I am outraged beyond belief by the despicable opinion I have convinced myself you have posted on Facebook. I have thus written this diatribe as a response, tagging you, so that your mom, that guy you met at that conference in Miami, and the other three people you know who still bother to read Facebook responses of more than ten words will all be briefed on the fact that I am extremely irate about what I think you wrote.
It is true that I have lately been looking for a reason to go apeshit on anyone, even to the point of driving slightly over the white-dotted line on the parkway, in hopes of causing another driver to give me the finger while passing me so that I could blame him for sparking a road rage incident that could potentially land me in the morgue. This is no doubt due to a potent combination of the unusually rainy weather; the current state of American politics; and the plot twists in this season of Game of Thrones. Nevertheless, because it is out of my power to change any of those, I have chosen to misread your status and place my anger squarely on your shoulders (and Facebook page).
In fact, even though we have known each other for over half of our lives, I hereby disown you entirely. Later today, after I have read all of the responses that our mutual friend Marie will post to this tirade, and pose a few rhetorical questions and logical fallacies in response, I will destroy all reminders that our lives have ever intersected in any way. If this means burning my copy of our high school senior yearbook, changing my daughter’s middle name, and serving our parish priest with a cease-and-desist order so that he no longer asks me how you are, so be it. What I think you wrote is more upsetting than doing all of these things. You are dead to me.
The depth and vigor of my response may be surprising to you, especially since I have entirely and completely misinterpreted what you wrote, failing to grasp the tone, substance, and point of your status. Yet I hope you will understand that in these trying times, it is extremely important — nay, it is of utmost importance! — that I be allowed to jump wildly to a conclusion that is not supported by the facts in any way. Further, instead of being abashed by Marie’s replies, which will point out that I am “completely wrong” and possibly “did not read the status the whole way through” and might even be “in need of some serious downtime, like, get offline, friend-o,” I intend to use them as further proof that everyone is against me in every way and that I have nothing in common with any other human being on this planet. I will then post a meme quoting the Dalai Lama.
That I will try to connect your status to my growing concern about my ability to protect my children’s health and well-being (emotional, mental, and physical) must be allowed without comment, at least if you hope that we can ever be friends again — which we cannot, at least until a year goes by, and Facebook shows me this posting as a memory. Then, I’ll re-read your original status, and it will make me chuckle, because now I will finally get the joke, and then I’ll realize, Oh, Lordy, I completely got the whole thing wrong last year, and I’ll wonder how I could have ostracized one of my oldest and dearest friends even to the point of burning my National Honor Society pin because we were inducted together in our junior year (and which, by the way, was not easily set on fire, so it ended up burning me pretty badly on on my right finger in a way that still hurts from time to time). Full of remorse, I will reach out to you to say I’m sorry, and you’ll be like, “Well, everyone was crazy at that time because of the president,” and I’ll say, “I’m uncomfortable with you using the adjective ‘crazy’ so cavalierly,” and you’ll say, “But seriously, weren’t you crazy?” I will really want to push the point about the importance of thoughtful language choices, but I won’t. I’ll decide to just let it go, and we’ll grab a beer at Ralph’s Inn just like we used to and things will almost be back to normal because a relationship based on trust and loyalty can withstand even my needing to go apeshit so badly I kinda deliberately misunderstood your harmless Facebook status.
But! In the meantime, we’re all stuck here in this miserable cesspool that is the current epoch in American history, so I’ll conclude this onslaught by saying that I have never been so outraged as I am by my partial reading of your status and I wish you ill, based on the extreme hurt you have not actually caused me, but which I caused myself by wildly misunderstanding your status update.
In conclusion, I’d also like to take this opportunity to blame your Facebook status update for the fact that I will be a little brusque with my children tonight, and that I’ll be upping the stakes on my commute tomorrow to driving 5 miles under the speed limit, because I already suspect, as I near the end of this tirade, that writing this is actually not going to make me feel better in any way at all.
Now that I am done, I see that it did not. I blame you.