We're not friends anymore.
One day, she posted yet another baby-related status update announcing that the cost of daycare is CRIMINAL and she can't believe it's 40% higher than it was back when she had her first child (who is now 11). So a bunch of her FB friends (parents) posted comments to her update sympathizing and agreeing with her, some specifying how much they pay for childcare and what an outrage it is. It was a big pity party.
So, feeling a little frisky that day, I posted this comment: "Another reason I am happy we don't have kids".
A day or so later, I went back to that thread to read comments after mine and guess what? My comment was gone. She deleted it! So guess what I did? I deleted her. I de-friended her. I know that sounds extreme and probably makes me an official Facebook meanie, but we were just acquaintences and I had been tossing around the idea of de-friending her for some time because her incessant "Baby Joey" updates had been driving me spit-bubbles (hence my vent on this blog). She is a nice person, though, and to date I had always felt too guilty to de-friend her. I just couldn't bring myself to do it - until now.
Of course, just my luck: she immediately noticed that I de-friended her, assumed it was because she had deleted my comment and sent me a private message apologizing and explaining her reasons for doing so. Apparently one of her FB friends is a young woman who is pregnant and anxious about having children and she thought my comment might make her feel even more anxious. She said she occasionally deletes friends' comments if she thinks they will hurt or offend any of her other friends. She encouraged me to re-friend her.
My response to her was that I didn't see how my little comment about being happy we don't have kids is any more anxiety-producing than the drawn-out discussion about how expensive childcare is. If anything is going to produce anxiety in a young, nervous mother-to-be, I think a detailed accounting of exhorbitant daycare costs will do it. Realizing that I did not want to re-friend her, I decided to be honest and told her that I think she's a really nice person and I wish her all the best, but I wasn't connecting with her constant updates about the baby and it felt like too much for me.
She got defensive and didn't take it well, and the conversation went downhill from there. She accused me of being closed-minded, saying that she has FB friends of all kinds - people who have kids, people who don't have kids, people who like kids, and people who don't like kids, and they are all open-minded enough to indulge her updates.
At this point, I could have let it die (and perhaps I should have), but I didn't. Let's just say I was in a mood. So I told her that I think it would be helpful for her to consider her audience when posting updates. Perhaps her friends may like to hear about other things besides her baby and may tire of hearing every single detail of Baby Joey's life and nothing else. I gave her the example of my cat (the example I wrote about in here) and asked her if she would enjoy reading daily updates about every aspect of my cat's life and nothing else - her vet visits, the flavor of food she ate this morning, how much hair came out in her daily brushing, the brand of cat litter we use. I told her my feelings about her updates had nothing to do with liking or not liking children, and I was sorry if she took offense with my honesty, but I really thought it would be helpful to her to know the truth of how I feel.
(I didn't say this, but I am also sure many of her non-baby obsessed FB friends who are similarly tired to death of her boring-ass updates would be CHEERING me on for my honesty, if they knew about our exchange).
As you might imagine, my cat-update-comparison didn't go over too well and her reply was something to the effect of "you can't compare cats to kids" and "good riddance" and that was it - the end of our Facebook friendship. I felt a little badly at first because I know I was a bit hard on her, but I think after months of enduring those awful, mind-numbing, narcissistic Baby Joey updates, her deletion of my comment was simply the final straw.
Edited to Add: For those of you who have similar Facebook issues, I have since learned that there is a way to stop a friend's updates from appearing on your wall without de-friending them. If you put your cursor over the friend's name (on their update), you will see a link appear to the right of their update that says "Hide (friend's name)" Click that link to "hide" the person and their updates will no longer show on your wall (although they will still be in your friend list).