Breeality Bites

My fake Facebook engagement to a gay guy

Remember Spencer? He was that gorgeous gay man I was going to marry this past May to protest the fact that it's 2012 and we, as Colorado residents, still can't legally commit to the loves of our lives through the public and legal acknowledgement of marriage, civil unions or whatever the hell else the government calls getting hitched these days, unless we are an opposite-sex couple.

Spenny and I were totally down with this marriage sham, especially after my friend Kalyn said she had a reality TV producer hook-up who might be interested in our story. (After all, if the two of us Virgos were actually going to get married, it was not just going to be the ultimate act of sociopolitical activism -- it was going to be for money and fame.)

See also: - Breeality Bites: Online dating for straight people: We're all just chasing the popcorn - Civil unions and pot: Colorado loves them! - Masterpiece Cakeshop refuses to bake a wedding cake for gay couple

Nothing ever came of the reality television situation, so Spencer and I essentially lost track of the project, I mean marriage. Then a few weeks ago, something compelled me to revive it. Maybe it was out of a desire to let a handful of extremely "devoted" Facebook fans of me (er, my writing) know that I was off-limits to their commenting. Things like "OMG YUR HOTTT" posted to my photos and unsolicited (and very much unwanted) e-mails sent to me by strangers who felt obliged to divulge their innermost feelings on how "we've never met, but we're totally soul mates" pushed my creep-o-meter needle springing forward. It was also enough to drive me into a fake relationship on the Internet.

Or maybe I was just compelled to cause Facebook trouble, because I'm an unabashed, self-obsessed, attention-seeking human who wants everyone to be interested in whatever I'm doing, all of the time.

Either way, I decided the engagement was happening. I even started wearing a faux-engagement ring. I texted Spencer to notify him of the change in his own status -- he had to verify the on-our-way-to-marital-status status before it posted to Facebook for everyone to see. But of course, like the perfect trouble-making companion he is, he took it a step further and hyphenated his last name, adding Davies on the end and basically declaring game on.

And just FYI: Facebook won't let you be engaged to an inanimate object or idea (I've tried to reveal myself as married to "the game" before), or engaged to a person who is not on Facebook, or engaged to a "public figure" (something I learned when I tried to change my status as married to Trick Daddy.)

By all accounts, my Facebook marriage sham worked: Bree's Fan Club For Creeps Only didn't "like" my profile picture of Spencer and me in an awkward (but strikingly passionate-looking) kiss. The BFCFCO didn't "like" my engagement announcement. These things stuck out because usually when I post any minute piece of private information on Facebook (like you're supposed to,) the dudes in this unofficial club "like" whatever I've put out there within eight seconds. "This must be what it's like to be Kristen Stewart, pre-Robert Pattinson/post-Robert Pattinson reconcile," I thought to myself. The BFCFCO are like the paparazzi of my make-believe life, and I sure tricked them! But aside from the total silence on the fan club front and the "congrats, you've joined normal adult society!" posts from my other Facebook friends, my Internet performance art had an unintended consequence: a family freak-out. My mother -- who is on Facebook, but thank god is not an "active mom" on Facebook, like some of my friends' unfortunately Internet-savvy parents -- texted me, asking me to please call two of my aunts and my cousin immediately and tell them it wasn't real. Then another one of my aunts texted me, asking in her mom-text speak "are u are u not" (see image to the right). I had dashed my family's dreams of me having a regular grown-up existence with my fake Facebook engagement.

I guess I didn't realize how serious Facebook is for most of us. I mean, it is all subjective, including when I want it to be "real" or not. Facebook is real when I want to post about my band's next show, or when I want people to read my articles. Facebook is real when I post stories about how insane I think the Republican Party is. But on my own whims, Facebook isn't real when I decide to get engaged? How does that work? Apparently, it doesn't. Because as good as Facebook is at deciding that I might need to go back to college or buy a new pair of shoes via its "tailored" advertising, it isn't so good at knowing when I'm joking.

But Facebook does trump real life, since It doesn't care if you want to be married to another person whose biologically-assigned gender might be the same as yours. Unlike Colorado, Facebook isn't stuck in the dark ages. If you're a man and a woman who think boning each other is the most disgusting thing that could ever happen between two people, you can still be "married" -- Facebook knows it isn't up to anyone but the couple to decide.

So here's to same-sex unions and staged engagements. In a modern world, it is all about how you play the game.

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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies