Within the past week there were two text conversations between me and my daughter, Linda, that I found disturbing. Could I blame it on friggin’ technology or should I blame it on my arthritic brain? I will always blame it on technology. Each time a short phone conversation would have been infinitely more precise and uplifting. Why didn’t I call my daughter? Because she has a very busy life, but she’ll usually respond to a text.
Me: Sunday 4.02 pm: Are you recording third season of The Affair?
Monday 7:32 pm: Helloooo????
Linda: sorry been busy rearranging house lol
no I get it on crave tv
So you can’t record?
I already get it on crave
I know. Can you record it for me?
no I can’t its like Netflix
the affair is on showtime right?
Good to know. So I won’t get crave. I don’t get showtime either. Never mind. I’ll wait. (big eyes emoji)
how did u watch it before steaming? (she means streaming)
On prime but I got virus the last time
you can watch here whenever you are here lol
Ya. OK. (heart eyes emoji)
Tuesday 12:56 pm: You were wondering: what’s wrong with mom? She knows I can’t record record Crave. Mom is thinking: what’s wrong with Linda? Why is she being difficult about recording it? Hilarious!
Me: Pleasant dreams Beauty! xxoo
A bit of background information: Linda has a new job, is teaching her old job to a colleague and learning her new work. At home she has a husband, a daughter and a dog. I have none of the aforementioned. I am a writer and a hermit and have lived alone for a long time. It’s all about me.
On Wednesday evening I got a Facebook notice via email that Linda, Judy and I would be attending Kim’s jewelry show. The email stated 6:11 pm.
The next day a conversation via telephone would have saved a lot of time and incomprehension . Linda daughter was very busy at work. I was at home and already tense because I had received an email from CALQ. It stated that there was an update on my profile and I should click on the link below to access my grant application file. I clicked. It said: application denied (in blue and underlined). A letter would follow telling me the same thing, albeit in gentler terms.
The following texts ensued between Linda and me:
Me: Thursday 10:40 am: Heya! Do I meet you at Kim’s? What time?
Response not fast enough and I need to know if I should put on my makeup. Her phone is acting up. Maybe she didn’t get my text. I called her at the office and left a message with someone.
Thursday 12:21 pm: sorry mom haven’t had a free moment I’ll call you later.
I’m eating lol
is it urgent
(fuck ya! – thought not text) I have to go out. I just need the answer to my question above
don’t know yet
Ok. I’ll do my thing and we’ll connect later
Judy and I didn’t make a time but we may go for brunch or lunch before
(OMG emoji) because your email post said 6:11 pm I thought it was that time today!!! Bye!
you’re so silly (one eye closed one eye open tongue sticking out emoji)
that’s when i answered post
I know that now. I hate texting and posting when a quick phone call would have save a lot of time
okay sorry been training and learning
And I’m sorry that I’m a grumpy (grumpy face emoji) old mom. xxoo
Saturday 10:50 am: Do I maybe makeup today?
mom Kim s thing is tomorrow only
I guess there was something I didn’t read. I’m booked for theatre tomorrow. Try to have fun without me.
Moral of the story: Texts and emails often leave stuff out – like emotion, tone of voice, laughter (emojis don’t cut it), information and comprehension. We don’t process or pay attention to everything we read, especially if it’s an email or text. I’m sixty-eight. For me the telephone was the best invention ever, second only to the inside, flush toilet and electricity. All of these things were invented before I was born. We got a television set when I was thirteen and the world started deteriorating at an alarming rate. The next best invention since I became a secretary and a writer was a word processor that could cut and paste. I hate cell phones but I have one. Please call me when you can. I like the sound of your voice. And I need a hug!