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She cracked open her laptop revealing a Safari page where the last thing she Googled was “best new sushi restaurants near me.” She had so many tabs open in her browser that you couldn’t actually read the title of any of them. There was a click, and then another click, and then another click only to realize it was easier just to close her browser altogether to get rid of all of them. “I’m pretty sure there’s nothing important on here,” she thought just before doing so.
Upon reopening it and going directly to Facebook, she scoffed at a girl she’d grown up with in high school posting a nude photo of her baby on Facebook. “Ewwww,” she said aloud before unfriending her.
It was at that moment that her brain reverted to a conversation she had with Caroline about the best way to gather trip recommendations using Facebook. She hadn’t updated her status since trying to get donations for Junior League nearly two years ago, but a pre-Christmas trip to Paris with Todd seemed like something she wanted to get information about.
“It’s just so douchey to publicly tell everyone where you’re going while fake-asking for recommendations,” she could hear Caroline saying in the back of her head.
But what else was she to do? Google it and find all the touristy spots? “Gross.”
When she clicked on the “What’s on your mind?” text box, a bunch of new options came up that she hadn’t seen before. After all, she was only privy to Instagram at this point. There were options for uploading photos and videos, checking in (“Ewww, only moms do that.”), tagging friends, and – ahh, yes, – asking for recommendations.
She took a large sip of her bulletproof butter coffee (which was actually made with ghee instead of butter) and attempted to come up with the least insufferable way of fielding guidance for their trip. After all, it’s not like Todd was going to do any of the planning himself.
She clicked “Ask For Recommendations” and a location box showed up. “Perrrrrrrrrrf,” she thought. She typed in “Paris” and selected it from a dropdown. She could almost feel Caroline judging her.
She began typing “Friends and family,” before holding down the delete button and replacing it with, “Bonjour, friends and family!” What came of the next ten minutes of laboring over the keyboard went as follows:
Bonjour, friends and family!
As you may or may not know, @Todd and I will be going to the magical city of Paris!! After living there briefly in 2011, you know it’s a city near and dear to my heart. We’re looking for all the recommendations for restaurants, sites, and anything that isn’t toooooo ~touristy~ while we’re there. And (of course) all the wine as well! (:
If anyone has any must-visits, please let me know and we’ll see you upon our return!
au revoir, everyone!
With a large breath in and a crack of her neck, she pressed “enter” and waited for the suggestions to roll in.
It took all of three minutes for her brand new iPhone X to light up with a text from – of course – Caroline.
“Hahahahaha,” the first text said. “You’re such a dork,” the second text followed up.
At this point, she knew what she’d done but she had to own it.
“I hate you so much,” she responded before immediately asking, “What was I supposed to do? Go to Barnes and Noble and get a freaking Fodor’s Guide To Paris?”
Caroline didn’t immediately respond which gave her more anxiety than the original post itself. In the time since she’d posted it – all of four minutes – she had three comments and five likes. The first two comments were from her mom’s friends; variations of “You’re going to have so much fun!” and “Love Paris!!!” which would continue to roll in for the next few days. Unfortunately, no actual recommendations yet.
She shut her laptop and told herself she wouldn’t look for the next hour or so. A combination of nervous, excited, and embarrassed, she held up her phone to unlock it revealing what she’d been searching all morning in bed on Instagram – the Paris location tag.
It was there that she was truly appalled with the photos that were taken and almost discouraged by society as a whole. “How could these people actually think these photos were good enough to post?” she wondered while endlessly scrolling hoping to find the perfect spots for her and Todd to vacation.
Todd had already pledged that he’d take care of the hotel, a responsibility of his that made her nervous. She liked to have her hands on every aspect of the planning because, well, she didn’t trust him to pick something that lived up to her expectations. After all, her parents were helping out so price wasn’t exactly a factor when choosing.
She could hardly remember where she’d gone when she was studying abroad there (or “living” as she said to everyone else), mainly because she had deleted her Facebook albums for fear of employers seeing how drunk she was in college. She did, however, remember that an influencer friend of hers who entertained going on their yoga retreat in Big Sur had recently been in Paris in the last few months.
“Let’s see what she was up to,” she thought while clicking back to the search screen. What she saw after tapping onto her profile was the letdown of all letdowns: The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, and The Arc De Triomphe. Realizing she hadn’t like any of the three photos yet, she double-tapped each of them to make sure she was still in good standing with her. She had 32K followers, after all.
It was only after liking her photos that Caroline finally responded. “Sorry,” she apologized, “I was in a meeting. But LOLing at your post – you sound sooooo basic.”
The last thing she wanted was to be made fun of for fielding recommendations for their trip. After all, it’s not like Caroline could talk. She was a Lily Pulitzer rep in college which, looking back, was pretty much the most embarrassing thing she could’ve done.
“Ha,” she casually responded, “Okay, Caroline. We’ll see who’s laughing when I get more likes than you and John got on your announcement photo.” .