Several months ago I thought it would be a good idea to join my neighborhood group on Facebook and initially it was. I read a lot of great posts that recommended various local contractors, great restaurants that were in the hood and we were even able to find a babysitter that is a student at the nearby high school. All very promising stuff, and then slowly but surely the bat shit crazies came out of the woodwork.
There were the daily and sometimes twice daily missing dog posts where the same person would comment multiple times that she couldn't believe how many dog owners let their dogs out without collars on or then chastizing the posters for not even attempting to catch the lost animal. Evidently she was the self-appointed animal lover out of the group.
Then there was the post where a local woman accused someone of knowingly infecting multiple men with AIDS. The posts themselves definitely had the making of a great Telenovela drama, but again the commenters had to climb up on top of their self-prescribed soapboxes and take it to a level that clearly indicates they have way too much damn free time on their hands.
Last night's issue was the straw that broke the camel's back.
When Doug and I sat down to eat dinner, we looked out the window and noticed a homeless guy making camp in the alley that runs alongside our home. We weren't sure what we could do (sorry I don't like the idea of a homeless guy sleeping alongside my house) so Doug asked me to post something on the Facebook group and see if anyone would get back to us.
These are the responses I got:
"Tell him to scat!." 1 Like
"Invite him in for a cup of coffee." 6 Likes
"Maybe call the Colorado Coalition for the homeless because maybe they can help him?" 2 Likes
Not two minutes later I get a private message from a gal in the neighborhood who let's me know to call 311 and they will come out and send the person on their way. Clearly she had to send me a message instead of posting it on the public page because lord knows these crazies would most likely stone her to death for that response.
I start drafting my response because there isn't anything I like more then taking to a public forum to discuss the problem with Denver homelessness when I look out our bedroom window and see a police cruiser driving down the alley. I run outside to find Doug.
"Did you see the police drive by? I wonder who called them?" I asked Doug.
Turns out it was Doug. Ten minutes into his early evening slumber a neighbor had turned on their backyard sprinklers and the homeless man had to find a new place to go. Doug happened to be out front watering and he watched as the man tried to open several gates that led into our neighbors' backyards and he decided that was enough for him.
So thanks Facebook commenters for the absolutely wonderful advice. Next time I'll be sure to invite a strange man that I don't know from a hole in the ground into my home for a cup of coffee. Of course it doesn't matter that I have two young children at home because clearly that is the morally right thing to do in this situation, correct? And who cares that we just saw him trying to access property that isn't his, right?
I deleted my post and decided this will be my Facebook farewell. I cannot continue to support a platform that encourages you to project your morally perfect life when in reality each and every single one of us is struggling.
If anyone truly cares about how I'm doing, you can always pick up the phone.