An End to the Era of Conversations

by on March 7th, 2015
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My daughter Megan and I have a wonderful relationship, but we haven’t spoken for years. This is not because we live far apart; in fact, we live under the same roof. Instead of talking, now we only text and message each other on Facebook.

Some people might think living without conversing is unhealthy. It works for us and we get along quite well this way. Megan and I constantly post loving, cutesy messages to each other on Facebook. We have also been known to post some pretty nasty stuff at times.

For example, I might post, “What is your problem?? What is wrong with you? Did I not teach you better??!! Why do I have to live with missing toothpaste caps, clothes behind the bathroom door piled to the ceiling and bras on the dining room table??” But then I remember she’s paying half the bills here so I comment, “Love you.” With a little heart, of course.

It wasn’t always like this; there was a time when we would actually have conversations. But getting me off the computer for any amount of time to actually talk was difficult in itself. Also, talking often led to arguments, and I like to live peacefully.

I had just quit my job, in rather spectacular fashion, but frankly, didn’t want to talk about it. Being a writer, I do just that – write. I needed to tell friends and family, and wrote one long email about what happened and sent it to my former coworkers, family and friends. No need for endless phone calls to retell 50 or more times what I’d done and why.

My daughter, primping to go out, had been drilling me for several days to tell her what happened.

“It’s too long to explain, I’ll tell you later, and you’re busy.”

“No,” she said, “I can listen while I’m getting ready.”

“You wont be listening. There’s a lot to explain. We’ll talk about it… maybe next week.”

“You never want to talk!”

Granted she was standing two feet away from me, but why not tell her the story the way everyone else heard it?

“I’ll email you the story. That’ll be easier.”

“Why can’t you just tell me like a normal person? And besides, I never check my email.”

“‘Cause I hate talking. And I’m not normal. You know this.”

That’s when I decided it was time to do away with conversations. After all, we were both on the computer pretty much all day when we were home. We already texted each other regularly.

So now, when Megan wakes up in the morning at about 2 or 3 p.m., the first thing she does is take a sip of water and get online. At some point I think she goes to the bathroom, but like me, probably holds it in until she sees what people’s Faceboook statuses are and what responses she’s gotten to her posts.

Typically, I’m in my normal spot in front of the desktop where I’ve been for hours since I woke up. Megan messages me – “Tell.”

“Tell” is our shorthand for what’s new, what are you doing, what’s going on?

“Sittin’ here playing Scrabble. What else do I do?”

She messages again, and I read about her shenanigans last night, complete with all the drama that the life of a 25-year-old single gal entails.

And then, “What are you doing today? I need to do laundry.”

I lose my Internet connection so I grab my phone, which is always right on the desk in front of the screen.

“I hve 2 go 2 store n gt mlk tp and ct fd. U nd anthg?”

“No im gd.”

The other night Megan was going out to a party and wanted to show me her new outfit. Earlier she had texted that she was going to try it on and show me. Phone in hand, she came in the room dressed in the new garb. I was in the middle of a game so I couldn’t look right away. She’s knows how important my word games are, so she waited patiently.

She texted something but I didn’t hear the alert my phone makes for an incoming text.

I must have misplaced it and was in a panic. I turned back to the keyboard and she saw me type something on the computer so she went out to the living room where her laptop is.

I had written, “It’s nice, honey. You look cute. Love my baby.”

To which she replied, “Thanks mommy, love.”

I really think we’re on to something.

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