Dave Simpson: Unfriend My Wife? Probably Not

Columnist Dave Simpson writes, "My finger may have mistakenly hit an option to declare myself offended, and perhaps put the social media lid on – who'd a thunk it – my wife.”

Dave Simpson

July 08, 20244 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

I'm not sure how this happened. I'm a confirmed computer Luddite.

But, somehow I ended up with a notice on my cell phone last Tuesday, asking if I wanted to block something my wife wrote in a Facebook post.

And maybe mute the old gal.

Or, the social media hand-wringers asked, was it more serious than that – trouble on the Home Front -  and would I like to unfollow her? Had I heard enough from this person? Up to me.

Or, I could go whole hog, throw caution to the wind, and unfriend the mother of my children and domestic partner for lo, these last 39 years? (My first publisher called divorce “splitting the sheets.” Not sure why.)

It was up to me, and the option was there with the poke of a finger.

I was sitting in the McDonalds in Rawlins, scanning emails and posts that built up while I was blessedly out of reach in the mountains south of Elk Mountain.

(By the way, cell coverage in the mountains has been “improved” to such a degree that texting is far more difficult than before. Any more improving and we'll be resorting to carrier pigeons.)

In a string of posts on Facebook, the subject of problem bears came up, and that's where the trouble started.

Last week in this column, I wrote about a problem bear tearing up jack in the neighborhood where my cabin is located. In 43 years of summering up there in the Snowy Range, I had seen precisely one bear, and other than some mangled hummingbird feeders, I had experienced no damage.

That changed this year, when the snow finally cleared, and we discovered a section of T-111 wood siding was pried loose by a bear, to get at some spices on a shelf built into the wall. Then some smaller animal got inside, and ripped up half of a box of cheap wine, and sampled some bug spray and dish soap.

A Game and Fish guy came up to look at my damage, and some bear damage in the neighborhood, and he set a trap to capture the bear. The game warden explained that once bears get inside cabins, and they are caught, they will be euthanized. That's sad, but the fear is that there might be a person in one of those cabins, and someone could be hurt.

The game warden said he hates the thought of killing a bear for doing things bears do, but the policy of protecting humans is clear.

So there were some comments on the post about euthanizing the bear, and in one post a neighbor speculated that hunting changes in Colorado may be causing more bears to be spotted in Wyoming.

Somewhere in that string of posts, my finger may have mistakenly hit an option – there are more options than you can imagine – to declare myself offended, and perhaps put the social media lid on – who'd a thunk it – my wife.

Again, this is probably all my fault, the result of fat, arthritic fingers that hit wrong buttons about 25% of the time. I read the options, and realized I had somehow wandered into dangerous territory, a brier patch. Worst of all, there was no little X on the screen to allow me to back out, no harm done. It was pretty insistent in asking what I wanted to do about this situation. There was no “never mind” option.

I was not offended by comments about euthanizing problem bears, and was suspicious that the snowflake censors of social media might be at work.

So I finally just turned the phone off, and the report form went away. But, for a while there, it looked on the cabin neighborhood web page like Old Dave and his wife were on the skids. Not true, and the page administrator worked some magic to clear things up.

The good news is that our problem bear has not been trapped, and the game warden and I hope he has moved on to less-populated surroundings.

And while it may be tempting to do a little muting of your spouse of many years, that's not a bear I choose to fight.

Dave Simpson can be reached at: DaveSimpson145@hotmail.com

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.