I remember when I got a pager. The thing was gold, tiny, and worn by a nice white suburban girl who was all Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster. I think it increased my street cred by at least -37 points. (those are NEGATIVE points, yo). If the thing played music, it’d have chosen with, “Up Town Girl.” It was THAT cliche.
Apparently, I’ll never be, “Becky From Tha Block.” Which is prolly good – I don’t want J Lo or Jennifer Lopez or whatever her name is now to be all, “bitch you be stealing mah shit,” as she smacked me in the face with stacks of fat cash. This is how I envision it – I’d probably just get a cease/desist letter from her lawyers, which, SO not fun.
Anyway, back when I got the pager, my friends would page me and I’d have to scramble to find 35 cents to call them back (like I was ever HOME or anything) Usually this was our conversation:
Aunt Becky: “Hey, what up fool?”
My Friend: “What up, stinky-butt?”
Aunt Becky: “Whatcha doing?”
My Friend: “Nothing. Wanna hang out?”
Aunt Becky: “Sure! I’m doing XYZ – come join us.”
My Friend: “Only if we can go whip donuts at old people.*”
Aunt Becky: “Whaaa? Okay.”
Then we’d scamper off into the night, merrily pranking our way through life.
I proudly showed it to my mom one day. And by “proudly” I mean that I said, “hey, can you pull over? I gotta make a call.”
She shook her head as she pulled over and allowed me to make my very unimportant call. When I popped back into the car, she sighed deeply and said, “I don’t know why you do that.”
My mother, always oblique, confused me, so I waited for her to go on. I knew a rant was a-brewing.
“You’ve gotten this thing that connects you to the world – why the hell would you want that? Don’t you want times of your life where you’re unreachable?”
No, no I didn’t. And I told her as much.
She shook her head, “Someday, you may feel differently.”
I was pretty sure she was full of shit. Until recently. Recently, I’ve been kinda digging on the time I’m able to unplug. I’ve got just about every sort of social media outlet, just about every type of communication device you can think of – usually multiple accounts. Therein likes the beauty (read: rub) of being the founder of a site that staffs upwards of 100 volunteers (that would be The Band Back Together Project) – someone always needs me for something.
Generally it doesn’t bother me. I love what I do, I’m thrilled to do it, and I’m over-the-moon that I’ve found such an amazing group of people to work with. I know how blessed I am.
But damns, it hurts to say this.
(small voice) My mother was right.
(somewhere she’s rolling her eyes at me, feeling a smug sense of satisfaction)
There are times that I simply don’t want to be dealing with anything but whatever is directly in front of me.
The worst part? My mother was right BEFORE her time – BEFORE email became the standard method of communication. Before The Twitter expected that you reply to each! and! every! response!
Before the world became so fucking urgent.
Sometimes, it’s nice to stop and remember that life? It’s not always such Serious Business.
Sometimes – it’s worth it to stop and smell the tulips**.
*still don’t know what that means.
**I don’t think tulips smell. But DAMNS they’re pretty.