I hung up the phone awhile ago with one of my best highfalutin friends. He laughs at the adjective, but secretly enjoys the accuracy. I’m not thrilled that he now lives in Scottsdale (told you), but I am very happy to talk to him on the phone every now and then. The actual phone.
While we may have been mobile in our respective homes while chatting, there is something about old-fashioned communication that enhances the exchange. It’s nice to hear an actual voice instead of some impostor emoticon. I feel ripped off every time someone grants me 20-20 vision into the window of their meager little soul via one of those possessed symbols.
Now, if they’re sent to me from someone who knows me well enough to do it strictly in sardonic fashion – fine. Good. Enjoyable. But if one of my friends is upset and sends me the cry-baby face, it makes me want to send the Grrrr ANGRY-SMURF-MAN! face back, because I am now mad that I’m on the other end making fun of my friend – who is obviously upset. I’d rather hear their voice cracking in grief or gut wrenching in laughter so I can feel connected to them instead of connected to Mr. Yuk and his family.
Anyway, I struggle with the conflict between instantaneous communication and old-fashioned means. The former is a necessity in today’s working world, but I would argue it does not translate whatsoever in today’s social world. In fact, it totally jacks it all up. You can’t get to know someone, really know someone, through texting or emailing alone. It’s the equivalent of liquid courage. People say things when they’re under the influence of alcohol that no way would they say stone cold sober. (My “friend” Deb would tell you that I told some cashier guy he was svelte – sure he was behind the register at Cap-N-Cork but she’s a liar nonetheless).
Old-fashioned communication is sweeter, more meaningful, and longer-lasting. Hallmark cards? I save them all. Post-it notes left in surprise locations? I leave them for Liv frequently; she saves them all. A hand-written thank you card on vellum with a 24k cresty-seal from my highfalutin friend? Still in my office – next to the other one until Cash For Gold branches out beyond jewelry.
People hide behind all sorts of facades, whether it’s 4 glasses of wine or poetic words. And tomorrow afternoon, when Liv’s stupid teenage boy”friend” comes over after school to “study,” he better remember this is 2012 – when all communication is done through non-sweet, non-meaningful, and lickety-split-like-lasting texts. From separate rooms.
Thank goodness they’re too young to remember Roxanne.