Like many internet dwellers, I was sucked in by the lure of Timehop at the end of last year. If you don't know what it is, Timehop is an app that "hops" back in "time" every day and tells you what brilliant thing you did on social media one, two, three, four, five years ago.
It's an interesting app. It's fun to walk down memory lane and see the old pictures, remember what you were doing way back when, to realize that -- holy shit -- it's been five years since I wrote about American Idol.
But there's a downside, too, and one I'm just realizing.
For one thing, I'm maybe not as funny as I think I am? For every status that makes me puff up with pride, there are three or four more that make me want to hide my head in a bag of Skittles.
For another thing, Timehop is great for reliving the happy, wonderful, funny times in your life, but when you start seeing statuses from the DARK TIMES, it gets rough.
I mean, Facebook didn't know they were dark times. I put on my usual happy, snarky, funny mask (maybe even more so to over compensate), but looking at these bits a year, two years, three years later, I can read between the lines, even if no one else can.
The pictures where I'm smiling and laughing are fake, because I wasn't actually having a good time. The status where I'm talking about the weather was a smokescreen to hide the stress and sadness. I remember posting those bits, hoping that someone would notice a difference, check in on me, but no one did, because there was no difference. Because I meticulously made sure there was no difference.
That said, for every status that makes me cringe because of what was going on in my life or because of my lame jokes, there are great old photos and posts about my kids.
They are just as funny as they always were in my head. And cute too.
John posted a 4-year-old picture the other day. It was of both of our kids, sitting on the couch together. My son was 2-and-a-half (and had his hands in his pants, as you do). My daughter was under 2-months-old.
I looked at that picture and remembered what an enigma she was to me when she was born. I felt like I knew the boy child right away, but the girl one was hard to pin down. For one thing, I had been convinced I was having another boy; so when I found out she was a girl, I felt this odd sense of loss. And a bit of, "Harpo, who dis woman?"
But now I do know her. I know she's the one who folds her arms in defiance and tells me she's not scared, then asks me to walk her to the bathroom because she's afraid there might be spiders in there.
She's the one who practiced climbing up and down from a chair for thirty minutes at a time as a baby and will now spend the same amount of time meticulously coloring a picture.
She wants to be a rock star.
Or a puppy.
Or a My Little Pony.
Or Mrs. Doubtfire.
Her favorite color is blue.
Except when it's purple, pink, yellow, brown, or orange.
She says her favorite movie is Poltergeist, but her actual favorite movie is Weekend at Bernie's.
(Just kidding. It's the Curious George movie.)
She sings Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" with so much off-key gusto, it's a thing of beauty.
At four, she's a better dancer and gymnast than I'll ever be. Not a difficult task.
Her favorite topic of conversation is, "Let's talk about what starts with the letter M."
She's the cuddliest person I ever hope to meet.
And if Timehop exists to remind me of all those things, then I'll skim through the Dark Times just to get to them.
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