How Facebook Can Make Your Life a Romantic Comedy

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Fucking Facebook. I have two FB friends who have really similar names and long black hair and who post a lot about work. One of them I'm close with -- we'll call her Jenny Smith. The other I worked with once, probs won't hang with her again -- we'll call her Jemima Schmidt. However, Jemima posted something the other day and thinking she was Jenny, I commented, "Let's have lunch this week!!" Now she wants to have lunch with me! Anna, awkward! I don't really want to spend the money, time and effort to go out to lunch with this girl. What do I do?


~Facebook Friend-Switcher

That Jemima Schmidt! In a perfect world, you could absolutely tell her, "Oops! I thought you were someone I actually wanted to hang out with. Please ignore my slapdash comment that implied we had some kind of relationship!" Buuut, you can't. I mean, you could, but it's pretty cruel. And Jemima, despite being named after maple syrup and pancake mix, seems like an otherwise decent human being who doesn't deserve to be electronically nut-punched over your dyslexia.

If you accidentally committed to something large and unwieldy, like a wedding or a time-share in Gurnee, Illinois ("The Community of Opportunity"), then you could admit you made a name faux pas and back out, no problem. But lunch is so casual, so expectationally low that there's even a dating site called It's Just Lunch, as if to say, "Yes, we know you've already half given up and we're fine with that." Lunch is 10 minutes of mouth-banging a breaded or noodled thing and then you're done. To make it even quicker, suggest hot dogs. You eat that shit standing up on the street!

Basically, the best you can hope for is to ask her when she's free and then be "busy" during those times until she hopefully gives up and chalks your behavior up to simple flakiness, as opposed to a genuine repugnance of seeing her face in non-pixelated form. If she doesn't relent, then you'll have to go to lunch, I'm afraid.

But hey, you never know. You might go to lunch with Jemima, and find that you have all these things in common that you never knew, like tacos and blow jobs and tacos. And at lunch, you'll happen upon Jemima's hot, yet untameable business associate, Alphonse, whom you'll hate at first because he's so cocky and scoffs at your selection of taco. But then slowly, through many montages of changing seasons and slow-mo shots of you and Jemima laugh-crying over clips of Steel Magnolias, you'll realize that Alphonse is actually The One, and he'll bring you a whole truck full of those questionable tacos he was snarking on all those months ago as a gesture of repentance, and Drew Barrymore will come in briefly and counsel you sagely on how you always push people away, and she'll sing "Desperado" at karaoke and oh my God, how could you never have understood it before this moment? And on your wedding day you and Jemima will be eating pancakes because she's really good at them because of her name, and you'll laugh and laugh at the day you almost didn't go to lunch with her.

At the very least, be thankful you weren't this girl:

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Social-media mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette involving technology, shoot her a question at AskAnnaSF@gmail.com. 

Follow us on Twitter: @annapulley and @ExhibitionistSF or Facebook


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Biggest unmentioned faux pas is using a FB comment thread to make plans. Why do people do that? Just send her a private message!

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