“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.” (Oscar Wilde)
I was thinking the other day that since I am such light years behind everyone else in the means of communication I use, I should make a somewhat “public” note of this …
I am sort of trying to tell everyone that despite what their perception is, no, I am not rude (not trying to be, anyway), no, I am not anti-social (not much), and no, I don’t hate them, either …
I simply use methods that are a tad less mainstream – just like I do with a bunch of other things in my life …
So, here we go, in case you're trying to get in touch with me ...
I don’t have caller ID on my home phone. Never have. I am not even ever considering having it, because it costs and it’s a luxury I can do without. So, I don’t screen your calls. If I don’t answer, it’s because I am not home yet, or because I am asleep (yes, I take naps, too), and I unplug the phone then.
No caller ID at work either, and that's out of my control. If I don't answer, I really am, away, or in a meeting, or on the other line, like the greeting says. Not lying at all.
I don’t use my cell much, which WILL come as a shocker in this day and age. I answer it only when I am in the car or in a public place, because those are the only places that don’t have a landline that’s permanently mine. If you call the cell then, I will be “quick” and ask you what you need, ‘cause I gotta go. I have a plan that covers 50 minutes of peak time a week and 500 minutes a weekend. Yes, in a world when people have 1200 minutes a month, I get 50 minutes! I know: it’s hard to comprehend. Again: it costs, and it's a luxury I can live without. No, it’s not you, it’s me. If you call the cell while I am at home, or at work, I will ask you to hang up, and I will call you from a land line. I am cheap indeed. No joke!
So, I don’t use the cell for chattin’. I love to chat, don't get me wrong: call my cell and in 2 minutes tell me when and where you wanna meet: we’ll chat then and there. For hours!
Since we’re talking “cell” here: I don’t text either! Never have. I am having trouble accepting "text" as a verb, too ... I don’t think I ever will "text". I personally think that’s insulting my very ability to communicate. You wanna talk: pick up the phone and call … meet me somewhere … you get the point… In my communication-challenged opinion, typing into a PHONE is slightly ... well, un-natural, for wanting to be less insulting here! :-) Doing something “just because you can”, we’ve learned from our 42nd president, can be pretty stupid! So, yes, I am going to be mad at you if on Christmas Day my cell goes off at 7 AM when you decide to text me “Merry Christmas”. So, stop it!
Unless you live on another continent, or another country, I typically don’t want to sit there on the phone and chat with you for 5 hours. Sorry… You’re welcome to visit anytime, with notice, and we can also meet in town and do dinner, or lunch… But I am not going to do my dishes and laundry, change my cat litter and do my nails or take a bubble bath with you on the phone … As I grow old, I am seeing how I am very A.D.D. anyway, so I am trying to focus more (this is no joke!), so I cannot give “the phone” undivided attention, while I do all that, plus: you’ll complain because of the noise … Maybe once in a blue moon, yes, I’ll chat you up, but if that’s your idea of keeping in touch with me, it’s not going to work for a long time at all. We’ll break up!
But there is always email, and ... I do email a LOT. And that’s because it allows me to have some freedom, the sole driving force of my life, and respond when I have the time, and again, to give you undivided attention! I will email you updates about me and I’ll ask about updates on you; I will expect an email back, although people will call back. You don’t get me then! … Again: it’s about being focused, and not missing things. And I can do my laundry at the same time, since you won’t mind the noise … I am religious about answering emails, so if you want a 100% sure way to reach me, email me. I promise you: I’ll be there. But again: ideally, we make time to chat!
It’s not uncommon that you should leave me a voice mail and you’ll get an email back. If the voice mail says “ I am just checking to see if we’re on for 5 PM for drinks” – I’ll call. But if it says “ I am checking to see how you are and what you’ve been up to lately”… and there is a looonnggg story behind it (make your own “WRONG” game show noise here!): yeah, I’ll write! I’ll even attach pictures. :-)
My days of IM-ing are over … The only people I used to IM with regularly and with patience are my parents, but since Skype, we talk live, over the Internet, for free … Since they live in Europe, they qualify for long distance “phone” chatting, you see . So, stop sending me messages about “IM me on MySpace” or on AOL, or on Yahoo: not gonna happen!
If you live in another continent or town and don’t have a pc, you WILL get a hand written letter once in a while IF you write back! OK, I am weak: for those who are so poor that can’t afford postage, I’ll even write without expecting a response back.
If you really made it to the list of “my friends”, you will get a hard copy of a birthday card, and Christmas card. I love paper and ink … And I love to write, so, yes, you’ll get me, in paper … I am still working on being good about the "thank you" notes. I'll get there, once I'll be "officially American", I swear!
And actually, that’s one thing I do miss: the handwritten cards and letters …
I guess I do live in the past … But here I am, still, trying to love all of you the ways and means I can master: as the ultimate communications misfit!
And always remember: you’re not doing anything wrong. This is about me, not you!