In other posts I have mentioned that my neighborhood has a bunch of Facebook groups devoted to the various and sundry activities, happenings and interests that involve its residents. There is a group for new moms and a group for dog owners and a group for new moms who own dogs and a group for pretty much everything else. I believe that there are about 50 of them.
I am a member of the garden plot group, with isn’t devoted to hatching schemes concerning vegetables but rather to those of us in the community who have space at the community garden. I was amused all summer by the very nice lady who had the plot next to mine and who was completely and totally flummoxed by the entire gardening experience. At various points during the growing season, and I swear on Starbuck’s head that this is true, she posted her dismay on the garden plot group concerning her plants coming in contact with bugs, water and sunshine. That at least two of the three, and realistically all three together, of those things are required to actually have plants that flourish seemed to be lost on her. At one point she wrapped her entire plot in blankets, like a vegetable garden pillow fort, in an effort to protect it from nature.
So, you know, the groups are fun.
Fun, but serious business. Specifically the access to said groups. Which, I get, to an extent. The groups are supposed to be for members of our community only. You wouldn’t want a bunch of barbarians from one of the other super nice planned communities that surround our super nice planned community banging away at the gate, getting their suggestions for the best place to take your kid for riding lessons mixed in with our recommendations for a handyman to come and fix the light bulb in the pantry which has suddenly stopped working. That shit would just be anarchy, yo.
That said, this need for upscale living environment Facebook segregation sometimes makes gaining actual entry into the group a bit of a task.
There is a group devoted to selling stuff. You’ve got a something from Pottery Barn that doesn’t work with your décor, you throw it up on this group and see if anybody with pay you $5 for it. I am currently looking for an older 4:3 ratio, 21’ or higher LCD computer monitor for a project I am working on (Incidentally, ACASPers, if anyone in the greater Northern Virginia area wants to show their devotion to the weekly ramblings of a charming fake-dad by giving him that older 4:3 ratio, 21’ or higher LCD computer monitor they have sitting in their basement, my contact info is up top). I wanted access to the “sold” group so I could look for one.
Most of the groups are closed groups, which means you have to ask for access. The sold group is a closed AND a secret group. This means that not only can you not just join it, you can’t even see it if you aren’t a member already. I knew what it was called but every time I did a search, Facebook sent me to the page of a rap group out of Toronto. I managed to find the account of the person who administers it because they also administer a number of other community related groups. I messaged them, giving them my address and asking for inclusion in the “sold” group.
They wrote back, very politely explaining that in order to join the group I had to be recommended for membership by someone who was already a member. Okay, kind of elaborate for a group devoted to moving used Ikea furniture from super nice homes and into super nice townhomes, but I understand that you don’t want people spamming the groups with fake purses and great deals on knock off Nike gear, so I’m okay with it. Also, I am a member both of a national fraternity AND an internet gaming group, so I understand the need for a solid membership procedure.
The problem was the secret part. I couldn’t see the group so I couldn’t see its membership so I couldn’t ask someone to recommend me. I was sort of hoisted by my own petard on this one. I could have sent out a general Facebook message asking if any of my neighbors were members and if they could add me but…well, I’ve poked fun at these groups on this very blog. The message would have had to have been something along the lines of “Dear Facebook, you know that thing I was making fun of last year because I am, at my core, lovable and charming but also an asshole? Well I very much want to join that thing. Because see the end part of the first sentence.”
Without even telling Cass, because she would have made fun of me for literally days, I sent out a message to some of our neighbors, people who I trusted and whose kids like me because I coached them in flag football, if they could hook me up.
And they did.
I was approved and now am a proud member of the sold group.
No monitors have popped up yet. I may have to actually ask, thus outing myself further.
I do have my eye on an awesome bee costume for the dog and am trying to figure out if I can sell produce to the lady who had the garden plot next to mine.
Note- It occurred to me that people might think I was exaggerating the blanket fort thing. God love her!