Like most little kids, I worshiped my grandparents. They were infinitely patient, thought I was a superior child, fulfilled my modest dreams of Dawn dolls and snow globes and let me eat peaches canned in sugary syrup and have White Rock cream soda with dinner even if I didn’t finish my meal. I lived to visit them in their one-bedroom North Miami Beach condo where we’d all wear three sweaters (electric was included in the maintenance, so they were going to use as much as they could even if their fingers snapped off). I could raid Pauline’s pink polyester pantsuit-filled closet that smelled like Irish Spring and grandpa Will would play Gin Rummy with me well past when he was bored. It was kiddie Vegas and I was on a winning streak.
I was an adult when they died, and by then had noticed that, hardly risk-takers to begin with, like many older people, they had grown much less adaptable. They liked things the way they liked them, and became anxious when their routines were disrupted. Some of this was temperamental, but I understood why it intensified with every added candle on the cake: They’d lived long enough to know what worked for them, and they didn’t relish any added challenges. When the little things, like getting in and out of your gigantic mauve aircraft carrier of a Lincoln get more difficult, you don’t want some young car-parker looking for a tip “helping out” by reprogramming your presets on the stereo. Until you find the Perry Como station again, it feels like someone has fucked with your sense of reality just a little bit. And if the Publix runs out of your favorite brand of gluten-free dinner rolls, that can knock you flat on your ass for a good half hour, and require a therapeutic rehash (or several) with your wife of 50-plus years.
Now, I’m not saying I or any of us is elderly or set in our ways to the degree that a Lincoln-driving, Florida-living, gluten-free-roll-eating, Loehmann’s-loving, Bronx-transplanted grandparent is. Not even close.
But I have to admit (and finally she gets to the point) that when Facebook decided to “upgrade” last week, I felt as if someone had come into my house, gone through my lingerie drawer, switched up my bras for the wrong cup sizes, hid the strapless ones to make me nuts, taken away the comfy go-to bras that I wear on a daily basis, and then told me they were still there somewhere, but if I wanted them I had to re-learn a whole new drawer organization system only to be rewarded with what I had and was happy with before. And then, of course, they took my bikini panties and some of my control tops, and left me only with the flashiest, new-fangled thongs, the ones I only wear when I have to. Finally, they filled the drawer with useless bits and pieces, like stray socks and clumps of dryer lint, that I will have to wade through if I am to find any of the things I really need.
Much has been written about why the redesign is sucky, so I won’t go into that here, and many people have made the apt New Coke analogy, to urge Facebook to do as Coca Cola did and go back to the old formula. Here’s hoping.
But the longer FB keeps this sub-par version up, the less likely it is that they will, which is a shame. Sometimes, new is not better, and I’m not just saying that because I’m not new anymore myself. As much as I dislike having something I really like totally revamped, I’d get used to it if it were better. I’m a Formerly. I’m not that old yet.
I hope they make it snappy. My friend Jenna put it this way: “Recently one of our beloved family cats died. A few weeks later my three-year-old said, ‘Mom, I still miss Delilah but I can hardly remember what she looks like.’ That’s how I feel about the OLD Facebook: I know I loved it, and I miss it daily, but I can’t even remember what it looks like any more.”
Kind of like Meg Ryan’s face. Yes, Facebook is free, and yes, it may still be OK. But can I have my undies back, please? It’s not as if they were granny panties. And if they were, well, so what? Every gal has at least one pair in her drawer.