Sunday, July 7, 2013

Pizza Posts

Back in April, the day after the Boston Marathon bombings, I was "scolded" on Facebook for posting a picture of a pizza my family and I were enjoying for dinner. Of course, I never intended any offense. I had earlier written of my shock at the senseless act of violence and had said a prayer for all those affected by the bombings. But I found myself apologizing to the "friend" who told me that in light of the tragedy, that my post was unimportant. At first I felt embarrassed. I thought, “Wow. I’m truly insensitive. Of course, my pizza is a stupid thing to post today”. But then, I gave this more thought. The woman who had scolded me was someone I had met only a couple of times. I had never truly known her, nor had she ever known me. Her comment felt patronizing. Was I wrong to have posted something so frivolous that day? Bad timing or not, I was on a weekend trip with my family. What was I allowed to post? What was appropriate and what wasn’t? Who was she to critique my sharing of a family experience? The next morning,  I made the decision to "unfriend” this acquaintance.  It was something I did out of respect for myself. 

You see, it’s not that I can’t take or don’t welcome criticism when it’s warranted. I’m not so sensitive that I cannot listen to rebukes or challenges. I realize that the woman was hurting. She had a direct connection to some of the wounded. Maybe it was good for me to apologize to her the way I did and maybe it was insensitive of me to unfriend her. But I did both and I stand by my decisions.

Two weeks ago, when my Dad died the day before Father’s Day, I knew what the next day would bring. Everyone would be wishing their fathers a “Happy Father’s Day”. There would be last minute reminders to send cards and gifts that I would see on television and radio commercials. Facebook would be bombarded with pictures of happy sons and daughters celebrating their Dads. I thought of how I had planned to call my own Dad that Sunday and how his Father’s Day card would arrive on Monday, a few days too late for him to have received it. I thought of the bag of gifts I had purchased for my husband, a father of three, and the card for him I had not yet signed, and of all the future Father’s Days I’d see pass without my Dad. Despite this, I browsed the beautiful messages and pictures that came up on my feed on Father's Day. I didn't resent anyone's post.

This past week I witnessed disgruntled store customers making their way through cramped grocery aisles on the Fourth of July. I overheard people complaining about cell phone plans and broken appliances. And in the midst of my grief over the loss of my Dad, I have found myself smirking at all this. None of these concerns of people are “important”. But unless you are touched by tragedy, you don’t stop to think that way. And it’s my opinion that THAT is okay. It’s okay to live your life--proudly posting pictures of your Dad who is alive and well on Father’s Day or frustratingly complaining about cramped grocery aisles or broken appliances. It’s okay. Life goes on. And even when you’re the one affected by death, life’s reminder that none of us are immortal and that there are more important things to be concerned with, the world is going to continue turning. As it should. Pizza posts and all.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, sister! It gets awfully hard to communicate when you can't share, for fear of offending who-knows-who.