Please take this series with a pinch of salt and a titter of laughter…
I don’t like texting. There, I’ve said it! Everybody texts these days but I just can’t get used to the brevity of communication. One girl friend texted, “Hey, girl!” How do you respond to that and what does it mean?? I know I am incredibly aged and I can prove it – I really liked memoranda and I can write shorthand. To be fair, I do use texts for contract work and in that fast-paced environment, texts really work. “New ETA for passenger?”, for example. I still remember sitting in my cold hallway on the fixed landline phone, chatting for an hour to a friend. In old American movies the phone cords were so long that you could move to another room.
Now I have to go to the grocery store to have a decent conversation.
Maria – “Hey! How are you?”
Kerry – “Good, good. How are you?”
Maria – “Great! Do you have your loyalty card?”
Kerry – “Dang it! I left it at home”.
Maria – “No problem. Are these new popsicles good?”
Kerry – “They are SO good and low in calories”.
Maria – “That will be (far too many) dollars, please”.
Kerry – “Thank you so much and have a good day!”
Maria – “See you soon”.
Sometimes I have a three way with the bagging clerk.
Kerry – “How are you, Michael?”
Michael – “I’m FAN FAN FAN FANTASTIC!”
We all laugh. He has been saying that every day for the last 15 years of more.
I still like emails. You can write full, grammatically correct, sentences and not sound terse. At college we were taught that a memorandum was meant to be brief but not rude. An email is much the same. An emoticon doesn’t say, “I really miss you and our time together” or “Do you remember when we went to the Wallace Monument?” Teddy also likes to chat and amazes me that we still talk together about meaningful topics on a daily basis.
Teddy – “What is that idiot talking about!” pointing at the politician on the news. That provokes a stimulating conversation about the world today that marks us as ‘very old people’. Recently he snagged a bargain at the thrift store – it is a device to scan your negatives and old photos. Now we can throw out our stinky old photo albums that are moldy and degraded.
Some conversations are so much better in person.
Teddy – “Whoa! You were a bit of a chunky monkey in Lisbon. What year was that?” I went through to his study to give him a slap but then said, “Jeez Louise, did I look like that?”
Teddy – “Do you recognize this castle (in Scotland)?” That provoked a back and forth about which of the many castles it was. Finally, we Googled it and it was Glamis Castle which was the late Queen Mother’s ancestral home. More importantly, Teddy’s mum performed a Highland dance at the Castle, in front of the Queen, when she was a wee lass.
To be honest the only type of texting that appeals to me is sexting. You can say so much with just a few words. ‘Come get me, big boy’ or ‘Chase Me’. On a very cute nostalgic note, I was madly in lust with a boy with an Australian accent in our high school. We had no telephone in our house – alcohol is so expensive… My friend in the next street asked me across to her house so that we could phone two boys (the Aussie included). The excitement was tangible. We were half way up the stairs, just like Kermit, giggling on the phone. Then the recipient of my lust sang to me across the telephone line.
“Are the stars out tonight? I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright. I only have eyes for you, dear….” I had goosebumps – he fancied me too! I wish I could say it was my husband of 40 years but it was a ‘Brief Encounter’ on the list of many boyfriends. The Aussie formally asked me out, taught me all sorts of Antipodean phrases, also taught me how to French Kiss and then unceremoniously dumped me!! I know – he dumped ME! I could have dumped him by text, ‘Go Walkabout, Drongo.’