Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Morning Grumbles

Last Monday night I took a friend to the emergency room, from which we were released 3 1/2 hours later. The friend is healing well with only bruises. She appears more shaken by the knowledge that she cannot, at 70-something, simply keep forging ahead  full tilt until the job is done. She has to take breaks; she has to learn to stop when tired.

This is something I learned at 40.  Last week's  lesson is harder. I cannot go near emergency rooms. I've spent parts of  the past week flat on my back, feverish, depressed, lacking energy, foggy-brained. I cough up green phlegm. 90 minutes in the garden wipes me out. The cats said  a walk around the block was out of the question and herded me back to my own yard. When I'm tired, I'm waspish and judgmental and spend too much time reading Facebook.

Which is how I discovered that Facebook had been hiding posts even from folks designated Close Friends, and substituting posts from companies I had indicated I liked. When Trending Articles appeared in my feed, it was too much. I don't want to see anything from the Huffington Post. Did FB assume that because I occasionally followed links to articles from the NYTimes and the Manchester Guardian, I wanted predigested pap delivered in a smug, sly, confiding tone? To get Trending Articles removed from my feed I had to click Hide on 3 articles before I was offered the choice of removing Huff Post from my feed. Stupid.

I spent time indicating companies that I do like in order to get FB to stop feeding me ads from singles companies and death merchants. Now I get ads from bead and craft suppliers, furniture stores, and targeted clothing ads. This is an improvement, but I do not want their merchandise updates in my FB feed, and especially do not want them taking the place of random thoughts by friends. Usually, the Hide option offers permanent removal.

Some ads are offensive. I do not believe that wearing a charm bracelet and tucking my hand in my back pocket will make my rear end any smaller, and I do not care for companies that routinely refer to lady parts as boobs and butts. It feels like a slap in the face. I know that using certain words decreases their shock value, but I don't want those words in my vocabulary. Bottom, behind, rump, posterior, backside -- those are all acceptable. I prefer the term breasts to all other slang and nonslang terms. I prefer to be treated with courtesy by companies I don't know. A "hey girlfriend" followed by terms I find nasty? I don't care what is being sold. Perhaps the target audience is 14-year-olds with disposable income and foul mouths. I'm over 15, living on the edge, and while I may be familiar with slang and curse words, they are not the first things out of my mouth.

While I'm complaining, why is it that I develop an urgent need for sponges and scouring pads at the end of the month, when I'd prefer not to spend any money?