I mentioned here last month or so that I decided to do a facebook thing. So I did. I found some cousins and an uncle, reconnected with some college pals. I friended some of the folks I hang out with. I found a couple of Peace Corps friends.
And then I got a friend request from a student. I'd decided that I wasn't going to be posting pictures of my at wild drunken parties, mostly because I'm not much of a wild drunken party type. I'm more a late at the library type. And so I'd decided I'd accept friendship requests from co-workers and students.
The other day, I put up an old picture from my PCV days, and the student responded that I was "gorgeous." I have to be honest, I'm at best plain. I'm just not physically attractive, haven't been since I was a little kid. (I'm sure I got the Funny Looking Kid comment on the pediatrician's file.) I'm not putting myself down about this. Some of us have to be below average, you know? And that's where I put myself.
The thing is, the "gorgeous" comment felt totally weird and wrong to me, and I'm trying to figure out why.
I don't think, for example, that the friends I have who are administrators will get me fired.
I don't think my old college friends will suddenly think badly of me. Nor my Peace Corps friends, nor family.
But maybe it feels weird to be judged that way by a student? Is this a social status thing for me? If an old college friend had posted "gorgeous," I probably would have laughed. If my cousin or aunt had, I'd have known it was because we're family.
Is it because it feels so false and bullshitty?
Is it because I don't much respect the Lake Woebegon attitude that we're all just lovely and wonderful?