I love you. Don’t call me
I look at my phone, and I notice I’ve missed calls from 5 people. Neither of them mention why they’re calling. Neither of them are sufficiently versed in technology to come find me on the internet. Neither of them have discovered the usefulness of text messages. All of them must speak to me instantly. All of them leave long rambling voicemails without specifying what they want. Most notably… All of them are people I love dearly.
How did this happen? How did I become this person who absolutely detests phone conversations? And why this resentment toward the people I love? Why *wouldn’t* I want to be that dependable person loved ones can rely on for a midday chat? When either my best friend or my significant other call, I get excited and can’t wait to talk even though we may have just seen each other hours earlier. (But then again, my best friend is a textpert who hates voicemail… and my significant other leaves short loving voicemails he knows I won’t check for weeks, but will thoroughly enjoy when I hear them). Let anyone else call and I wonder what they want and why they’re leaving voicemail if they aren’t being specific.
there is something wrong with me. of this, I am certain…
One would be inclined to call it a generational thing but there is no excuse for my 25yr old cousin. Why doesn’t she just email me? or text? or tweet? And my 23yr old brother has no excuse either (happy birthday baby). But I love being around them. And I love hearing their voices… just… not in my voicemail.
the point in writing this is to self diagnose my situation. I know I can’t possibly be alone here. For every person that hates text messages because they’re “impersonal”, there is a family somewhere that takes their house phone off the hook when they get home. For every person who calls multiple times in one day, there’s another who keeps their phone on silent… FOREVER.
We are left with no social duty in many of the communities we live in here in the U.S. Elders must be answered. Family members must be tended to. The thoughts and ideas of friends and other loved ones must be entertained. This is not happening because the only affirmative duties we adhere to are those put in place by our employers. If we aren’t getting paid to do it, there is no sense of duty; no sense of urgency; no sense of necessity. We share this practice with youth as well, qualifying our unavailability in their lives with the fact that we must work. Qualifying our absence with the justification that we must do X,Y,Z for the employer who must therefore be more important than the loved ones at home. I skipped my brother’s baby shower because I “had to work”. I cut back on volunteering because I “had to work”. I have a new baby cousin here in New York who I have yet to meet… because I “have to work”. How can we expect children to grow into loving adults that place family FIRST if we don’t lead by example? How will we instill the fact that money need not be your motivation for “success” if that is all we teach? Don’t get me wrong, I love my career (and anyone who has been visiting this blog or reading my tweets for a while knows it’s impossible to do my job for “money”). But I now recognize the need to create a voice for myself that sets social affirmative duties in my life. This way, I can hopefully start to appreciate and value my loved ones with the fervor and passion that I have at work. In something as simple as voicemail and phonecalls, I can show love. I may not want you to call… I may want to throw my cell phone out the window when I see it’s you, but I shall answer & show you love.
so. I love you. I’ll call you back. promise