Tuesday, August 02, 2011

My current dilemma, maaaan

Basically, every North American I encounter these days makes me wonder: "Do you play softball?" (I am apparently not the only one like this). Yeh, yeh: you think I'm racist cos I assume that all NAers are good at ball. Yeh, so wot? Sue me. In my experience, I have found the greater the propensity for naturally lacing the word "man" in conversation (as in "No way maaaaan, that was soooo out."), the higher the likelihood that the person is shit-hot at softball. So the USer that I met at the Scottish Book Trust, only likely to say "maaaan" in an ironic way: an OK and improving baller.

Now the new kid I recruited - Mr Maaaan, mayor of Maaaaaan Town: confidently balling. All his convo is about balling: batting, fielding, baseball ("Maaaan, the Pirates fucking suck maaan."). So how exactly did I meet Mr Maaaan? Well, there's the dilemma.

Basically, I met Mr Maaaan when he and his child came to visit our school in the spring. After spending some time waffling about whether or not I should ask him to play our little reindeer game, I approached him and he happily agreed to take part. This is really the first time I've allowed someone who is not another teacher to see me in not Ms Teacher mode. Basically, Mr Maaaan has seen me exclusively in my rude, profane, bolshy Me mode, not the lovely Ms Teacher side I like to cultivate to parents.

But now he's asked me to be a friend on the FB. And I'm waffling over this friendship request like no other, as some of you yahoos can attest to. (I've got issues!) I don't wanna out and out ignore him, cos like I said he's an a'ight guy. But it's about the boundaries, innit, and the inappropriate crossing thereof. Isn't it just inappropriate for a parent of one of my kids to want to be my friend on the FB?

On the other hand, this isn't really his fault. In fact, this whole thing could have been prevented if I had thought a little bit more about my actions. I mean, what the fuck did I think was going to happen when I asked him to play softball on my team? That we would somehow stay in these little bubbles where I would always be Ms Teacher and he would always be Mr Maaaan and our real adult personalities of Me and Maaaan would never emerge? I asked him to engage in a social context with me and now I'm freaking out that he actually wants to do it. I'm thinking hard and getting wrinkles cos I think he's crossed a line, but in reality, wasn't it me the one who did?

Actually, I don't think I really have a problem being his friend. This little rant has been about trust and wondering if I can I trust Mr Maaaan with all my personal shit on the FB? Yeh, I've already given him a precursor to my FB self when we play, with all my cursing and inappropriate stories - so wots the difference? The difference is all that stuff I've verbally shared on the field is temporal, having only a fleeting life in one's memory.

Ok, think about it like this: when he goes home to Mrs Maaaan and she asks if anything good happened, he might say, "Ah maaaan, Ms Teacher was telling me this hilarious story about these people shagging loudly on her holiday in France!" And she would say, "What happened maaaan?" And he would reply, "Yeh maaaan, I can't really remember it all." Cos that's what face-to-face interactions are like: filled mainly with silly, inconsequential moments that somehow establish a feeling of friendliness amongst people. But pictures of my drunky bear antics on the FB, however, are permanent. And can be reviewed on the regular. With snorts and chortles.

And can I trust Mr Maaaan, or even Mrs Maaaan, not to share my shit with other parents and other folks? And what if he shows it to his kid? "Hey Lil Maaaan, look at Ms Teacher getting fucked up in this pic! Maaan, that's awesome!" Cos ultimately, even when parents are friendly to you and share a laugh with you, they are still your quasi-employers. Their bottom line is to protect their little one. Our friendship, as fun as it could be, could be thrown out the water if Mr and Mrs Maaaan are totally different when they are in Mr Dad Maaaan and Mrs Mum Maaaan mode.

Of course, I'm the one who's letting this play on my mind, on and on. Mr Maaaan thought all of two seconds about this, only thinking about how to find the 'Request friend' button on the FB . How do I know? Cos he's a man and so you know there was no girly dilemma chat in his head with his actions. I so need to maaaan up.

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Anonymous Zandra said...

Don't friend him. Never friend coworkers or people you work for that you are not already friends in real life with. "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!"

Friday, 5 August 2011 at 21:08:00 BST  
Blogger Lorna and Iain said...

You make me laugh.
I love your writing.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011 at 09:05:00 BST  

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