Social Media is fantastic, and social media is awful. Being a comedian, actor, and writer; Ive been able to communicate, meet up with, and befriend some pretty famous or well-known people, simply by talking to them on Twitter or Facebook. I would have never had the opportunity to talk with these people, if we didn’t banter back and forth in a Facebook status update, or if I didnt post one of my YouTube videos / characters like Maggie Bubbles on Twitter, and have it retweeted or shared by someone I admire. Hell, my biggest Twitter claim to fame to this day is making a comedy video a few years ago that mocked the Twitter popularity of Ashton Kutcher (he has over 10 million followers and he tweets stuff like: “I’m drinking coffee.” Its mind boggling.) I tweeted the video link to Gregg “Opie” Hughes from The Opie and Anthony Show, he tweeted it to Ashton Kutcher on my behalf, and then Ashton Kutcher posted the link; giving me instant semi-Twitter fame. Of course, half of the people that watched the video were Ashton fans, so they hated it, and really hated me.
I didn’t really care though, since I started up conversation and banter with Opie, which then turned into me doing a comedy video on his YouTube Channel (@OpieRadio) where I walked into a McDonalds and ordered the McLobster, which then turned into being featured in a second video called “Occupy Wall Street: I Need Attention”; which ended up being reposted all over the place and getting some minor “viral” status. Now, in a weird way, I consider Opie a friend. He has continued to be supportive of me and my comedy, and what can I say, I like the guy. The fact that my brother and I both listened to his radio show since we were teenagers back in Massachusetts, just makes it a thousand times cooler. The fact that Opie is a genuinely nice, hilarious, real person is what makes it go from cool to pretty damn special.
I also met my good friend Jay Such because of this Ashton Kutcher video. He also found it funny, and had me call into his comedy podcast “The Some Guy Show”, to talk about it on the air. Now, all this time later, we have become friends, and I have driven out to South Jersey 4 times now to be a guest on that very same podcast. Honestly, it is one of the few things that I actually look forward to and enjoy doing right now. Most days lately, its pretty hard for me to try and figure out a good reason to keep waking up in the morning. But whenever we do that podcast,We laugh so much, that for an hour, I can almost forget that my husband is gone and I’m scared out of my mind for my future. Almost.
My friendship with comedian Elayne Boosler began much the same way … on Facebook. I had posted a silly video called “I Love You Cat”, of me talking to our cats and crying in their faces; begging them to please never leave me. Our cat Autumn gave the best double take look into the camera that I have ever seen from a pet. Elayne is an avid lover of animals, like me, and one of her proudest accomplishments is her rescue animal foundation; Tails of Joy. She loved my video and shared it on her page, and we just hit it off. Before I knew it, we were messaging one another, calling one another, and even meeting up for dinner at a NYC diner with some other comedians after her comedy show. Elayne was one of the first people to come forward after my husband died with her support and genuine words of comfort. I am so grateful for her friendship, and I only wish that Don could have been around to see it further blossom. He really loved and respected Elayne; for her comedy but especially for her pure love of animals. He used to tell his overnight EMS partner while at work: “My wife is hangin with Elayne Boosler tonight and Im stuck here with YOU!” The last time Elayne and I hung out before Don died, I told her how much Don wanted to meet her, and we talked about the four of us (Don and I, and Elayne and her husband) getting together for a dinner party in August. I went home that night and told Don, and his eyes lit up. He said: “Boo is hangin’ with the elite now! Couple more years and I can quit my jobs and live off you forever!” He always joked about us getting rich one day from me becoming famous. “No more Little Debbie Snack Cakes for me! We rich now! I’m eatin’ Hostess!” Unfortunately, our foursome dinner party never got to happen, and Don never did get to meet Elayne. I wish like hell he did, because I truly think we all would have ended up becoming wonderful friends.
So, for these reasons and many others, I really can’t knock Social Media. It has helped me greatly in furthering my career and networking with a gigantic array of people from all over the place. However, sometimes people act like idiots when using social media, which can create a lot of problems. People are always talking about how “Facebook” broke up their relationship or marriage, because their spouse had an affair with an ex-girlfriend from high school or some shit after contacting her on Facebook. In my eyes, if you are going to cheat, you are going to cheat. Things like Facebook just make it a hell of a lot easier to do so. But its not the website that is evil … its YOU. It’s the person doing the cheating, or the lying, or the hiding. And in the case of posting stupid-ass things on Facebook or Twitter; it is the act of the person posting; who doesn’t THINK before they type.
Since Don died, there have been a number of tiny “incidents” involving postings on Social Media. I say tiny, because in the grand scheme of things, they don’t REALLY matter. But I say incident, because, they do affect me and make me angry or upset, so therefore, they are valid. There are too many to count, but a few of them stick in my mind. One insensitive jerk on Twitter sent me a tweet that said: “I get that you are hurting, but why does EVERY tweet have to be about your husband’s passing?” It really pissed me off. First of all, every tweet is NOT about my husband’s passing. I have actually tried pretty hard to still throw some jokes in there, and keep things with a bit of variety. But guesswhat? My fucking husband just died. So yes, I am going to talk about it. It JUST happened. So fuck off.
Second, I hate the term “passing” when talking about death. I just loathe it. It’s one of those words people always whisper when they say them: “Oh yes .. her husband … he passed last month. So tragic….” He passed. Passed what? It makes it sound like he passed a kidney stone or something. He DIED. My husband died. That is what happened, and it’s okay to say the word. And stop with the whispering. I am AWARE that he died. There’s really no reason to whisper. Lastly, this Twitter douchefuck doesn’t know me at all, and didn’t know my husband or anything about our relationship. So for him to sit there and pass judgement and tell me how to run my Twitter page, really annoyed me. I wrote him back, telling him that his comment was very rude, and if he doesn’t like my tweets, stop following me. His response was even more dumb: “I wasn’t being rude. I just was wondering when you are going to get back to normal.” Get back to normal. Normal. This is when I knew I was dealing with a moron of epic proportions. This is someone who has obviously never felt real love, and never lost that real love in a split second. This is someone whose biggest problem in life is that he ran out of beer that night and the liquor store is closed. Because if this asswipe understood anything about grief or death, he would realize that there is no such thing as “getting back to normal.” It just doesn’t exist. There is “new normal.” That’s the new reality you now live in, after your husband dies way too young. There’s that. And thats not something anyone can possibly understand unless they have gone through it. People are such idiots. I mean, what do they think? Sometimes I think that people ACTUALLY think that when you lose your husband, who was only 46, and who died in seconds with ZERO warning, that you have a period of being upset and sad, and then one day you simply wake up all sunshiny and bright and go: “Well there it is! Im BACK TO NORMAL!!!!” Doesn’t work that way, asshat.
Months ago, I posted this status update on Facebook: “Today is my last day in Massachusetts. Headed back to Jersey and the kitties in the morning. Not looking forward to being in our apartment without Don ..but need to attempt this thing called “life” again. Wish me luck!” A lot of people did wish me luck, told me I am strong, to hang in there, they are here for me, and a bunch of other really nice and helpful things. And then there was this comment:
“Be glad you have your health, Kelley. Remember some of us are living with diseases which make it difficult to just get out of bed. I’ve got rheumatoid arthritis, but some have way worse.” Well, alrighty then. What the hell is THAT supposed to mean? What does your rheuumatoid arthritis got to do with my husband’s death, or ANYTHING for that matter? Nothing. Disease …. losing a spouse. I’m sorry. I don’t see the connection. BECAUSE THERE ISN’T ONE! They are two completely different issues. It makes zero sense to bring up one when talking about the other. I suppose the purpose of saying something like that is to make me feel “grateful” for all the things that I COULD be dealing with , that Im not dealing with. But honestly, I never saw the point to that argument. Its like when you were a kid, and you didnt want to eat your vegetables, and your mom would say: “Now, eat everything on your plate! There are starving children in Africa!” Yeah. So? Whether or not I finish my green beans, they will STILL BE STARVING! Me eating or not eating my food has absolutely nothing to do with them being starving. Starvation will always be a problem, and the only way to combat it is to help them! Send money, help solve the issue of them not having enough food supply. And guess what? These green beans are still fucking disgusting and Im still not eatin’ em.
So if I tell you my husband just died and you say, “Well, at least you don’t have rhuemotoid arthritis!”, I’m going to look at you like you’re fucking nuts. Unless you leave it as a comment on Facebook. In that case, I will just THINK you are fucking nuts and say nothing, and then write about it in my book later on. No, I don’t have arthritis. I also dont have AIDS, lupus, lyme disease, or a weak bladder. And hey, at least I’m not headless! You know, some people are walking around earth without a HEAD. So be grateful you have a head! And legs. There are some people who have no legs. And if they grieved the loss of their legs, would you say to them: “Well, be grateful you’ve got a torso! You know, some people don’t have a torso! Or eyes. At least you have eyes. I know a guy with no eyes, no torso, no legs, no arms, and no face. He’s just a foot. So be grateful. You could be a foot.” I mean where does it end? Your problems are your problems and my problems are mine. THIS is what I happen to be dealing with. I lost my husband. He is gone forever. I’m sorry if, at the moment, I’m not feeling very grateful for my lack of rheumatoid arthritis.