if it weren't for facebook, linkedin, twitter, etc, reminding me periodically of their existence. And by bugging, I mean they want to know what's going on with me. Like something's wrong. As though, after 6 months of saying nothing, carefully maintaining my privacy and conveying no explicit details about my personal life, they can all sense something is wrong.
It took me the better half of an unproductive work day to figure it out, but I have a solid theory. I look super happy. In my pictures, in my comments, in my interactions with new and old friends, everything in going really well in my life. All the evidence shows me as a woman who is winning at life; my career is on track, I have strong relationships with old friends and new ones, and I am going out into the world regularly to have fun and enjoy the simple things in life. I am actually happy. And I didn't conceal that.
Which was my fatal error.
All the pictures and new job postings and exchanges with loved ones paints the picture of someone who is happy, unburdened, and somehow wrong. Because how could I possibly be okay?
So I get the occasional message, "Hey, sweetie, it's been a while....how r u?" "Just checking in, how are you and whatshisname?" Sometimes I get a couple a week, like this week, and I run back to check that I've maintained my privacy. No chinks in the armor, but the internet has ways of knowing...and apparently my happiness and success is disquieting, and they want to know what's up.