is Ashton Kutcher in the house?

You may remember a post I wrote a while ago on BlogHer about Facebook and family etiquette. I was reminded of this recently, when in a kind of stinging gesture, my brother (yes, the same brother in that post) eloped with his girlfriend. And guess how I found out?

Yes, it’s true.

I found out that my brother had gotten married from Facebook.

Apparently, telling their seventy-eleven friends on Facebook was more important than picking up the phone and calling people in their actual families.

I’m getting kind of old, I think.

I waited until well after April 1 to post about this, as I wanted it to be clear–this happened in real life. I was not punked.

I have, at this point, talked to my brother, and I’ve basically forgiven him for it (although will I ever let him forget it? Not likely!). I’ve also ‘met’ my new sister-in-law, by talking to her on the phone for the first time (previously, I had only met her on teh internets). I’m feeling oh-so-very-pomo.

We did, eventually, get a wedding announcement, and I guess there were days when just getting the wedding announcement with no phone call would have seemed like the height of bad manners. Those days appear to be over.

I’ve been having some work experiences lately that I describe (mostly to the other moms that I work with) as my ‘cautionary tale moments.’ As in, ‘observe me, the mother of school-aged children, you mothers of less-than-school-aged children.’ Learn from my (and landisdad’s) mistakes. Do not forget to sign your children up for spring break camp until the week before spring break. You will be bringing that kid to work with you ever day during spring break. And that? Is BOOOORRRRRIIIINNNNNNGGGGG! Just ask my 8-year-old.

But I digress.

The thing that’s going on with my brother though, while it feels like a potential cautionary tale, is a little hard to translate into an avoidable mistake.

What I really can’t get over is that I appear to be related to a person who I only know through the internet.

I guess back in the day, when people lived in one village their whole lives, it was possible to have a cousin or something in a neighboring village whom you had never met.

But in this day of hyperconnectivity it seems both ridiculously old-fashioned and also (as previously pointed out) post-modern, to have this problem.

Do you think a complete set of William Gibson novels would be an appropriate wedding gift?


April 6, 2008. family life, meta.


  1. Procrastamom replied:

    You could just put a gift icon on his wall or send him a dozen white roses for his virtual flower garden.

  2. Sandra replied:

    Procrastamom’s suggestion is brilliant!

    I just want to say, speaking from personal experience, the reasons for doing such a thing can be extemely complicated, and may have absolutely nothing to do with his feelings for you…that’s all I can say, really. Ahem.

  3. landismom replied:

    Hah! PM, I am definitely doing that.

    And Sandra–you’re right. It’s not even that this brother is the first one in my family to get hitched by the county clerk–one of my brothers got married overseas without anyone in our family there, and at least three of my step-siblings have eloped over the years. I am in the minority for actually having had a wedding to which people were invited!

  4. MetroDad replied:

    Pretty soon, people won’t even be sending out messages that they eloped anymore. They’ll just change their relationship status on Facebook and that will be it! The future is getting stranger by the day.

  5. Jennifer (ponderosa) replied:

    I suppose it depends on your relationship with your family — but if my niece or nephew did this (all siblings and step-siblings being married already), I’d have a hard time forgiving him/her. In my world, marriage is not just about two people in love; it involves the entire family.

    I’m still having trouble forgiving one of my sisters-in-law for marrying an idiot, because now that idiot is my children’s uncle!

  6. Jay replied:

    This post is one of your best, really. It gave the giggles. A real gem.

  7. Rachel replied:

    I think PM is spot on with her suggestion.

    Being an only child, I’m not positive how I’d feel about that. I know if one of my friends got married, though, I’d at least like something really personal like a mass email with a pic of the Elvis that married them!

    I’m getting tired of the increase in superficial connections, and the loss of actual ones. Wait, that means I’m old, right? Never mind. “I’m on Facebook, add me! LOL, kthxbai”

  8. Comfort Addict replied:

    Wow, I am really out of it. It gives a whole new meaning to the term virtual reality.

  9. the end of motherhood replied:

    Just to show how utterly out of it I am, what is “pomo”?

  10. landismom replied:

    ‘pomo’ is short for post-modern

  11. Kimberly replied:

    I got dumped on Facebook. By The Man I Didn’t Marry.

    I found out we weren’t “reheating the cold soup” anymore when my newsfeed showed that he was in a relationship. With someone who wasn’t me.

  12. a hell of a week « Bumblebee Sweet Potato replied:

    […] And there’s the complicated fact that, although my blog is still pseudonymous, some of you know who I am and we’re connected on Facebook. And some of the people that I’m talking about in this post are also on Facebook. So let’s keep this stuff between you and landismom, not you and that other chick. I don’t need a repeat of last year’s Facebook drama. […]

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