Zany copy editor and writer with more than 25 years’ experience in everything from advertising to petting zoos! Am I meticulous? Heck, I get on my own nerves sometimes, that’s how much attention I pay to details. "I am not making this up" – Dave Barry

Posts tagged ‘frustration’

When did phone calls become too much trouble?

For the past few days, I’ve wanted to call a few friends about happenings in their lives. But today, most people over 15 prefer a text message or email or -egad- a snapchat instead of a real, meaningful phone call. So we text, email, post on Facebook. We choose relatively anonymous communication in which the receiver of the digital communication is left to interpret what we meant in the moment we pecked out those few letters or shared that “deep” meme (what a joke). Have we become cowards? Are we truly too busy for a real phone call or conversation (without checking our phones every few minutes)?

I have a few friends who call me when they’re going somewhere in their cars. They’re busy people, yes, but it leaves me feeling like I’m there to fill their time. “I have 20 minutes before I have to (whatever), so I’ll call Jeannine.” They don’t realize that I have a difficult time understanding a call from a moving car. I don’t know that I have to stop talking because they’re at a drive-thru, placing an order. I don’t know that I don’t have much opportunity to say much because they’ll be at their destination in a few minutes.

Do you ever yearn for those days – long ago – when you looked forward to calling a friend or family member? Even if you had to make that call after seven or eleven o’clock at night when the rates were low. Something about  getting comfortable in a chair with a glass of Pepsi (or your favorite), and looking forward to catching up with a cherished friend, having time to each share what was going on, and each make the other feel good.

Now, even those “calls-from-the-car” are awkward. They’re always hurried. And people don’t talk about life like we used to. You can’t concentrate on the road AND truly listen to what a friend is saying. It’s dangerous, and you’re likely to focus on how you will respond rather than listening to what your friend or family member tells you. Oh, you hear it, all right, but do you actually listen? You can’t do it, because you’re supposed to be focused on the road.

Sometimes you get a quick, “How’s your day going?” call from a friend at his/her office. Again, that’s not the time to have one of those old-fashioned, relaxed conversations. People at work aren’t supposed to engage in personal calls.

I’ve called friends/family at home when I figure they’re home from work. But then, I sense that they’re stressed out by the day or, because of the nature of their jobs, the last thing they want to do is talk on the phone.

The saddest part of this is how it’s affecting kids in their teens and twenties. They laugh at the thought of having a phone conversation. Their lack of verbal communication shows when they demonstrate that they can’t have a face-to-face conversation. They don’t know what to say, don’t understand the rules of civility: look someone in the eye and TALK.

To this day, I remember how excited I’d get when I knew my then-boyfriend was going to call me. That meant he’d have to stop what he was doing, dial my number, ask the housemother to put me on the phone, and then tell me whateenonphone[2]t had happened since our last conversation. We wrote letters then, too. We share silly stuff, such as “a fraternity came into our room tonight to make a panty raid. It was SO embarrassing!” And we share our hopes, fears, and plans for both college and the future. We learned about each other that way.

Now it seems as though we are just too busy. And when we write, we’re too lazy to even spell out a word. “How are you?” becomes “How R U?” Are we just SO busy that it’s asking entirely too much to include those four letters?!

It makes me sad. I remember having a three-hour conversation with one the first friends I made after college. What fun!

But now people are too busy, and it’s hard to maintain a relationship with clipped phone calls and text messages.

So there’s this guy and his dog…

Best book you'll read this year.

Best book you’ll read this year.

Sometimes, you discover something and want to shout to the world (or put it on Twitter), “Look at this miraculous discovery! Get ya one!” But I didn’t do it, because, well, it’s a book – and I don’t recommend books. This is an exception.           To those who know me, it’s no secret that I LOVE dogs. I have been following Luis’ and Tuesday’s journeys via Facebook, and the more I saw, the more I knew I had to have this book. You see, even though I did not serve in the military, I have PTSD and other issues. I lost my beloved Golden Retriever, Barbara, last year and have not been the same since.

What I liked about the book was the fact that this brave author, a soldier to the core, does not try to hold back his feelings. We are right there with him in battle, experiencing fear and frustration I’ve never imagined. CPT Montalvan never quit. He never complained and he kept helping until he could no longer serve.

His description of what it’s like to experience PTSD “moments” hit right on for me, and his words should help family and friends understand what we go through. Because if you have not experienced this “brain curse,” you can try to understand, but then you’ll probably think, “He/she should be over that by now.” Or worst of all, “He/she is just doing that to get out of going to work.” Little do y’all know that when a person is in the vice grip of PTSD going from one room to another makes you filled with fear. In the worst cases, when you cannot go to that other room, you want to give up. Luis Montalvan went through this, and in a “don’t-feel-sorry-for-me” writing style, lets you into his life – the life of anyone – not just vets – who suffer conditions not visible to the eye. Oh, how he suffered.Then, Tuesday entered his life, and although trepadacious, Luis realized he was no longer trapped. Tuesday brought freedom and confidence to Luis, and Luis returned it to Tuesday, a sensitive, goofy, and loyal creature.

The best part of this book is the way he explains the special connection between a human and a pet (which is great) and a human and his/her “dialed in” dog. I had this experience, but could neither explain it nor get others to understand.

In crisp, write-like-you-speak language, we go through the highs and lows. We laugh uproariously at Tuesday’s antics and get lumps in our throats when we hear Luis’ heart cry… But always, always, always, Tuesday and Luis emerge victorious.
I loved this book so much that I told my friends I’d buy their copies back if they didn’t learn one thing.
I seldom call a book a must-read, but here it is