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.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

15 Responses to This Message Sent From My Dishwasher

  • Marie says:

    Being able to unplug is definitely a good thing, even if just for a little while. And if those tulips are in your yard, I am envious. They are absolutely gorgeous & I can’t make a plant grow if my life depended on it. That picture added some sunshine to my day. :-)

  • chrisinphx says:

    I was back in Chicago the week of the 5th to see the family, my mom’s tulips were just starting to peek through the dirt. Guess I should have waited a week to come out.
    I totally feel you on being unreachable now, 5 years ago the phone was always in my pocket…just in case! And now, as soon as I get home I turn iton vibrate and toss it on my desk and dont look at it again until the next morning. I’m also ready to trade my house in the cul de sac for a cabin in the woods all Uni bomber style with no neighbors or anyone around the bother me. God damn, Im a cranky ol man at 34.

  • Mayor Gia says:

    They ARE pretty! And I hear you. Unplugging is good. For a minute or two.

  • Grace says:

    Are those seriously growing in your yard right now???? My tulips haven’t even THOUGHT about making an appearance yet! Not even the tip of a leaf. I’ve barely got little teeny grass leafies sticking up.

    So not fair.

  • Mrs. One Day says:

    Gorgeous tulips! Our daffodils bloomed and died pretty quickly. Stupid weird weather!!! Of all the people I know, you need to slow down a bit sometimes. You do so much for everyone, take a few minutes for yourself, lady.

    Love you.

  • Christina says:

    I second the urge to unplug. I am one of the very few people over the age of 12 who STILL does not have a cell phone and I love it! I know eventually I will get one but I like no one being able to get in touch with me if I’m out. Also beautiful flowers!

    • Janey says:

      No cell phone for this woman either. Which is only sensible as I hate talking on the phone.

      Your Mom made a great point. Isn’t it scary when you realize their wisdom far after the fact? Well on some things ;)

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    yep. sometimes it’s nice to just look at something pretty and be so caught up in the pretty that oops i forgot to tweet this shit!

  • Brett Minor says:

    As soon as my kids are home, I shut my cell phone off. It doesn’t ring all night. I wish I had thought to do it years ago. I also require them to turn theirs off at 8:00. The whole house goes Internet silent at this time.

    They don’t understand why I do that, but concentrating on the people in front of them is a priority I want to establish in them.

  • Pete In Az says:

    If those are your tulips, enjoy the heck out of them. We just had a hella snow storm roll through here last weekend and it mushed mine. They were just starting to open up. I believe the storm is rolling your way, winter ain’t over yet.

    Speaking of cell phones, I got my first telemarketer on mine the other day. I have put my number on the “do not call” list and suggest everyone here who has on do the same.

  • Abigail
    Twitter: skywaitress
    says:

    I never understood the urge to unplug until recently. But my unplugging has been more hiding so I’m not sure it counts the same. Anyway, it really has been nice to just turn of all electronics, breath in the gorgeous weather (because hello 80 in March?! What state do we live in again?) and just BE.

  • Devan says:

    More and more often I am deleting my facebook app from my phone for the whole week. (I load it back on the weekends, you knows I have to check in like a bitch, yo!) I turn my phone on silent alot cause all that ringing and blinging gets on my damn nerve! Though occasionally this makes me look at my phone more to see if anyone has called, usually I forget all about it and later I’m all like COOL! I have seventy-eleven messages on here!

    I love your writing, punctuation (proper punctuation is bull shit) and your brain. I relate.

  • Jolie says:

    purdy flowers! Enjoy them, and “forget” the devices in the house on occasion so you can wander around the yard in peace & quiet. :) ?

  • Marta says:

    It has happened to me yet. I’ve tried to force myself to unplug but I practically break out in sweat at the time away from my iphone.

  • Christene says:

    I totally get what you are saying. Sometimes I just don’t turn on my computer and leave my phone in my purse on silent. And don’t look at either for almost a full day. And then play catch up for the next three days. But it is totally worth it.

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