Pity for those beyond the pale

The phrase “beyond the pale” dates back to the 14th century, when the part of Ireland that was under English rule was delineated by a boundary made of such stakes or fences, and known as the English Pale. To travel outside of that boundary, beyond the pale, was to leave behind all the rules and institutions of English society, which the English modestly considered synonymous with civilization itself. (Urban Dictionary)

I tremble for my husband.
He isn’t on facebook.
I try—you won’t believe how I try—to keep him current. Relevant. Self-aware and safe. But he insists on existing in that nether-world outside the protection of social media.

“Don’t lock the car with the remote!” I holler as he points the fob at the vehicle. “Always lock manually because facebook says thieves are nearby and can copy the code on their cell-phone. Or something.”

The man is clueless about how to detect a two-way mirror in a public restroom or bedbugs on a hotel mattress.
Without facebook via his wife, he wouldn’t know that potatoes aren’t—no, are—wait, maybe aren’t, good for him.
He doesn’t know the color of his personality, what state suits him best, or which Disney Princess he is.
Poor guy. He thinks vinegar only has one use and looks at baking soda in the same way. ALL THE TIME. He throws away toilet paper tubes instead of saving them to use for THIS awesome hack.

Does he know the clean joy of watching a dyslexic octogenarian juggle Polident tablets while catching a wave on his handcrafted surfboard and singing ‘Let it Go’ backwards?
He does not.
Never will he have the satisfaction of liking twenty baby photos, seven memes, a half-dozen happy statuses, two political rants and a dancing baby elephant, all in five minutes.

I’ve given up hoping he’ll learn how to fold a fitted sheet or t-shirt in under three seconds, because three of his friends shared the youtube demonstrations yesterday.
He won’t even try to turn a 2×4 and a laundry basket into the greatest child’s toy ever.

Without me he would not know who is pregnant, engaged, in a relationship, or complicated.
What if I go away for a few days? Who will fill him in?
Would you believe that he has actually and in person MET everyone he calls ‘friend?”

How can his magnanimity grow when he doesn’t even know one Human of New York?
I myself, virtually acquainted with oodles of New York Humans, am magnanimous to the core.

Secretly I am often relieved he never has to worry that if he doesn’t share This Post he isn’t a patriotic, red-blooded Bible Believer.
Anxiety at being the only person not performing the Cold Water Challenge will never gnaw at him.
He needn’t fret that photos of his grandchildren being adorable don’t get anywhere near as many likes as those of Prince Charles’s grandchildren.

It follows that he never experiences overwhelming guilt at wasting spending thirty-five minutes catching up on the facebook news feed.
I could almost envy him that extra time every day.
Then I remember.
I have 401 friends who are waiting for my likes, comments, birthday wishes and shares. Those relationships take time.

How can I begrudge a man with no basic understanding of his personality type? (He’s ESTP-T. I took the test for him.)
The man is blessed with a wife who knows how to unstick a lid using half a tennis ball, hold a nail in place with a clothespin and clean headlights with toothpaste. All thanks to facebook.

Which also tells me how to survive a bear attack.
Face it.
The man needs the protection only facebook and his wife can provide.



Mr. Walter Hunt would not approve. His once serviceable safety pin today is about as useless as a privacy setting on Facebook.

Wait just a minute! you say. What is the Tuesday Prude doing talking about sewing notions? Doesn’t the Prude only hold opinions on all things moral and ethical? And lapses in etiquette and grammar?

No. That is a fallacy. Prude disapproval goes far beyond the moral and civil code. We can find situations everywhere that need to be addressed and one of them is Shoddy Workmanship.

You may not be familiar with the aforementioned Mr.Walter Hunt, poverty-stricken inventor. He needed to make enough money to pay off a $15 debt. But what to invent? Inspiration was born of pain. Straight pins—the bane of the 19th century—poked holes in the epidermis of the general populace and Walter wanted to help. So he invented the safety pin.
Though history doesn’t tell us whether altruism or fear of a shake down by the local loan shark motivated Walter, he came up with a non-poking pin and made enough with his wire creation to pay his obligations.

Back then pins were made of materials with names like BRASS and STEEL. The safety pin Walter created from a piece of twisted wire was sturdy enough to convince some entrepreneur to purchase the patent.

For over a century safety pins continued to poke proudly. One could find safety pins holding up ripped hems, securing notes to kindergarteners’ backs, replacing popped buttons on trousers, removing splinters from fingers and functioning as fish hooks. Many women fondly remember when safety pins were sturdy enough to re-connect women’s foundation garments after a crucial strap snapped.

Back to Walter: if he’d tried to impress anyone with the 21st century piece of flimsiness pictured above (for which the Tuesday Prude paid good money),  his creditors would have broken his kneecaps and fitted him for cement shoes.

Te Tuesday Prude’s safety pin is not sturdy enough to pin a spider web to a snowflake. Instead of steel, it appears to be constructed of dental floss coated with spray paint.
If punk rock trendsetters had tried to shove one of these namby-pamby pins through their ears or noses or navels, an entire body piercing cottage industry would have folded before it had a chance to catch on.

Balloons don’t cower in fear from this pin. They dare each other to do belly flops on it’s stubby little point. The most wimpy of balloons laughs this pin to scorn.

Maybe somewhere a safety pin is doing its job and doing it well: keeping a starlet from a wardrobe malfunction, holding a baby’s diaper securely in place, or acting as a homemade compass in a 3rd grade science class.

But not this safety pin.

And maybe somewhere, Mr. Hunt looks down at this insipid descendent of his great invention and expresses gratitude that he didn’t name it the Walter pin.