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Friday, October 23, 2020

Can You Chat?

I have a friend - we'll call her Glenda - who I have known for decades, since high school.
Over the years, our friendship has ebbed and flowed as friendships sometimes do and I'm happy to say that right now we are flowing along nicely.

Glenda (in blue) and me (in pink - I was going to somebody's prom)
in my parent's very Italian living room.
Please note the heavy velvet draperies and the velvet couch that was for company only.
To the left and out of range of the camera was one of those lamps that dripped oil
which was de rigueur in an Italian household. 
Please also take note of our hair. It took hours to get those "wings" perfect.


She lives a few hours away and things like life and pandemics get in the way quite often so we don't get together as we wish we did.  Sometimes even months go by in between our contact with each other. No one feels slighted; we just pick right up which is what happened the other day.

She had texted a picture to me, I texted back a response about three hours later because most of the time I have no idea where my cell phone is since it's so unimportant to me, and then the greatest thing happened next.

I'm talking monumental.  Faith in humanity restoring.

She texted back three little words: can you chat?

For those of you who don't understand what she meant, she was asking if we could have a real conversation in which words are spoken between two people, enabling them to hear each other's voices, laughter, tone, inflection, etc. 

It's how we did things in the olden days.



I raced for the phone - the landline* - and dialed her number with lightning speed and proceeded to have a one hour real and actual conversation which included discussing our mutual disdain for cell phones and cell phone culture. She told a story about dismissing a potential suitor because he texted too much and never called.  She actually said, "how do you get to know someone via text?"  I could have cried.  

The whole thing was glorious.

Like many deluded people, I often daydream that I will write something that will strike a chord and people will realize the error of their ways and then they'll tell a bunch of people and those people will tell people and before you know it all these people have come to their senses about whatever it is that I wish they would come to their senses about. 

This is one of those things. 

But the odds of me convincing people to put their cell phones away is slim to none.

Maybe, just maybe though - one person might read this and decide to call someone instead of texting them.  

And then they'll say "hey, this is kind of nice" and they'll tell each other how edgy they are for being "old school" and then they'll start calling their friends and moms and grandparents and before you know it this wild new trend will start and Harry and Megan will make a video from their $14 million dollar California mansion about the evils of cell phones and Megan will talk about how she hasn't used a cell phone since she left England and all the people will want to do what she says so they'll bring their cell phones to the recycling center (because throwing them into the ocean would be therapeutic in theory but very bad for the environment) and Twitter would close forever and people would get civil to each other again and their spines would heal because they're no longer bent over their phones and a million other really good things would happen - like a major reduction in selfies, for example - because of all the positive energy not using cell phones would generate.

And the whole thing would be glorious.

A deluded girl can dream, right?


 *Yes, I have one and always will. what if you have to call 911 and can't find your cell phone or you forgot to charge it like I always do?!

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