Lately I’ve been spending some time on Facebook.
Not because I have nothing better to do (honestly there are many things I should be doing and other things that I do because I want to but don’t really need to like for example the other day when I brushed Boss’ teeth but really should have been planning schedules or putting away laundry but the little toothbrush looked like so much fun) anyways….it’s just that I haven’t really been able to sleep lately because my sleep cycle is a little thrown off. Something about too many different time zones and maybe too much dark roast. So the other night I found myself up late, bug eyed, wired in bed thinking…
…..what to do.
Well, Facebook of course. The only place you can go at 1:30 am and still find a boatload of people looking right at you.
At first I updated my own profile. Then I searched people I knew in high school. Then I realized I really didn’t care where those people were because if I did care I would just still be friends with them now. So then I searched people I used to work with. But then the memories of the jobs associated with those relationships were not really worth digging up. Then I decided to search all those that I have dated. But then I admitted the list really wasn't that long. Next I searched myself....just because. Then I searched people I ran with in high school on the cross country team to see if they were all still skinny or gave up running and got really really fat. Then I searched Chris’ old girlfriends which didn’t really do me any good because I didn’t know them then and couldn’t really tell now if they had gotten fat.
So then after all of that I found myself searching Tom Demerly.
I have no idea why at 1:30 am on a Sunday night I searched Tom Demerly. Or where I even came up with his name (I mean, who lies in bed thinking – Tom Demerly – WHO?). But why not? The man seems to have his finger on the pulse of triathlon so I figured he would be kind of like my gateway drug to a world of Facebook pro athletes, cyclists and tri superstars.
There I was looking at Tom Demerly’s friends. Well let me just say wow. Did he hit Facebook friend jackpot or what? Tom has the coolest friends ever. For example; how is it possible to be friends with the Tiny Terror AND The Bachelor?
And who perhaps of those two makes the better friend?
I had to find out more. So I looked at more of his friends. Then I started searching more pro athletes and cyclists until….until I stumbled upon the king of all my Facebook dreams…..
Could it be? The George professional cyclist Hincapie? Yes, yes it is! It is him and he has over 300 friends.
Then it hit me - could I be one of George Hincapie's friends? I didn’t know what to do. You see, I’m a little new to this whole Facebook thing. Is it appropriate for me to ask him to be a friend? And if so, do I have to include a personal note like “Hoping to be your friend because I think you’re…uh…..smockin’ hot.”
(remember Interbike 2006?)
Spelling errors aside, he’s still something to look at. And I want him to be my friend. Imagine me, Elizabeth Fedofsky, with George Hincapie, friend. First, friend at large. Then one day, friend extraordinaire. And only time will tell if in a few years there is a slight chance that he and I could be….BFF.
Now, how to go about this without coming across a little cagey and weird. There has to be an unspoken system of Facebook friendship rules. Like a hierarchy of who can ask who to be friends and how to go about it. All of this being something I am not privy to because I was born before 1980 probably making me too old for forming friendships on the internet anyways.
I start to think. There has to be a lead in with George. I can’t just write to him cold. Is it enough that I ride a bike and George rides a bike so I can consider him a friend? There’s got to be more to it than that. And if I did write to him telling him about all of my bikes and rides - at one point does it cross the line from admiring fan....to potential friend....to nothing says psycho stalker like a homemade craft?
Not that I have sent George any homemade crafts.
I look at his other friends to see if I would fit in. Some are pro cyclists. Some are family. And then there’s this guy, Greg Lemond. But come on, George. Really. If it comes down to me or Greg Lemond, trust me that you want me on your team. You want me to be your friend. Do you have any idea what my CP30 is?
Yes, I know, probably a wattage you warm up at pedaling backwards on a downhill.
Clearly I am going to have to sell this a different way. George needs to know that he needs to be friends with me.
Hmm...I start to think of my benefits. The perks of being my friend. However there are very few. So I decide the pillar of all friendships is honesty and I will give it to him straight:
Listen George, you’re just going to have to take my word that I’m a pretty good friend. But I will admit that I’m not the best. There are things you should know about me. First of all, I have a small dog who will always be my number one man. Second of all, I have a husband too. Third, I like coffee almost as much as I like both my men. So you can see how there’s not really a whole lot of room for more friends.
But I'm willing to give our friendship a try. Before I do that there are rules you should know about if you’re going to roll with me. First of all, I can pull you on a ride but I think for appearances sake I should probably just sit in your draft. Second of all, if I scream something like bottle down or lost a gel then that means we stop. No questions asked we just stop the ride (because it also probably means I am in desperate need of rest). Also, be warned that I don’t fix my bike I just ride it. So if you ride with me and I have a mechanical you’re in charge because I am under oppressive husband law against touching anything other the front wheel. By the way you also should probably not descend behind me because the last person that did ended up busting their ass. Literally. If you get ahead of me and end up taking the wrong fork in the road that will lead you down the mountain instead of up the mountain you should know that I will not chase after you to put you on the correct path. That is just the consequence of thinking you are good enough to ride in front of me. I do not make small talk, I don’t share gels and if it comes down to getting dropped or waiting for you at a light – I’m bridging to the pack. And though I know you are probably obligated by your sponsors to wear bibs I think we should spend some time talking about the cost of taking too long to pull your bibs down to take a pee. Because although you will have to stop for me about 100 times in a 2 hour ride – to change a wheel, to get a new Power Tap battery, to pick up dropped bottles, to talk me off a ledge of I can’t do this anymore – keep in mind that if the same should happen to you I don’t like to wait for anyone but myself.
So, George, perhaps the question should be – can you handle being my friend? Because it will take more than thick muscled legs and boyishly good looks to join me (code for: tolerate me) on a ride. You’ve got to have high pain tolerance to someone that is generally high maintenance (see above) and low value (see me try to pull the pack). So before you press the button Ask To Be A Friend you better ask yourself – are you ready to be friends with me?
(waiting for George's reply)
So I suppose befriending George should probably wait. For his sake, if not for mine. Because looking at the things above I realized I should probably put a disclaimer on my Facebook profile that becoming my friend comes with all those costs. Which means I will probably never have the starlet friend list of Tom Demerly. But that's ok. Because I like the friends I already have and they have already accepted me - with my quirks and faults. And they know that if I drop them at a light it's really because I'm just playing my favorite game, bridge the gap.
Maybe if George is lucky one day I'll let him play. And being a good friend of course I'd let him win.