Confession: I’m not really that great of a Facebook “friend.” My timeline is one filled with shameless self- promotion. “Please buy Girl Scout cookies!” “Come to my yoga class!” I brag about my kids. I get on my soapbox about rescuing dogs. I use it to pimp my blog so that if you’re not subscribed to my Fierce Diva page, I’ve still cornered you into getting alerts about new posts (although I’d love you forever if you go like my Fierce Diva page. I mean that).
Now, if you want a timeline that’s truly worth following, may I suggest putting in a friend request to Balthazar? Balthazar, the subject of the post below, is an old colleague, whose jet setting lifestyle could not be any more different than my day-to-day and whose wry one liner status posts are laugh out loud funny. Balthazar has never once pimped Girl Scout cookies or tried to cajole anyone into taking in a foster dog, and no one in this world has ever swung more heartlessly hilarious punches at Taylor Swift (sorry fans – but even you’d be laughing at the things he says!)
This is another one of my earliest posts and one of my favorites. Once you meet Balthazar, you’ll understand why.
BALTHAZAR, THE COOLEST GUY ON FACEBOOK
"Dear Vegas, you suck. Love, Balthazar."
Balthazar has checked into the United Club at Newark Liberty International. I imagine him, young and single, hanging out in the first class lounge in a pair of Abercrombie jeans and vintage wash oxford, sipping a Bloody Mary, while I sit at my desk gulping coffee, in my yoga clothes, slightly damp from perspiration, seven a.m. on a Wednesday morning, while I enjoy a few last moments of quiet before the kids barrel down the stairs. Balthazar's Facebook status stands out like a pearl among the suburban trifles in my newsfeed. Recital photos, Pampered Chef party invites, kitchen renovations, trips to Disney World, and Balthazar, on his way to Vegas for business for the gazillionth time this year.
Balthazar has posted about his breakup with Vegas with unaffected nonchalance more than once. He's over the first class plane tickets, trendy hotels, and comped bottles of champagne. Balthazar leads a lifestyle that I let go of a long time ago for domestication. To someone like me, who does a "girls night out" twice a year, at best, I'm amused by his indifference, if not disdain, for the in-room Jacuzzis, nightclubs, and lobster dinners.
Balthazar and I knew each other for a few years during my "pre-diva" days. It was a peripheral relationship that would have faded, had it not been for Facebook keeping everyone "connected." The funny thing about Facebook is that it keeps certain relationships artificially alive well after they hit the end of their lifespan, while other relationships are resurrected in a different context. I have become a champion of Balthazar's quick, clever one-liners. He rips his anonymous co-workers to shreds, criticizes the lack of style of the people in the airport security lines, and complains about the crying toddler that they ALWAYS seat behind him on his cross country flights. I've "followed" him to Florida for some R&R, and a road trip to Albany to check out a Hot New Band. He goes out drinking on school nights and eats at trendy restaurants. Balthazar is the coolest guy on Facebook.
If you go to Balthazar's timeline, you'll see that I have "liked" almost every status he has posted. Because they're fun, unpredictable, and a diversion from middle aged suburbia. I'm not against reading about your child's baseball game or looking at your recital photos. I look forward to them. Reading your posts allows me to keep up with your life. However, Facebook is not only how I keep up with all of you, it's also my innocent five-minute brain break, my escape. Facebook is the "Mother's Little Helper" of the twenty-first century.
For a moment here and there, I go to Vegas, the Caribbean, or eat tapas with a microbrew in Hoboken, on a Thursday night. Not that I'd want to be there every Thursday night. I want to be here. Yet, Balthazar is my window, a reminder, a vicarious dip in a penthouse swimming pool while the pasta water is boiling or while the kids are in the bath.
I can't wait to see where Balthazar is going next. And thanks to Facebook, I get to go with him.
Do you have a vicarious life through a jetsetting friend or someone you know on social media?
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