I know I’ve been stressed lately because I’ve been drinking a lot of margaritas and glasses of wine lately. Let’s face it, I’m so out of it. I try to keep up, but I am technologically-deficient, socially-networkingly dumb, and just plain out of touch. I don’t GET IT. I’m like that ninety-year old grandma who is learning how to navigate Facebook for the first time and truthfully, I really don’t get the new FB ‘Time Line’ profile at ALL.
All my friends complain about it: “Contact me via Facebook!”, “Didn’t you see my Instagram?”, “I texted you 5 whole minutes ago!”
I’m terribly hard to get a hold of. (I know, I just ended a sentence with a preposition, but you all understood what I meant, which means our collective English grammar must be going to the doghouse. I digress…) There is a reason for this…
When I turn on Facebook, I am sometimes overwhelmed. It’s like having 700+ people you’ve met ever so briefly asking you to pay attention to them. And as much as I do think Facebook is great in order to keep in touch with people who live farther away, I can’t go to every theatre opening, attend every baby shower, or send everyone a birthday card. I feel like I’m being an awful friend. An awful ‘virtual’ friend.
Anyway.. why I’m so ‘hard to get a hold of’ is because… in 2004, when cellphones were the norm and texting was new, I went over to my friend “Luke’s” house for dinner. He had made Korean potato pancakes and I had made blackberry cobbler. (BTW: It wasn’t a romantic thing, no! We were just friends and still are ‘just friends’. Really.) Anyway, we were enjoying a glass of wine when his phone rang. He walked over to it.
“Go ahead and answer it,” I threw over my shoulder as I cracked open a magazine. “I’ll just wait until you’re done.”
“No,” he looked puzzled at me. “I was going to turn it off.”
“Why?” I had asked incredulously.
“Because,” he slowly started, “I have company.”
“Company? Who, me?”
“So?” (I’m still baffled.)
“Because,” he explained evenly, “I said I was going to have dinner with you, and I’m having dinner with you. When it’s their time, I’ll talk to them at that time.”
And I sat there for the first time, realizing what undivided attention was. And it was such a feeling of respect towards me, that I knew I wanted to incorporate that in my life.
I can’t be everyone’s friend, but I can be to the person breathing in front of me in real time. And that is why I turn my cell phone off. Often.