28. December 2021 · Comments Off on Consider a Fair Warning · Categories: Random Book and Media Musings

OK, prospective Facebook and/or other social media prospective and aspirational friends, those who have occasionally favored me with ‘friend’ requests, because other friends/acquaintances of mine have friended you, most usually in trusting error … let me bluntly explain why I have not favored you with acceptance of your kind offer, or with replies to your messages. I am a writer, a scribbler of historical fiction and contemporary rural comedy – I am emphatically not a rock star, a movie actress, or filthy rich. As a collector of fans for such works of fiction which I produce, I am not interested in slavish adoration, merely a courteous and mutual exchange of good will and friendly if somewhat remote interest in each other’s lives, loves, interests and hobbies.

This goes double for other writers – Hi there, we share the same addiction to telling stories, and anxiously checking on our sales rank and our hopefully generous royalties in hopes of turning a hobby into a profession. Nice to know ya! (No, I don’t want to know the name of your agent, or your publisher. I moved beyond playing the trad-pubbed game about fifteen years ago.)

If you are a male of certain years, claiming to have some high-powered job, like a surgeon or a serving military officer of somewhat elevated rank, list on your profile that you are divorced, widowed or otherwise single and yet have no more than three or four pictures on your profile, including one of you with a cute animal, or sailboarding, or your graduation from some high-end uni, I am most emphatically not interested. Especially if;

– there are only those three or four pictures.

– you claim to be currently in some exotic locale like … Doha. Syria. Boston. Or until late this year, Afghanistan. Look, guys; I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

– if the picture includes you, or someone you represent to be you, clad in a military uniform with a nametag or patch on it, and that name does not match the so-called name on your profile …this merits an automatic delete. In the military that I used to belong to, not the fantasy one apparently inhabited by romance scammers, we used to call this ‘attention to detail.’ Lack of it can occasionally be fatal.

As an aside – general officers usually have no leisure time to screw around with their social media profiles or with pitching woo to unknown single ladies of a certain age. Such gentlemen might have a lot of pictures of themselves out there on the ‘net, which can provide fodder for the occasional romance scammer, which is why such characters show up so often among my friend requests. I understand that male models with a large portfolio online frequently have their pictures hijacked for the same purpose.

– there is a certain embarrassing lack of familiarity with Western naming conventions which often reveals itself in such invitations. I understand this kind of thing can be confusing to Third Worlders with radically different naming conventions. But a pitch for friend status with a radically unsuitable name, like a surname for a given name or vice versa … oh, sorry – gong! Not going to get specific with examples, as I don’t want these a-holes to sharpen their game.

– finally, addressing me as ‘dear’ or with any other terms of affection on bare minimal acquaintance through the medium of a private message through FB will earn an automatic banishment.

Consider yourself to have been warned – respectfully submitted,

Celia Hayes




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