Fungible People [RDP]

What a coincidence that fungible is one of the prompts for today… I was ruminating (moo!) on the concept last night, using a lot of words and metaphors, but never coming up with this one. Fungible is always used with things like money and oil, not people ~ but why can’t it be used with people?

One of the reasons I’m becoming more introverted with age is due to my feeling that so many people view others as interchangeable objects. And I dislike this obviously. I had the sense as a young mom that other moms were my “friends” only because it was convenient. Once it stopped being convenient, the friendship dissolved. Example: I thought I was close friends with R, and we did many fun things together with our kids, but then she needed someone for a carpool and I couldn’t do it, so she asked A, who could. I literally never heard from R again. I was easily switched out with another person. Fungible.

I find it interesting that almost all my Facebook “friends” have disappeared since my exit. I basically have the same friends I had pre-FB ~ a handful of writers and meatspace peeps. Those FB connections were a pile of meaningless fluff, nothing to any of us, and only a way for Mark Z and the advertisers to rake in bucks. Since I’m not special, I’ll presume to say it’s the same for everyone. Just so you know.

After my divorce, I had the silly idea that divorced men would also be looking for the right person, not wanting to make another mistake late in life, etc. But this is mostly not true. They are looking for anyone who vaguely fits into a mental cutout they have labeled “girlfriend” (or “hookup” as the case may be). Anyone who fits will do, and if she leaves, he’ll easily replace her with another, or try to. We’re all fungible.

More and more, I only enjoy interacting with my family (and a few close friends): as the mom, I’m not fungible. No one can take my place. No one has ever replaced my mother. I still think about her every day. ❤️

15 responses to “Fungible People [RDP]

  1. I had to look up “fungible”. it’s one of those words I find hard to remember the meaning of because its meaning is so specific and a bit obscure. And has nothing to do with fungi. But thanks to Wikipedia I now know that all my solid colored yarns used for knitting dish rags are fungible because they do the exact same thing to a pattern. The multicolored ones are not fungible because multicolored yarn changes the look of a pattern. For that reason I do have a quibble with your carpool-mom example. I think Trump’s wives are better examples of fungible people. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • I meant because I couldn’t do the carpool, I was replaced as a friend entirely as if I hadn’t existed at all. That’s what made me think of the paper dolls. Oh, this one has a wrinkle? Throw it away and get another. After all these years, it still bothers me, even more than the dating crap.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. FB people are rarely friends. Although some may on occasion become friends if all the stars align correctly. Mostly, they’re either a mutual admiration clique or targets. Once you evolve into neither, you no longer serve their purpose.

    Irl, we all spend our lives weeding our friendship gardens. Some perennials, some annuals, some doa plants, some stubborn weeds and a hopefully solid foundation of good soil. But always it’s up to us to tend it.

    God, that was sappy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Someone … I don’t remember who nor which of my three FB profiles (two of them are essentially the same, one being a backup copy in case the other got shut down by FB because “fake”) had it … posted a something having to do with being friendzoned. I think it was Towse, ergo my “normal life” FB account.

    At any rate, it was a blog post by a woman who had developed what she felt were meaningful friendships with a string of males throughout her life and each of them had attempted to move their relationship more into romance or sex. When she refused to take it there – she is a lesbian – they cut off all relationship with her. They undoubtedly had their reasons but to her it was a betrayal and over time she developed a sort of sad bitterness concerning it. To her, men wanted women only for sex and romance and not for friendship. Her experiences lead her to feel that only women understood that you can be friends without having to be sexual partners. She was, for example, still friends with a straight woman she adored but who had rejected her sexual advances.

    At any rate, I, too, have only a few treasured “real” friendships and recognize the fungibility of relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. I’m starting to feel the loss of friendships, looking back over it all, more than romantic relationships. It makes me sadder. But unlike Sal’s friend, I find both men and women treat people as fungibles.


  4. What an interesting word, fungible. Like Keera, I had to look it up to understand it. It’s a sad word when applied to people … as though they’re a commodity that can be tossed aside when they’re no longer useful. 🙁

    I still like Facebook because it’s really the only way I’m able to stay in touch with my large network of friends and acquaintances: people I’ve known since elementary school, Jeff’s family members, other friends I’ve met through the years, former co-workers, some friends of FB friends, and of course, people I met on misc.writing and want to keep in touch with. It is a fickle medium, no doubt about it, but at least for now, I like it much more than I dislike it and wouldn’t want to lose those connections.

    You’re gone from there, and that’s certainly something I DISlike. But you are my dear friend and you will never, ever, ever be fungible.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Donald Rumsfeld once said in a press conference concerning the then current military action in the Middle East that “troops are fungible.” I don’t remember the exact context, but after I looked up the word fungible, I remember being a little horrified.
    To me, I guess the idea of people being fungible is a little off-putting because it demonstrates the notion that we sometimes, or I guess, often, use people for a specific function. Or, maybe you could say to fulfill a certain role.
    Certainly companies do that all the time, with their employees, but a personal relationship is never involved. Or when it is, there is a big disconnect — i.e. “it’s just business.”
    It reminds me that a lot of the associations I have here, when I am moving to another state in a week, will eventually just fade from memory, leaving no trace of feelings or meaning, because I was, and am, fungible in those contexts. But in others, I am not. These are the people who will stay in touch with me, and I with them.
    I guess that’s what you’re saying. I’m agreeing with you! I guess we’ll have to argue later about something else. OK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, troops. That’s a good example… even calling them “troops” not soldiers, which sounds more like people. Troops sounds like plastic pieces in a board game. Soldiers have real faces.

      I get the fungible employee, but in an ideal world, the employer would be fungible too. Both would have an incentive to keep the other happy.

      It’s mostly the friend/dating situations that bug me. Switching people in and out of those slots as if who they are doesn’t matter at all, but only that they can fit into the cutout.

      Dangit Roy. You’re no good at this trolling thing!

      Liked by 1 person

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