It's against the rules to poke Dena. Make a note of it.

If somebody had said to me 3 months ago, "Rhianon just poked you" I'd have looked at them with perplexed ignorance. The last time Rhi did anything related was when we were standing outside Safeco Field before a Mariners game while her husband bought a hotdog, and she bumped me with her butt. Same thing, in Facebook-world, when you live that far apart.

Fast forward,  and I'm sitting across a table from Dena with a cup of coffee in my hand, explaining just why it is I think this whole Facebook business isn't necessarily a bad way for her to promote her next book. And truthfully, knowing Dena as I do, there's a part of me that might never have suggested it.  She read more than 80 books last year. She prefers the company of her cats to that of most many(?) people. She refuses to go hear live music with me because you know what? Not actually that into music! Or crowded places. I just checked back and  she's classified as a Myers-Briggs INTJ, which makes me wonder again why I thought Dena on Facebook is a good idea. But I still do.

Dena has embraced the idea of online promotion. Not only does she have a complete business website, but she also has a site for her first book, Lessons in Stalking. AND? She blogs. Almost as much as I do. Clearly Facebook is the logical next step.  Right?

So I'm sitting in Panera trying to best explain how I use it to keep up with people I genuinely care for but may not be able to make the time to travel and see every year or even two. But that I know of people who are using it as a tool to promote themselves professionally, too.  And how one day I'll use it better to promote my jewelry, too. Then I found myself in the middle of explaining the "poke" (during which explanation my brain started screaming, "Abort! Abort! We're losing her!!!) and how it's really just a quick and easy online way to say, "Hiya pal! I'm thinkin' about you!" when you have no time or even intention of picking up the phone and calling to say so.

Dena looked me solidly in the eyes and said, "There will be no Facebook poking. You poke me and you're off the friend list!" Then we howled. And in the moments that followed, when we were catching our breath and recomposing ourselves, she sighed and said, "Why are you even friends with me? The most interesting thing going on in my life is that my cat has herpes!"

That, my dear, is precisely why I am friends with you. Rarely does anybody else make me laugh as hard as you do. But there's more, too:

  • You will comfortably and confidently tell me "no" if what I'm asking is of no interest to you.
  • In spite of your "No loaned DVDs policy" I didn't know about before I asked, you'll loan me as many as I want.
  • You turn the keys to your house over to me without blinking an eye, if you're traveling out of the country.
  • And you'll sit, seemingly enraptured, as I rant on and on about the 14 simultaneous crushes I have at any given time - with people there's no chance whatsoever that I'd actually be interested in having relationships with - and not call me a lunatic. In fact, you seem to enjoy the stories with me.
  • Plus I can call you after a particularly annoying brush with interpersonal drama and you'll bring me back to "no drama needed" land in 3 minutes flat.
  • And in spite of your own personal need for order and logic, you seem undaunted by my hyperactive brain that refuses to stay on a single topic for more than those 3 little minutes.

Dena joined Facebook yesterday. (Read her side here.) I squealed aloud with glee when I got an email telling me she'd "invited me to be her friend" (which was my first awareness that she had, indeed, crossed over to the dark side.) My Love: I will  never poke you on Facebook. I promise you now, publicly.

But I wrote on your wall...