There is a time to be cute, but this isn’t one of them.
At 5:30 this morning, I lumbered out of bed and went on to the computer to check the daily weather report. Keeping with my morning ritual I checked Facebook. One of the top things on my news feed was a very long post from my cousin, who usually only posts short clichés with numerous symbols. The post was from her father. He explained that he had found my cousin unconscious in her room with pills lying about. You could tell he was worried and scared, more evident was the fact that he hardly knew his daughter because he asked her friends what was going on. I may not have the message entirely correct, being that it was only a few minutes after I had woken up and in Spanish, but the bottom line was that my cousin had overdosed on drugs and was now in the hospital.
Throughout the day, wall posts poured in from her friends. (A post from me would have been among them, but truth be told my cousin and I aren’t very close and I wasn’t entirely sure about the authenticity of the Facebook message.) It’s still uncertain if this was an attempted suicide or a situation that went far out of hand, but nonetheless, she almost died. It’s wonderful of her friends to be giving her support in such a tragic time. Their love is exactly what she needs. But, they could have had some decency in the way they expressed it.
In the first wall post a girl writes, “Her Name* You Are In MY Prayers Tonight . I Hope You Are Okay &nd Feelin` Better ♥” Why are all her words capitalized? Okay, okay, it’s a form of self-expression, its cute. But this is not the time to be cute! This Is Not The Time To Proclaim Your Individualism ♥. Secondly, why is there an emphasis on “MY”? The emphasis makes it seem as though she is competing with all of my cousin’s other friends to tell God that she was in HER prayers, as if praying allows her to claim the tragedy and make her a holier person. I thank this young lady for putting my cousin in her prayers, but there’s no need to show off and blast it in the face of the Facebook world.
Post after post the Internet slag kept rolling in: “ima pray for you tonight” “hope u r okaii and pray for ur fast recovery from hospital.” “ihope your okay please hmu when ucan ilove you mija nd your in my prayerz” You want her to hit you up? She’s in your prayerzzzz? Seriously? Show some respect and write things out correctly. When it’s informal conversation about trivial matters, go ahead and litter your speech with phonetic spelling and slang, but not now, now is not the time. One post attempted to bring in some light hearted comedy, but failed and was the most offensive. “ily bby♥ no homo lol” read the post. No homo? Hi, I love you baby, but not in a romantic homosexual way of course. I clearly thought you were immature enough to confuse my honest concern with homosexual pursuits. I’m laughing out loud at how ridiculous that would be!! I understand that it was (hopefully) said in good jest and that humor is often the best medicine, but it seemed insensitive.
Later in the posts one boy posted that he and a few friends had stopped by the hospital with flowers and Chips Ahoy. A kind and loving gesture considering that Chips Ahoy are my cousins all time favorite food. Annoyingly, they weren’t just there to deliver their gifts and show their support. They took pictures and posted one. The boy is smiling while my cousin hides her face behind her hand. She almost died a few hours ago! And there the kids are seizing the opportunity to have another photo to tag people in. In their defense, my cousin did seem like she wanted to be photographed, which is quite upsetting. Just like her friends she’s milking the situation for publicity, for attention. That’s not the kind of attention those kids need, my cousin needs her family to be more involved in her life. But who am I to walk around like I know everything? I really don’t.
There were very sincere posts, free of unique spellings and typos. These people showed their honest concern and sent their love to a girl in need. Like them I hope she recovers. I hope this was enough of a wake up call for her family to get their act together. The time to be cute has ended. It's time to be adults. These issues are serious and we need each other to get through them.
*Names have been omitted from quoted Facebook statues