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ceci n'est pas mariage

funny how a prank can become an interesting piece of social insight.

last night, out of a warped sense of humour and blatant cheekiness, i changed my facebook relationship status to married. it's pretty easy to get married on facebook - just a drop-down menu really. nothing to really take all that seriously. in fact, when friends who had been going out for ages went from 'being in a relationship' to 'x is now engaged to y', i doubted it and texted, just to make sure, even though it was the reflection of fact.

i kind of knew a few people would look at it and laugh, but i didn't expect anyone to take it seriously. in fact, i was genuinely surprised at the responses i got! thankfully a couple of friends went along with the gag - congratulating me on my marriage to doddsy - the guy with a great art guide to NYC and a complete lack of tact.

interestingly though, what surprised me the most, was the number of shocked reactions! some people i haven't heard from in a while, some reasonably close friends, some who've become strangers - but still, lots of reactions. like getting married still rates as a vital point in a radar for these (mostly) women (ahem, ben?). i have posted all kinds of weird and wonderful messages on facebook over the year that i've been part of the cool kids, but it weirds me out that the one that gets the most reaction is marriage.

it throws up a couple of questions, doesn't it? like what does that say about us as modern women? what does that say about me, as a person? what does that say about my friends? i'm not going to generalise really, but i will say that getting married is still, far and away, obviously a BFD - big fucking deal for people. even on facebook.

and then, what does it say about reality? and ceremony? and truth? is it enough to change your facebook status to signify marriage - will this be the new marriage rite? is this a sacred status that should only be changed with proof of a marriage certificate (seeing as people treat it as gospel). what does this say about belief? how much are we still willing to believe in what we read on the internet? these friends of mine are not stupid, i'll have you know...

can you imagine if magritte had a facebook profile? i'd be his friend, that's for sure.

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At 06 October, 2008 23:11, Blogger Age said...

Sometimes I when I'm on there I wonder what the reaction would be like from various people if i changed my profile from "single" to "in a relationship"... maybe someday...

At 07 October, 2008 01:09, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting from the perspective that, with Facebook, you get a false sense of security that you know everything that's going on in someone's life and so when they hit you with a curveball like that, you think "huh?! WTF?! Who???" And then there's that curiousity that drives people to find out who on earth would have agreed to take on one of nature's freakiest gifts. Doddsy is a generous (old wo)man.

PS. Will Oscar be christened and will you therefore try and get me to talk shit about him rejecting the devil because if so I'm rejecting your kind offer.

At 07 October, 2008 01:40, Blogger Unknown said...

i don't think i have to say ANYTHING for you to imagine what MISS JONES thinks. EYEROLL! But i will say that i love your title sosososososososoooooo much! i hope you never ever ever change one little bit

At 07 October, 2008 09:03, Anonymous Anonymous said...

age - you can change your relationship status at any time! that's my point! and, unlike me, you'll probably have to change it to reflect the fact that the love of your life has just wandered in and stomped all over your heart :) in a good way.

angus - nature's freakiest gift? prick. now i know why i chose you as god parent. and don't worry, we're only christening oscar so that he can get into a public school when i move back to england - it's all care, no responsibility.

miss jones - eyeroll in a dawn-from-the-babysitters'-club kind of way? or maybe from heathers? awesome. thank you sweetheart :)

At 07 October, 2008 10:46, Blogger Will said...

What is odd is when your work/professional life and social life properly blur.

Through Facebook, people I never knew knew each other (especially in the cottage industry known as advertising) do. It's odd.

What's more peculiar is when you unpick who's been out with someone. Or someone who knows about your relationships/used to go out with the same person. Very weird (especially when meeting them at conferences). ;)

Congratulations for little Oscar. He's got his mother's sweary behaviour, I can tell.

At 07 October, 2008 15:10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I better get an invite when you two do finally tie the knot ; )

At 07 October, 2008 15:41, Blogger john dodds said...

You want a divorce already!

At 07 October, 2008 16:39, Blogger john dodds said...

This explains why I'm alone on honeymoon.

At 07 October, 2008 17:34, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I am SO proud of you right now.

At 07 October, 2008 23:38, Anonymous Anonymous said...

doddsy, stop being so melodramatic - you know that i only married you for the british passport so i'll never divorce you, don't worry.

marcus - i did think you might enjoy this one..

At 08 October, 2008 09:50, Blogger Andy Whitlock said...

funny. last week I did (no prank) get engaged. When our facebook status was changed it was very peculiar. Getting messages from people you haven't seen in 15 years minutes later is a slightly uncomfortable experience. But facebook raises the question: is it weirder to broadcast it or not to broadcast it?

At 08 October, 2008 09:58, Blogger moi said...

I like how I was the first to comment. What does that say about me I wonder?

At 08 October, 2008 12:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

andy - well real congratulations are in order. neither of you mentioned it on your blogs, which, i know this sounds strange, feels less weird to me, than 'announcing' it on facebook. probably because blogs are a personal investment - even if only to slag off ads, or whatever.

anyway, yes, interesting quandry - what speaks louder: broadcasting or not. i guess it depends on how important the ceremony or spectacle of getting married is to you too. i learned this week that the ceremony of marriage is obviously far less 'sacred' to me than it is to others... that's it - left on the shelf :)

claire - that says that you and i were on facebook at the same time. in fact, your shock didn't surprise me, considering the discussion that you and i have had about marriage and the internet.

At 08 October, 2008 16:31, Blogger Andy Whitlock said...

thanks lauren! :)

hmm.. yeah I don't know. I generally try not to talk about me on my blog (apart from 'i saw this', 'i did that') Seems weird.

facebook is like a self-publishing family newsletter. saves you lots of conversations. ha.

also, wris announced it on facebook and if I hadn't 'confirmed' the engagement I would have been in trouble ;)

At 21 October, 2008 06:55, Blogger Robert said...

Oxygen ... I need some fucking oxygen!

At 21 October, 2008 08:11, Blogger lauren said...

it's ok rob... breathe...

it's ok everyone, rob is fine now..


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