It was me. Let the chips fall where they may.
I know I don’t think of myself as a trouble maker and yet the fact that trouble always has a way of finding me indicates that perhaps I seek trouble more than I am willing to admit. It all started a few days ago. On Facebook, naturally.
Someone I grew up with, I’ll call her Melissa, posted a picture on Facebook that I found disturbing. She posted a picture of a bloody dead deer. She included with the picture a witticism about the deer being Bambi’s mom. Now, I am from the midwest, so I have seen quite a few pictures of dead deer on social media over the last few years. To me, it’s jarring to scroll down your news feed and come upon a picture of a bloody animal. And let me state for the record, there is a possibility that I am the only person who feels that way.
This person who posted the picture is not someone I would classify as a close friend. I have not seen her once in the last 20 years. I decided in that moment to unfollow Melissa. It’s not like we really even have much Facebook contact, we don’t send messages, she doesn’t really click like on pictures I post.
I can’t remember how it all played out, but I think when I told FB I wanted to unfollow Melissa it asked me if I wanted to report that picture. So I said yes. In retrospect, I have to wonder why I felt the need to report the picture. It was and is my understanding that if one person reports a picture, nothing happens. If several people report a picture, FB may delete it or ask you to delete it. If anyone has more expertise on FB’s reporting policies, please feel free to weigh in.
Facebook asked me why I wanted to report the picture and after a series of multiple choices, I chose that the picture was gory. Obviously, gore is somewhat objective, I realize not everyone in the world looks at a picture of a dead deer, bleeding out from its wound, and sees that as unsightly.
I posted a tweet/status update about hoping there might be less dead deer photos in my news feed this fall and winter. I wondered what might be the kindest, smartest, most empathetic way to ask people to post less of these type pictures. I don’t think what I came up with achieved those missions. I wrote, “Racking my brain, trying to figure out the least passive aggressive way to ask people not to post pictures of dead deer this deer season.” A few people clicked like, a few agreed with me.
Later, I went back to Melissa’s FB page and I saw that she left a comment under her picture that anyone who was offended by her picture should just delete her, so I did. She said that she was from Kansas and people from Kansas hunt. (I’m paraphrasing.)
I will say that I am not a vegetarian, nor am I against hunting. That Melissa and her family will consume this animal does not disturb me. I just did not think it was the kind of thing I wanted to see on social media.
This morning, a friend of mine who saw my tweet/status update from Monday asked if I was the person who reported Melissa’s picture. I admitted to my friend that it was me. This friend shared with me the status update and thread where she said someone had reported her picture and she wanted to know who it was so she could delete them. There were many comments of support, people who felt there was nothing disturbing at all about her dead deer picture.
And that’s when I felt bad. I asked myself again, seriously, why did I feel the need to report the picture? Why did I get so fired up? It’s just a picture. Couldn’t I have just unfollowed and not look back? I thought about sending Melissa a message, apologizing for reporting the picture, offering best wishes, trying to explain myself. I realized, though, that there was nothing I could say that would make her see it my way. We both may be from Kansas, we both might have even moved far away from Kansas, but we see life differently.
If I could undo reporting the picture, I would. If I could undo unfriending Melissa, I would do that too.
What’s done is done after all. And this is a sad confession, but it was only after reading her latest status update this morning that I really tried to look at the whole thing from her perspective. It’s my understanding that the deer was shot by her husband, and people commented that it was a good shot, a clean kill. She was proud of her man and she wanted to share it. And then I come along…
I don’t know if the picture is still up, I do know that she knows it was me. She commented in another thread that she thought I was the kind of person who would have told her without reporting it. And I would say she makes a good point.
So, I guess that’s it. Everybody knows. I know there are much bigger problems in the world than this, but I am not proud of my actions.
Melissa, if you ever happen to see this, know that I am truly sorry. I do wish you the very best.
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You are way too hard on yourself, Ray. Melissa took this out of the realm of “hubby pride” when she made that joke about Bambi’s mother. That one comment is all I need to know about her. I would also have reported the photo.
Certainly there are times that each of us judge and are judged on the basis of one comment. Reading what Melissa’s friends had to say about me on her FB wall would affirm that truth.
It’s all good, Ray. I don’t like seeing anything like that. I have a pic in my pics but you don’t see blood and gore. At least it wasn’t me. LOL. You are coming back for the reunion next year, right?
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2015 00:47:31 +0000 To: email@example.com
Leslie, I am not sure at this point if I will make it to the reunion. I hope to go.
You have a right to your feelings, to
your sensitivities, to your opinions. How anyone responds to yours…is their own feelings/sensititvies/opinions. I don’t think you have anything to be sorry for. (And I am very glad that NO ONE on my friends list would post a pic of a dead animal, feeling great about it) xo
Perhaps posting deer pics is a regional thing, I don’t know. I do think that if what I did hurt someone’s feelings, I owe them an apology.
Where I grew up, people shot deer, and also sometimes ran into them in cars. I hit one, it limped off, and when I told people responses ranged “Is it alright?” “Is your car alright?” “Did you pick it up, my husband can butcher them.” There’s a lot of meat on a deer, and even if it is a bit dry good recipes can deal with that.
You probably hurt someone’s feelings quite often, however much (quite a lot, I think) you try not to, however good (you probably are) you are at not.