When someone you love is on the phone, you answer. If you’re not in the middle of something. If you are in the middle of something, you usually text them and when you can you call them. That’s how you know someone cares about you.
If someone ignores your phone calls that means they don’t want to talk with you. What phone calls do we ignore? Bill collectors. Definitely don’t want to talk with anyone who wants our money.
Ever since the phone was invented people have been listening in on other’s calls, ignoring calls, calling drunk, calling asleep, calling barely awake, calling from the bath, the kitchen, the bedroom. Telling lies on the phone, lies that would be obvious if you were in the room with the caller. But, the phone allows us to lie.
In 2012, John Cusack says to his ex-wife, “I’m hurtling toward you,” as he rushes around his house grabbing his keys and preparing to leave. While my daughter was in college, she would take forever packing her stuff at UCSB to come home for the holidays. “I’m on my way,” she’d say, “I’m hurtling toward you.” We’d look at each other and wonder if she was out of her pajamas yet.
Skype is not as good as the phone. It’s fun when someone is overseas like my son is because we can talk with him every few months and we love it for that, but it isn’t something you would want to do every day or every week. It means you have to sit in one place and talk and the joy of the phone is all the other things you can do while you are on it.
Facebook, for people my age, is a way you connect with business people, see pictures of your friends’ kids or see pictures of your kids when they are travelling. It’s good for pictures, but not really a way to stay in communication with your family.
Texting is good, but of course only works if the other person will return the text.
It’s worth keeping your family tight. It’s worth staying in touch by phone and in person, and maybe even by email. They’re your only kids; your only parents, And stay in touch with a few good friends. You picked these people, remember?
Often in families people will stop talking for a while. After some time, you lose the habit of knowing what’s going on in the other person’s life. You can jump back in any time. Have a party! Have a barbecue!
Here’s to a great Labor Day weekend.