WORDS | Thea Halpin
You know how in life there are things which you do, that are kind of embarrassing, but then you find out one day that everybody does it—like peeing in pools or taking advantage of the self-serve checkout’s lack of security. Well this is not one of those things. I thought it was one of those things that I would admit and everyone would be like “Haha that happens to me all the time as well!” But no one was like that; and I was left looking like a fucking stalker.
When you like someone (*winky face*) naturally you want to know all—if not more—about that person. A dilemma then presents itself: how does one go about achieving this without coming off as possessing that hideous personality trait of being interested? In the olden days (everything before the 90’s) this was somewhat impossible. One had to resign themselves to waiting endlessly by the phone: hoping for a call. Subtly inquiring to friends if your obsession was coming to bowling, or apple picking, or whatever the hell we all did before drinking.
It was for this reason (I assume) that Mark Zuckerburg created Facebook. You like someone—and you are definitely not maliciously/psychotically stalking them—however, you have probably looked at all of their photos, read through most of the conversations on their profile page and are starting to get the gist of all their inside jokes with their friends. This is totally normal in this day and age. Stalking is too strong of a word for the general perusal of readily available information. If you put it up there then you need to accept the fact that I may set your Facebook profile as my browser’s homepage.
However, when you are engaged in this kind of intensive research you naturally begin to find out random titbits of information about the person you are researching. And if, by the stroke of luck, you find yourself in conversation with said person—and these things come up in said conversation—one is faced with the prospect of having to act surprised. Like you didn’t know. But you did know that he played rugby. And that he went on holiday to Italy last year. And what his name is, if you have been researching (stalking) from afar.
I just assumed that everyone had this problem of having to employ acting skills and “act dumb” in conversation. Not true. Well at least none of my friends would own up to also having that problem. Why are we all so secretive about how much we know about other people? We all know that the information is out there for people to find out about us because we’ve found it out about them, but we still sit there pretending like we don’t know. For once I would like to be able to say to someone “Hey I saw your grandma last week!”
And them to be like, “How do you know my grandma?”
And I would be like, “Well I was looking through your cousin Stacey’s photo album of Christmas 2008 and saw this old woman she called ‘Nan’ and from looking up connecting your last name, your cousin last name and your mother’s maiden name I figured that this woman was your grandma too!”
Even if you are not in the habit of intense research into individuals you believe to be compatible with yourself, you are most likely guilty of the same infliction we all face when talking to an acquaintance. We all lie. We think that knowing and remembering something about someone else is a reason to be embarrassed.
If anything I should be rewarded for having a good memory and exceptional research skills. It is time we all stood together as the resourceful people that we are and embrace our shared love of obsessively researching attractive strangers!
*Please do not try to find me on Facebook. Mine is super private and random adds are creepy.