|It all started so innocently...|
I look at my son with his ever-present cell phone in hand, thumbs flying as he texts and -- though I worry that texting is the death knell for real conversation as we know it -- I can't help but chuckle.
Alas, I, too, am hooked on constant communication. Always have been. And the more intriguing the means of communicating, the better.
In fact, from the age of four when I discovered that I could talk to my best friend, Valli, using nothing more than two Dixie cups and a length of string, I yearned for a 24/7 outlet for my growing gift for gab.
Even at that young age, however, I was not blind to the obvious shortcomings of the cup-and-string phone, and I eventually developed a hankerin' for hand-held, battery-operated walkie talkies. My parents finally gave in to my pre-pubescent pleas and bought me a pair for my ninth birthday.
Yeah, it was all fun and games until the one day Valli wasn't home for our scheduled porch-to-porch convo. There I sat for hours, alone, patiently waiting for Valli's return...a walkie talkie in each hand, chatting back and forth to myself.
|Object of my adolescent desire|
Meanwhile, I had to settle for calling my pals from our rotary wall phone in the kitchen, holing up in our boom closet for privacy. Thank goodness the phone cord reached that far.
As a young adult, I ran up long distance phone bills the size of Chicago, especially during PMS. Nothing like reaching out to friends across the country to ease the emotional cramps that Midol just couldn't touch.
Then came Christmas 1987. John was working retail, and I was a lonely Wal-Mart widow. I was banned from making long distance calls unless I wanted to sell off the family heirlooms to pay MCI each month. What was a depressed chat-a-holic to do?
|10-4 good buddy|
In 1990, I packed up the CB, and we moved to Cincinnati. One night, while John was glued to the TV, I unpacked my frequency-fueled friend and started yackin' again. Gave myself a handle this time. Guardian Angel. My old high school chum, Holly, came over one summer night and joined in the fun.
There we sat in my car in the driveway, Guardian Angel and Star Gazer (both in our early 30s, mind you), a couple cans of pop and a bowl of chips between us, chatting it up on the CB for hours, again with folks we did not know and would never see.
Although my husband did not find this particular past time of mine all that amusing, my psychologist, Shirley (a stand-up comedienne in her spare time), deemed it nothing short of healthy, creative genius for someone like me whose need to talk went way beyond what most husbands could or would tolerate.
|Love at first byte|
It was during that time that a hands-free portable phone, complete with headset, became an indispensable daily tool. It allowed me to talk to my friends, fold laundry and keep a watchful eye on my young son in the next room, all at the same team. What a marvel!
I began blogging in 2006, starting a rather controversial but well-read news blog (The Independent Eye, now defunct) and The Home Stretch, both at the same time. Was one blog enough? Were two too many? My family did not see me for days until one night I emerged from my attic writing room suffering from a bad case of bleary blogger baby blues.
I dare say I could not have survived one more soul-killing Iowa winter without it.
Heck, I'm so cyber-connected these days, The Home Stretch now has its own Facebook page. Gabbing gone wild.
And just the other day I joined Twitter.
But truth be told, between blogging, Facebook and texting, I'm just too tired to Tweet.