At first, I had a few reasons why I was so very hesitant about joining Facebook. Here were my three big arguments:
- I already had a blog (a different one, years ago) and it was pretty easy to track me down online, so I was beginning to feel as though my Internet anonymity was fully slipping away.
- Considering that there were (and are) so many social networking sites out there already (Flickr, Flixster, Friendster, LibraryThing, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, et cetera — and that’s just what I came up with off the top of my head!) I could see no excuse as to why I needed to sign up for another one.
- I like to communicate with my friends in person. There are days when the thought of emailing or IMing just makes me want to chop my fingers off, or at least toss my laptop out the window. This is why I make phone dates with my non-local friends — I like laughing at the tone of their voices, not at their spelling mistakes.
Finally, though, I caved; after all, I knew I was going to keep blogging, and I knew I was going to start writing more, which meant an online presence could be a good thing. As for Facebook, my joining had a lot to do with the fact that my friend JD made it his personal mission to get me to sign up, sending me invites on what was practically a daily basis and bringing it up whenever he saw me (which was often). And, you know, I don’t regret it — don’t tell JD — and here’s why: I have gotten back in touch with so many long lost friends via Facebook, more than any other site. In fact, I went to dinner with two such friends last night.
Golnar, Joanne and I couldn’t remember the last time the three of us had gotten together; Golnar guesses it was something like six years, but I can’t even conceive that. Regardless, we made a plan to meet up at Betty’s Wok and Noodle Diner for some drinks, some noodles and a bit of a gossip. I hadn’t been to Betty’s in a while, so it seemed a fitting place to get together with old friends.
Betty’s has a proper menu with entrées, appetizers and desserts but I tend to skip past all that to the “Customized Dish” section. I like to think of it as a kind of a dinner DIY hobby kit because you get to pick the type of sauce you like, the type of noodle (or rice, as the case may be) and the type of meat. Then, should you so desire, you can choose the produce that you’d like added to your bowl from the veggie bar. There’s a handful of assorted sauces to choose from, as well as four varieties of noodles (wheat-flour, egg, chow fun and soba) and two different kinds of rice (brown and jasmine). I chose the Shanghai wheat-flour noodles with hoisin sauce, shrimp and fresh vegetables ($18.00), though after I loaded my hobby-kit bowl with tofu I realized the shrimp was superfluous.
Maybe it’s not cool to admit it, but here goes: I’ve always gotten a kick out of places like this, ever since my parents starting taking me to a Mongolian barbecue joint when I was in elementary school. I think that’s why, when it comes to Betty’s, that I’m able to look past things such as dreadfully uneven service (entrées arriving before we finished our edamame, hovering waitstaff that vanish when needed) and the plain fact that I’m perfectly capable of making this meal perfectly at home. The thing is, there’s no one at home to make me a cocktail like the Loca-Motion (sake, passion fruit, coconut with grenadine-sugar dipped rim, $7.00). Are the cocktails enough to get you to Betty’s? They’re good, that’s for sure. The truth of the matter is that Betty’s is kinda fun, especially once you take the throwbacky and retro décor into consideration.
As for Facebook, well… it can be terrifyingly addictive. I’ve recently put a badge up on the sidebar linking to my profile — let’s be friends!
Betty’s Wok + Noodle Diner
250 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115