Last week, while procrastinating on work, I opened Facebook. I had already played all my turns in Words With Friends. Reheated my tea. Texted my kids. Sent my sister a picture of our new paint job. And, in a burst of desperation, unloaded the dishwasher, cleaned around the kitchen sink with a toothpick, and put away the laundry I'd left on the couch the night before.
The only thing I possibly had left to do was punch in to work. Which is why I sat right down in my office chair, fired up my laptop, and jumped on social media.
Some days I'm super motivated and start work before early-riser Jay is even out of the shower. He tiptoes back into our bedroom for a pair of socks, and there I am, typing away from our bedroom floor, saying, "Can't talk! I'm in the zone!"
Other days it's 10:37 a.m. and I'm Googling what the weather is like in Utah in March. Just in case I want to go there for vacation someday. In March.
It's both the bane and joy of having flexible hours. I get my 40 hours in every week, but I don't always do them when I probably should.
At any rate. On this particular day, after the Words With Friends and tea and texts and sink cleaning, I opened Facebook and posted: "Tell me something I might be surprised to learn about you. … Because that just sounds fun. And also because I'm procrastinating today."
I couldn't know it at the time, but that post would not only be the best procrastination tool ever, but also the source of 90% of my entertainment for the next couple of days.
You think you know someone. But here's what I learned about my friends:
"I lived in a castle for 6 months."
"I rear-ended a police car in a drive-thru window."
"Both of my husbands have been mayors of the same small town."
"I've never seen the movie 'Titanic'."
"I was Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow 1975."
"I swallowed 6 live minnows in one sitting."
"I threw a rock through a window to break into a home."
"I kissed Michael Hutchence of INXS, or I should say, he kissed me."
"My marriage license was forged."
And these were just the beginning! Within 24 hours, there were hundreds of comments — from people sharing their surprising stories, and those of us reacting to them with shock and awe.
I try to be a once- or twice-a-day Facebooker. But for a couple of days there, I admit to dozens of check-ins to read the latest revelations.
"I'm a freak of nature and had the chickenpox about 10 times as a kid."
"My best friend and I have seen Paul McCartney in concert 12 times since 1976."
"I have blue eyes, but my right eye is about 1/3 hazel."
"I once won a diving contest off of a catamaran in the Dominican Republic."
"My grandfather was Bob Dole's campaign manager in South Dakota."
"I played Barbie dolls with Cindy Crawford."
And on and on.
It was, collectively, the most fascinating thing I'd read in weeks. I was spellbound. I tried to think of what my "you might be surprised to learn about me…" tidbit would be. Because I'm a firm believer in the fact that everyone has a story that would surprise you.
But everything I thought of adding to the list — "I worked at Wall Drug!" and "I've done the firefighter physical agility exam!" and "I've written 786 weekly newspaper columns!" — I've already told everyone.
So until I come up with something better, here's mine: Sometimes, friends, I find the best ways to put off work.
Jennifer Koski is associate editor at Rochester Magazine. Her column appears Tuesdays. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.