other things: missed connections

{Note: Welcome to my little experiment, in which I take a brief respite from the retail world to ramble on about life in general. If you’re into it, play along in the comments. If not, don’t fret: we’ll have more “life with style” for you next week.}

The other day, I had a bit of a catastrophe. And as I was frantically trying to deal with it, balanced ever so delicately between mortification, terror and the utter hilarity of the situation, my first (and only, really) instinct was for comiseration. I kept thinking, “I have to call someone! Someone has to know this insanity is happening to me right now.” 

But of course, these days, you can’t call someone. How old-fashioned. How annoying! You have to email them. Or text them. Or, better yet, just post your antics on Facebook for the world to see (and, of course, the more vague, the better…you want to build that sense of suspense and mystery you know your 257 “friends” are waiting for). You have to think of a #hashtag and boil your grievances down to 140 characters or less, while finding a way to cleverly cloak whatever you’re feeling in a veil of humor or disinterested irony, hoping everyone will commiserate but no one will judge.

Frankly, it’s all a little exhausting.

My sitcom-grade antics the other day got me thinking about the number of times in the last few months that I’ve pined for a good old fashioned gab fest. Remember those? When a friend would call you for no reason, and you’d just talk about work or guys or kids or nothing at all for an hour, and hang up feeling maybe a little bit better about life.

Am I the only one who really misses that?

Lately, I’ve been having this fantasy in which we grown-up girls show these young millennial pups how it’s done. A fantasy in which we all pinky-swear to actually pick up the phone and call someone on our “most frequently texted” list this weekendjust to see how their day’s going. To have one conversation where you’re focused and present and can hear your friend’s voice catch a little when they say they’re “fine”, so that you know they’re not. As opposed to, say, having seven conversations simultaneously at any given time, and not really having the foggiest idea whether your best friend from college is happy about her life these days, or drinking a bottle of wine after work every night just to get through (and let’s face it, we’ve all been there).

I’m not saying abandon the electronics. I know we’re all busy, and sometimes it makes life infinitely easier to limit our interactions to a quick ping. I’m just saying there are other times. Times when maybe social media or instant messages just won’t cut it. When you have no idea that your friend could use a friend, or maybe even that you could use a friend. Times when you get a brush stuck in your hair, and you just need someone to know that.

Here’s hoping that this weekend, maybe we’ll all take a deep breath and dial.

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7 comments on “other things: missed connections

  1. Vanessa

    You’re definitely not the only one who misses that. And honestly, my friends and I call each other so infrequently anymore that it just makes us all the more likely to actually pick up the phone when we do see a familiar name on the caller id. I’m putting this on my list for the weekend!

  2. Melissa W.

    Now I feel so very flattered that you’ve called me recently. It was to tell me something about myself. But still. 😉

  3. Kendra

    Reporting back that I called a friend tonight. She just accepted her dream job, and although I commented on FB, you inspired me to pick up the phone to offer her a proper congrats! Thanks. 🙂

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