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    A Whole New Level
    I don’t do Facebook. I’m not particularly social and I haven’t networked since running for class secretary in sixth grade. Facebook is like the four line “Other Contact Information” section of the school emergency care form: a reminder that I don’t have a lot of friends. When they come out with a Facebooklet, maybe I’ll give it a shot.

    My twin sister, however, is an avid Facebookie. From what I’ve heard, she skillfully uploads (or downloads, depending on the time zone) links, photos, and videos which, knowing her technical savvy, are available in 3-D. Her Facebook account, like most I assume, is practically a live feed. I am awed by her computer skills, cool life, and hundreds of friends, not to mention her long-term interest in the needy medium. My attention span barely gets me through updating my toenail polish. By toe four I’m drifting.

    To spite nobody, I put Facebook at the top of my bucketless list: things I don’t want to do before I die. I’m generally more negative than positive, so having a bucketless list feels right. Not that I have anything against to do lists. As a matter of fact, I’m an Extreme Lister (soon to be a TLC reality show). But there’s too much pressure in having a life-fulfilling checklist, especially one where God only knows the due date. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

    Jean’s Bucketless List
    1. Never use Facebook
    2. Never say, “Grande”
    3. Never wear a toe ring
    4. Never buy shampoo at full price
    5. Never get a massage

    I confess that I did have an active Facebook account for two months last year in order to find former classmates for a high school reunion. But I haven’t used it since. That is until last week, when my daughter showed me Facebook’s “Tetris Battle” – a frantic puzzle game that’s played against a random Facebook opponent. Within days I became a solid level 13 “Leader.” I’ve been a Level 14 “Whiz” a bunch of times and even made it to Level 15 “Professional” a few rounds, but I’m strongest as a Level 13 Leader. Note: frequent use and capitalization of “Level” is a symptom of adolescence, dorkiness, and/or unemployment.

    Although I’ve tried to hide my obsession with the game, my daughter overheard me playing one morning and ratted me out during dinner.

    Daughter: “You should hear Mom when she plays that game -- she trash talks!”
    Son: “Like what?!”
    Me: “Oh, come on. It’s not that bad. I’m just enthusiastic.”
    Daughter: “She said, ‘Hey Helene [the stranger I was competing against], why don’t you cry to your mommy? How’d you like that, Helene? I’m totally kicking your butt. Guess you didn’t see that coming, did you?’” [Helene didn’t]
    Husband: “I was hoping you kids would never see this side of your mother.”
    Me: “So I’m a little competitive, but that’s how I became a Leader.”
    Daughter, Son, Husband:

    I’m not sure if playing Facebook Tetris Battle qualifies as using Facebook, but if it does, I’ll have to find something to replace it on my bucketless list, like, “Never say never.”

    UPDATE: Since writing this column, Jean has proudly reached Level 16 - Expert.

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