I love dead people more than the average person. They never say no. They quietly subject themselves to listening. They’ll give you the shirt off their back without question. If you think about it, they’re quite lovely. Yet, I am deeply uncomfortable—go figure—with posthumous requests for friendship on Facebook and Twitter.
In college, I dated a guy named “George.” I almost let him fuck me with a baggie over his cock because we didn’t have a condom. As a result, he became memorable. When he friend requested me on Facebook, I accepted. Eager to find out what he’d been up to, if he got married, had kids, if he was still single and if he ever found himself, I checked his wall, only to discover that he was maybe, kind of, sort of… dead. I wasn’t sure, so I emailed and asked.
Hey, George, Thanks for the friend request. Quick question, are you dead? I’m asking because your wall is littered in posts from friends alluding to your demise. Hit me back in spirit or via email. —Katie
When I opened George’s email, I noticed that it was his email address.
Hi Katie, What a weird email to send, “Quick question, are you dead?” Is that really an appropriate thing to ask? If you must know, George is no longer with us. “Dick”
Right, I’m the weird one in this equation. We went back and forth via email a few more times.
Dick- How and when did George die? Katie
Katie- The family would prefer not to disclose how George died. The point of the Facebook wall is for friends to share their stories about George. Dick
I see, Dick, well, if I’m going to be friends with a stiff, I’d like to know how he peeled. After all, his junk did plunge into my vagina, so there’s that. I’m happy to be friends with dead George; I just need to know how he died.
Here’s the thing with me, if you tell me someone is dead, but not how they died, I’m like a dog with a bone, I NEED TO KNOW.
Katie- I can’t believe George was friends with such a potty mouth! I will not tell you how he died! If you continue to ask, me/George will unfriend you! Dick
Aside from my grave disdain for excessive use of exclamation points (Generally, I’m an All Caps girl. Though, admittedly, I do commit literary adultery with exclamation points), how odd to assume that dead George would want to unfriend me. So, what? Dick’s the authority on what dead George wants?!
Listen DICK- George wasn’t a fucking saint. One of the things he loved about me was my outspokenness and ability to curse him under the table. Dead George would not unfriend me. Come to think of it—Dead George wouldn’t even have a Facebook page. He HATED SOCIAL MARKETING. Furthermore, using his email address is beyond creepy. You’re like . . . like dead George adjacent at best. Go ahead, unfriend me, see how dead George feels about that.
Instead of unfriending me, Dick posted about me on dead George’s wall, implying that I was a troll. To say that I was incensed was an understatement. HE FRIENDED ME. I was boiling, and wrote an epithet on dead George’s wall saying as much. Within minutes, all of dead George’s friends, including dead George’s DEAD FATHER, cursed me three ways to Sunday.
So, here’s the deal, if you’re dead, do me a solid, don’t friend me.
Katie Schwartz is a comedy writer, producer and essayist, among other writerly things. She collects vintage tchotch, not bodies, which is surprising considering her obsession with death humor. You can catch her weekly column at Monkeybicycle and other print work on Huffington Post, Exquisite Corpse, or here. If you’re not bored to death, watch some of her produced work at FKR.TV, FunnyOrDie or on the YouTubes.