Posts Tagged "cell phones"

January 11th and the History of You

Dear Kid,

Today is January 11th.

To you, it is the day to go back to school for second semester. To some people it is the day before Monday.

But to me, it is more than that.

It is the anniversary of the Day I Met Daddy.

You probably know the story. But in case you don’t:

Once upon a time, I didn’t know Daddy. I thought that was OK. The Universe thought otherwise.

Dad’s grandma and my grandma lived in the same complex in Florida and had lots of friends in common. At a luncheon on day, Dad’s grandma was lamenting the fact that her grandson didn’t have a girlfriend. “Rebecca,” said one of the mutual friends, “You have a granddaughter in New York, don’t you?”

Translation: They can both fog a mirror and they live within 1,000 miles of each other—perfect!

Not too long thereafter I received a letter from Grandma saying that this guy would call me. I cleverly rolled my eyes, thanked Grandma politely for the introduction, and ignored the whole thing.

One night, the phone rang.

Let’s get the technology clear. This was in the days before cell phones when one had to get up off the couch and get the phone because it was sitting on the counter. This was in the days of the TV show LA Law (and EVERYONE knew better than to call me on Thursday nights from 10-11pm). This was in the days before the internet carried episodes of shows so one could watch at one’s own convenience.

The phone rang.

I glared at it, wondering who would be idiotic enough to call during LA Law. The phone kept ringing. (This was in the days before caller ID.)

I answered the phone.

Dude was on the other end of the line. He seemed nice even though he seemed to have no clue that he was calling in the middle of LA Law. We talked and it turned out he lived in West Chester which for a Manhattan girl was a Deal Breaker of the Most Serious Variety.

I did my best to get off the line and get back to LA Law. He did not take the hint.

He asked me out. I rolled my eyes, got off the couch, looked at my calendar (paper—this was in the days before PDAs and electronic calendars), and agreed that yes, I would go out with him on Saturday afternoon.

I missed most of LA Law, so it was clear the relationship was doomed.

Friday evening when I got home from work there was a message on the machine (this was in the days when answering machines were completely separate from phones) from BFF Nancy. Nancy (who lived in Boston) was going to be in the area on Saturday and could we get together.


I called and left a message on the guy’s machine canceling the date for what was a completely true but completely fake sounding reason.

Then I went out to a party. Because I was that kind of girl.

By the time I got home, there was a message from West Chester guy. Of course he understood and how about the following weekend.

Really? Sigh. Only because I love my grandmother, I thought. (Translation: whatev.)

The following weekend rolled around and (wait for it) I had a cold. A reasonably nasty cold. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed and sleep for about a decade. But I had this date.

So I took DayQuil (or something like it) and I was ready for Dude to show up January 11th at 2pm.

In a pattern that hasn’t changed much in lo these many years, Dad was late.

He missed the train and didn’t show up at my apartment until 3pm. I was thrilled with this start. Not.

We went out to an exhibit at the AT&T building (which I remember was pretty cool). He wanted to go out to dinner. My cold and I wanted to go home and die.

And that’s the story of How We Met On January 11th.

Love, Mom


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Unplug and Let Your Brain Create Something

Dear Kid,

Our Favorite Bunny (from William and Mary) sent me a link to this article yesterday. Since it arrived 2 hours after I’d read a similar-but-different article I decided it was a Trend.

The first article I read was a post (presumably on Craig’s List) by a restaurant comparing consumer behavior Then with consumer behavior Now. According to their analysis, it Now takes about an hour longer for diners to eat their meal. This is because of (wait for it) cell phones. The restaurant says people take longer to begin to look at menus because they are texting, surfing, whatev; diners ask servers to take photos, retake photos, and occasionally pose for photos; and diners take photos of food before eating which causes it to get cold which causes more food to be sent back to the kitchen which causes—you got it—everything to take longer.

Books. They don't need to be plugged in. Try one! DearKidLoveMom.comThe article our Bunny sent talks about how people born after 1985 (a marvy year) will never know what it’s like to be un-connected. Says the author: In the last decade, researchers have confirmed that moments of insight arrive not when the mind is in a clenched state, but when the mind is at ease, when we’re aimlessly walking down the street, lost in thought. From Archimedes to Poincare, many intellectual breakthroughs occurred in the midst of a perfectly inane daydream.

Huh? Sorry. My mind was wandering.

I saw a post on Facebook where two friends were remembering a trip to New York City pre-cell phone. They had to stop to ask strangers for directions, they had to wander into restaurants without the help of Yelp, they had to talk to each other while they waited for performance to begin. Oh, the horror.

It’s possible that the restaurant story is a bunch of hooey (especially since it’s been pulled off Craig’s List) but the idea is absolutely on point. Our minds don’t have time to do nothing. We don’t give our brains a chance to unclench, to meander. How many of us work on a computer while watching tv? (Guilty.)

What’s worse is that we don’t read an actual book (those papery things with bindings and lots of words). We don’t solve puzzles (well, some of us try).

My suggestion? Take a few minutes to stare out a window, contemplate the ceiling, meditate on the meaning of the day. Turn off the electronics for just a moment, and enjoy.

Love, Mom

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