One of my writer friends phoned me today. It was a nice distraction since I was wielding my Swiffer through the crevices of my ceiling fan. She and I see each other on a regular basis in writing groups, and communicate by email often. Yet it was nice to TALK to her.
Sometimes I believe I only speak to grocery store clerks, my cats, and my family members, and not in that order. Except when I visit my writing groups – then we all scramble for a word in edge-wise. Seems we suffer from the same disease, lack-of-human-conversation!
I’ve never been officially diagnosed with this condition, but I see it in others. And like any good American, I can recognize my affliction when it presents itself in others.
Back to my day – my friend asked me what I was up to, and we chatted a bit about writerly things and then hung up. Two things quickly came to my mind: that was nice! and hey, wait a minute, before electronic gadgets, I used to do this all the time!
Whenever I needed to phone a friend, (no not as a lifeline!) I would store up some chore to keep myself busy. Remember the day when we had portable phones? Okay, maybe you don’t, but think speakerphone.
After a day’s work, I would bang pots around in the kitchen sporting my sleek portable phone. Or on a weekend, when I was calling other parents about carpooling plans, I would sling the bathroom cleaner on the tub walls, dash around with the dust cloth, or sit as I separated dirty laundry.
But what happened? Somewhere I lost human contact for the more desired email and text messaging. I was free to let my analog answering machine catch my home phone calls, screening them later because I was ‘busy.’ Email enabled me to read messages whenever I liked, think about my response and craft some creative excuse or apology for ‘just seeing this now, sorry!’
So, in lessons reminded, I will make more phone calls. Friends, family and strangers, (well, maybe not the weirdo strangers) be on notice: I will be TALKING to you! I’m figuring that’ll give me more time to write. If I lump all those things I hate to do alongside a friendly conversation, I’m bound to have more time, write? (I couldn’t resist.) 😉