"Do you get proposals of marriage on Facebook?" I asked Jessica. She's thirty-something, cute and curly-haired. Looked like a love object to me.
"No," Jessica said. "Who's proposing to you?"
"A man in his sixties said he fell in love with my 'beautiful smile' and called me his 'angel.'"
Jessica snorted. "Doesn't know you, does he?"
"Nope. The last person to call me 'Angel' was my grandfather and I was six years old. I also get proposals from men in foreign countries. Much younger men. I figure they've missed the fact that I'm already married, or they're desperate for an American wife.
"I also get the conversationalists. After I friend these men they send me messages that say, 'Hi.' Just 'hi.' I don't know how to respond to that, so I don't. 'Hello, dear' is another conversation killer in my Facebook.
"In July, I got an early morning 'hello' from General David William. When I checked back, Facebook said his message 'has been temporarily removed because the sender's account requires verification.' Since there was no photo of the man, I suspect the general was a fake friend.
"It's not just men. I friended some woman who wanted me to go to the post office and pick up a thousand dollars for her. I could keep the money, too, if I wrote her a check first. She seemed to have trust issues, and we'd only been friends for a day."
"Do you vet the people who want to friend you?" Jessica asked. "Or do you just accept everyone?"
"I'm a very friendly person," I said.
"You're a Facebook slut," Jessica said.
"You have to be careful," Jessica said. "When someone sends you a friend request, first check how many mutual friends you have. If you have lots, that's a good sign. Next, check their other friends. If it's an older man and his friends are all attractive young women, don't friend him. If a woman who wants to be your friend has a page with only photos of herself and she's not wearing a lot of clothes, she's selling something all right – and you don't want it.
"Check for rants: If you see political cartoons that offend you, and reams of praise for candidates you think drag their knuckles, don't friend those people. You'll be unfriending them soon.
"Beware of long pro-Second Amendment diatribes, especially with photos of your possible friend stroking a weapon that looks like one featured in a GUNMAN KILLS 21 PEOPLE AT MOVIE story.
"Other warning signs: Facebook pages that mention Jehovah, Lucifer, time shares, 'my country' and 'big government.'
"Requests for Facebook pages that start out with two or three good posts, then suddenly stop. Those pages have probably been hacked.
"Facebook pages that show you nothing and say you'll have to friend that person to read the page. Don't do it. Got it?"
Oh, yes. I'm now reformed, and extremely careful who I friend.
I have 1,044 friends at https://www.facebook.com/ElaineVietsMysteryWriter/
I like each and every one of you. And 2,076 people Like me. Really Like me.
I like it like that.
Brain Storm is on sale as a trade paperback, audio and e-book amzn.to/2awPsIe
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