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Dear Moms of My Sons’ Friends:

I admit I felt trepidation about meeting you. It was like a blind date, and the person setting it up was Great Aunt Bertie who has the sugars and farts like the Beefareeno horse in “Seinfeld.”

My sons love your sons and want to be with them all the time.

But what if I thought you were pretentious or annoying?

What if I hated you?

What if you hated me?

Following blind dating rules, we agreed to meet in a neutral place: Monkey Joe’s. The skating rink. Bowling.

We shyly introduced ourselves. We talked about neutral topics such as the school our boys attend. You laughed at one of my sarcastic remarks.

I dared to hope there was more where that came from.

We became Facebook friends. The boys and I came over to your house. Or you and your boys came over to mine. The kids had sleepovers. We updated each other via text or photos via Messenger.

We used each other as a touchstone for normalcy: “Yeah? ME TOO!”

Suddenly, we were making plans independent of the boys. They didn’t need to ask to get together because we already were.

During this holiday season when you are doing so much for everyone else, let me take a moment of your time to tell you how much I appreciate you for being you. For being cool. For being my friend too.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Technology:

I’m glad we’re back together after a short, holiday-induced break. It’s good we didn’t have to buy Christmas gifts for each other. What would I get the entity that has everything? (Teleportation capabilities for the user, perhaps.)

I want you to know that I cheated on you with paper. I read magazines by turning real pages. I carried books around in my bag, and did not worry about also carrying a charger and trying to find an outlet. I had face-to-face conversations with actual humans.

I know we never said we’d be exclusive, but I still felt guilty every time I had a tangible experience.

“We were on a break!”

Anyway, now that we are back together, I’ve been thinking about how much I depend on you in general. I can’t really get you out of my life. I’m not the only one. It’s kind of frightening. Allow me to elucidate:

A very good friend emailed me to ask me what her husband’s cell phone number was because she had left her cell phone at home and couldn’t remember his number. I relied on you (in the form of iCloud) but you failed me and managed to lose half the numbers in my address book. His was one of them. I had to call Eddie to get the husband’s number, which Eddie texted to me. And then I emailed it to my friend.

Sheesh.

Remember the days when we didn’t need you to remember numbers? I bet you are feeling really proud of yourself right about now.

Anyway, even though we are back together, I want you to know that I still value my independence. I can’t have you all over me all the time. It’s not you, it’s me. Sometimes I need a little time to myself, time without you. I hope you understand.

See you in a few minutes!
Beth

Digital communication

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