Interpreting the Data Part Two

More on the oddness of looking at people’s lives through the Facebook mirror…

My hairdresser in Dunedin, who is a lovely man, didn’t reply to a message I sent him and while he wasn’t replying, he was posting a lot of cryptic updates on Facebook. “He’s sick,” I thought. But I didn’t feel like it would be okay to email out of the blue, asking him what, if anything, was wrong. It’s hard to know what’s appropriate when you’re in a Facebook relationship – or at least I find it so.

He finally emailed me last week and I was so glad to hear from him that I didn’t work through the implications of what he was saying. He told me he’d had surgery and was having weekly visits to the hospital, but didn’t say why. Denial is a wonderful thing and I thought of injury and rehab rather than the obvious cancer and chemo, and kept thinking that until Travis said, “that doesn’t sound good,” when I told him about the email.

And of course it doesn’t sound good and it isn’t. I emailed again apologising for my cluelessness and he replied last night. Yes, he has cancer and it doesn’t seem that the prognosis is good.

I’m so so sorry because he is, as I said, lovely, and life hasn’t been the easiest for him. He was getting it all on track only to be hit with this situation. It sucks.

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2 Responses to Interpreting the Data Part Two

  1. iamroewan says:

    Oh, that’s really hard and I’m sorry too even though I don’t know him at all, not even thru fb. I understand how you feel too — I’m so socially inept that I’m pretty much the last person at work to clue in when something awful is happening to someone and when I finally notice they look a bit down or quiet or sad I just blurt out something totally tactless and unfeeling for which, when I find out what`s really the matter, I have to apologise.

    • Janettes says:

      Thanks. I’m sad about it, for him and for me.
      It’s always very chastening to realise that you’ve been so wrapped up in your own stuff that you’ve totally failed to notice what’s going on around you. I don’t enjoy it at all…
      If it’s any consolation to you – you’ve not been socially clueless in my experience of you. In fact, I aspire to your self-possession!!

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