While googling something totally unrelated recently, I came across a clip from an old Friends episode that made me laugh. It was an early episode (you can tell by Jennifer Aniston’s hair style) after Ross and Rachel had broken up and Ross was on the telephone with a new girlfriend. Their telephone conversation was over but each was reluctant to be the first to hang up and they were being silly. “You hang up first,” Ross says. Pause. “No, you first,” he continues, giggling. It goes back and forth for a bit. At one point they agree to hang up at the same time, but of course neither one does. Finally Rachel, who is sitting next to Ross the entire time, has had enough. She grabs the phone and hits disconnect.
The reason I found that clip so amusing is that I find myself in that situation on a regular basis. Oh, not on the telephone. You surely know that no one talks on the telephone these days. I run into the problem when texting.
Of course, you might recall that I recently discovered that the fact that I was putting periods at the ends of my sentences when texting was offending people and I didn’t even know it. So I’m trying to be more careful about my texting etiquette.
But the problem is, how can I be sure the party with whom I’m texting knows that I received their message unless I respond? And then how can they be sure I know they know I know they received their message unless they respond back. And so it goes. It can potentially have no end.
It leads to conversations like this:
Me: What time do you want to meet?
You: Let’s say 11:30 at Village Inn. (There’s a period because it’s only with Baby Boomers that the problem exists and Baby Boomers use punctuation.)
Me: Okay, that sounds good.
You: We’ll see you at 11:30 then.
Me: Yep. See you then.
You: Ok. I’m looking forward to it.
Me: Okey dokey.
You: You betcha.
And so on.
When texting with Court, the whole issue of who ends the texts rarely comes up. Our conversations are more like this…
Me: Can you have lunch today?
Court: Yes (no punctuation)
Me: Oh good. Let’s meet at Chili’s at noon.
Me (in my mind): Hello, hello, is anyone there?
He has received my message and plans to meet me there as I indicated. He simply doesn’t feel compelled to confirm that because he assumes technology worked. It’s always a surprise to me when he’s there as planned, though by now it shouldn’t be.
By the way, those words (Hello, is anyone there?) are exactly the words my 7-year-old granddaughter Kaiya wrote when she was trying to text me recently; I didn’t answer her initial message because I was not near my iPad. Perhaps she’s going to be a chip off the ol’ grandmother block.
I’ve discovered that I have a similar issue when leaving a voice message. I am not one who likes to talk on the telephone. So it is a mystery to me why I consistently leave messages that are way too long and full of ridiculously unnecessary information.
For example: Hi Sharon. My name is Kris. I saw your ad on Craig’s List for a Kitchenaid Mixer. I’m interested in purchasing one. I only live in Arizona in the winter and I have one in Denver where I live most of the time. But since I only live here four months out of the year, I decided it would be stupid to buy a brand new Kitchenaid, especially if I can find one that is in good condition. I’m not worried about buying used because Kitchenaid mixers are made so well that they last forever. I know someone who uses their grandmother’s old Kitchenaid. It seems silly to spend a bunch of money on something that is probably in perfectly good condition. So could you please give me a call as soon as you get this message. If I don’t answer my phone, it’s probably because I’m at the gym. I don’t take my phone with me to the gym because I’m always afraid it will get stolen or I will forget to pick it up and take it with me when I go. Lordy, getting old isn’t for wimps, is it? Of course, you probably don’t know because you’re probably only in you early 30s. I hope I hear from you soon. And, by the way, I hope the Kitchenaid you’re selling isn’t pink because pink isn’t in my color wheel. Have a great day.
I’ll tell you what isn’t for wimps – being a Baby Boomer!