Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Let’s Talk About Breasts

Now that title caught your attention, didn’t it? Not unlike how a recent Facebook post from a good friend’s wife had caught mine.

A few weeks ago, my wife was perusing her Facebook “news feed” during breakfast, and I couldn’t help but look over her shoulder to see a surprising announcement from my friend’s spouse, who states that she is going to “live in Amsterdam for the next 28 months.” Having just spoken to the friend the previous day, I was a little baffled by why he didn’t mention anything about moving abroad in our conversation. This immediately made me wonder if there was some family emergency that sparked such a drastic creation of plans.

I was about to call my friend to see if there was anything I could do to help, when my wife stopped me and said I had nothing to worry about. She then showed me a forwarded Facebook message she received from the woman herself:

Ladies, it is that time of year again! It is time to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.

Remember the status about our bra color or where we put our purse?? It made more people aware of the problem as it went viral on FB and made the news.

Don't tell any MEN what the status means! Copy, and resend this message to all your girlfriends, let's see if we can make it work like before, keep them guessing, let's see if we make the news!

The idea is to use you birthdate, month and day only, no year!

Write: "I am going to live in (see corresponding city for your BD month below) for (day of your BD) months and a happy face

Ex. if your BD was on February 14th, then
" I am going to live in London for 14 months!!!!

January - Mexico
February - London
March - Miami
April - Dominican Republic
May - France
June - St. Petersburg
July - Austria
August - Germany
September - New York
October - Amsterdam
November - Las Vegas
December - Colombia

The wife’s birthday was October 28, so that explains Amsterdam and the 28 months. This was all just a “Facebook game” that, according to this chain-letter-type message, received media attention in the past and supposedly increased breast cancer awareness. Although I must admit I don’t remember ever hearing about any of the past attempts in the news. I honestly do not see how a cryptic message about leaving the country would actually raise awareness for this disease. The only thing this posting raised with me was confusion and concern.

I found out from the husband later that this was also the case for a number of his other friends and family members, who jumped to a completely different conclusion than me and thought his wife was leaving him. They immediately reached out to the husband, who, because he didn’t see the Facebook post, was quite stunned by several phone calls and e-mails at work informing him of this “news” and offering sympathy and support.

Long story short, there was quite a bit of relationship reevaluation that day. Not between the husband and the wife. He understood the good intentions behind her post once she explained everything to him. I’m taking about the relationship between the husband and some of his close pals and relatives who believed the wife was skipping out. With what I’m sure was the best of intentions in trying to be supportive, these people opted to explain why the husband was “too good for her” by telling him what they really thought about his wife.

There are some things one can say that cannot be unsaid. And while the initial misunderstanding was eventually resolved, these relationships remain forever changed.

I’d like to think that the creator of this “Facebook game”, whomever s/he is, didn’t intend to make this kind of impact. I can understand how one can get a lot of attention by creating a little controversy, but this idea obviously needed a little more thought.

If you want to help raise Breast Cancer awareness, you can make a donation to the National Breast Cancer Association to fund educational programs and free mammograms to women in need. Simply click the “Donate Now” button at this website: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/How-To-Help/

Let’s stop playing games, and take some action.

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