Should Have Taken A Detective Elective

, , , , , | Related | August 31, 2018

(It is when when Facebook is in its infancy. While my siblings and I each have created our own pages, our parents have not. My younger brother has recently moved six hours away from our parents to attend college out of state in Ohio. He posts pictures of his college life, one of which is of an attractive girl sitting on his bed with a textbook in her lap. I look at the picture and quickly spot a few “interesting” things. Based on what I see, I form what I believe to be a logical conclusion, one that I know our parents would jump to if they saw the same photo. I decide I’ll try to save my brother a headache and give him a call to see if I came to the right conclusion. I give him a call and quickly bring up the subject of the photos, commenting on how nice they look. My brother quickly catches on.)

Brother: “You want to know who the girl in the photo is and if I’m dating her.”

Me: “I won’t deny my curiosity about the girl in the photo, but I’m honestly more interested in how you’re doing.”

Brother: *sighs* “She’s a friend I’ve made recently. My roommate and I are in the same psychology class, we formed a study group, she’s part of the study group, and now we’re all friends. Just friends.”

(We continue to talk about this group of friends he has made. He states they’re all from different parts of Ohio, that he’s the only one in the group not from there, they’re all majoring in something different, etc. At the end of it all, I’m glad to hear he is doing well, but he still hasn’t addressed the reason why I called. I continue to play along and get as much information I can get him to divulge.)

Brother: “So… are we done?”

Me: “Not quite. I know that you’re not telling the whole truth about the girl in the photo. So I want you to tell me the whole truth about her, and in exchange, I’ll tell you why you should take that photo down before Mom and Dad see it.”

Brother: “I told you already; we’re just friends.”

Me: “Friends with benefits, possibly?”

Brother: “Uh…”

Me: “Look, I get it. Being away at college and living in a dorm allows you certain freedoms that you wouldn’t otherwise have living at home with Mom and Dad. I don’t care what, or who, you do, as long as it isn’t illegal, you keep your grades up, you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else, and you’re protecting yourself doing whatever it is. And I’m certainly not going to tell Mom and Dad, either; they don’t need to know. Just tell me the truth.”

Brother: *long pause* “Fine. I like her, and she likes me, but neither of us want to be in a serious relationship right now, so we hook up every now and again. What I want to know is, how did you figure that out by just looking at one photo of her?”

Me: “Easy. Clue #1: You’ve made a point to take and post a photo of this girl, and it isn’t a group setting or anything like that. That indicates to me she is someone special. And trust me, Mom will jump to that same conclusion. Clue #2: If you’re going to start posting your photos, figure out how to remove the time-stamp feature on your camera. The photo is time-stamped for Saturday at eight am. Way too early for a study session, if you ask me. Not to mention she looks like she just rolled out of bed. And finally, probably the biggest indicator, is Clue #3: You’ve freely admitted to me she is a local girl, so what reason could she have for wearing a t-shirt with your high school’s name on it? And don’t tell me there’s a high school with the same name in Ohio. Mom has washed that shirt plenty of times, and I’ve seen you wear it often enough to know that it belongs to you, because you can see the tear in the sleeve that yours has.”

(My brother was utterly baffled by this and immediately removed the photo from his page. A few days after that, our Mother called him to let him know she signed up for Facebook and wanted him to accept her friend request. He thanked me for helping him dodge a bullet from our ultra-conservative parents.)

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