Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The long (agonizing) goodbye

Sorry, folks, Internet was down for a bit, and then Blogger was too. Don’t they know that I need to blog? How dare they have problems with the site!

I’ve been thinking about talking on phones… and why I hate it. I always just assumed it was the tension of feeling like I was with the person and yet not quite. I would tell myself, ‘I just like either emailing or chatting in person, nothing in between.’ And that’s kind of true, but I knew it didn’t explain the whole story. I assumed that maybe in my *old* age I was turning into some sort of antisocial hermit… but have you seen me in a room of people?? I love it! I love being in the presence of others about whom I care (was that a proper usage of “whom?”).

So then, the phone. What is it? Placing a call FREAKS ME OUT. I don’t like it one bit. If you call me, I’m usually happy to talk to you, but I sure as heck don’t want to initiate the call. I sit hovering over my cell, plowing through my address book like I’m actually going to pick a number and dial. Sometimes I do, but mostly I don’t.

I think I figured it out. It’s saying goodbye. There’s that bizarre dance of, “Well, have a good day,” “Thanks, you too” “Take care,” etc., “bye!” Sometimes I get freaked out by the silence (not because I care, but because I think that the other person cares or thinks I care) and preempt the other’s last words in the dance. Then I feel mean and want to hang up immediately. J My brother makes goodbyes so easily because they happen so quickly that I don’t even realize we just said goodbye until it’s done and he’s hung up.

And then there’s the “I love you” thing (and variations thereof). I want to tell everyone that I love them, but that makes some people uncomfortable (Hi, Mom J). LOL But I mean it, so shouldn’t I say it? Do I say it every time? Only for conversations lasting longer than 5 minutes? When?????? So sometimes I wait, and then refer to above comments on awkward silence. I’m more likely to say it than a lot of others are, which some people think is an abuse of the word “love.” I’m less likely to say it (this comes up in email as well) if I think it will bother *you*, not because I don’t feel love towards you.

I explained some of this to Bob and our friend Mark, and Mark said, “Geez, no wonder you hate the phone.. .this is insane!” Yes, yes it is. I’ve tried to think about what kind of advice I would give to someone else I know if they had this problem. But I have no clue.

The dance goes on….

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