Saturday, February 14, 2009

This isn't the Andrew Schwartz you're looking for. Move along.

In the wake of last week's traffic explosion, I had another eyebrow-raising social oddity occur. Over on the Facebook side of things, I had a complete stranger request to be my friend. I've mentioned it before, but one has to put a little effort into inviting a complete stranger on Facebook. Sure, I can go back to the page of that recently-added friend from elementary school and come across dozens of people who I've never seen or heard about. But if I added any of them as friends, we'd still have one friend in common: that same 2nd grade friend, and those people would see "You have one friend in common," when they looked at my friend invitation.

So logging in and finding a friend request from someone with "no connexions" (as Jane Austen might say) is worth a pause. How did this person even come across me? In all fairness, I do have friends with whom I have no other friends in common. Though the current number happens to be one, in times past I've had more. Most of them have bonded to other friends, since usually friends come in groups.

His name is George, and I can only think of a couple of people I've ever known called that. One was George from grade and high school, but this guy isn't black. So it's probably not the same guy. The other one was at Mizzou with me, but I can never remember his name unless someone else mentions it, and seeing this name didn't trigger it. Besides, according to this person's profile page, the closest he's ever been to Columbia, Missouri is attending school in Springfield, MO: Central Bible College.

And that's a nice segue to another reason why I don't feel any particular connection with this George. He went to high school at Downland Catholic High School, in Des Moines. He then went for one year at North Central University, which is about the most generic name one could get for a university. I wasn't sure I'd be able to find it, but Wikipedia has a page for it. It's a school in Minneapolis, affiliated with the "Assemblies of God" pentecostal church.

It seems a little strange to me to drift from Catholic to American charismatic, but maybe it's not that strange. It's very difficult to try and sketch out someone's life from the bare bones of their Facebook profile. The only group to which he belongs is the "fans of Buffalo Wild Wings", which grants many speculative insights into his character.

Perhaps he's looking for some other Andrew Schwartz. A quick glance of Facebook turns up three others in the general KC area. One of them is even a Methodist youth pastor, which might be a better (or worse!) fit. Or perhaps he's a fan in the wake of my brief explosion of web fame?

It's safe to say that I've got nothing in common with George, not even a taste in hot wings, so I'm not going to approve his request. No doubt we'd have lots of laughs with the vast oceans between our societal viewpoints, but that's not the reason I follow Facebook.

Sorry, George.

NOTE: George's name was changed to protect George.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I don't know what you mean, sir. You're obviously crazy: there's no way I left the fellow's real name in one last time, then read your comment, changed the entry, and then deleted your comment to disguise all evidence.

    That's just silly. And unlikely. And unprofessional. And silly.