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To say that at 28 years old I’ve learned not to waste time on a guy who’s not clear in his interest and not actively pursuing me would be COMPLETELY true. As in, I’ve totally learned that lesson. Put it into practice? Umm…

Yeah, so there’s no point trying to pretend I’ve not sunk to the depths of patheticness when it comes to this guy. (He’s not even worth a cute nickname. Jerk.) We’ve been off and on for over a year now, but it’s definitely time to pull the plug. Because, this last time, he made actual plans with me for this weekend (we don’t live in the same state and he travels a lot for work, so advance planning is a necessity). Three weeks pass, not a single word. No response to two in-the-meantime texts I sent. (I SEE YOU LOGGED IN TO SKYPE!)

“Let me know that you’re still coming!” I wrote in a very pleasant, very passive-aggressive email. Because, you know, weekend guests need to be planned for. Food bought. Place cleaned. Work schedule adjusted for airport-picking-up.

No response.

Four days later, beginning of this week, my Saving-Face-Email (still pleasant, even more passive aggressive): “Hey, since I didn’t hear from you I need to assume you’re not coming, because now I don’t have enough time to get ready. Too bad! :(” (Sad face is the ULTIMATE in this one-sided exchange’s passive aggression.)

NO RESPONSE.

I am pissed at him, at THIS, at myself. I’m beyond disgusted at myself right now. So, desperate measures requiring dire circumstances, I’m giving up any and all contact with this guy for Lent. I figure that a 40-day period should do away with whatever warped bond I feel to this guy who’s been stringing me along for a year now.

Maybe not the holiest of goals… But I’m not Catholic anyway, so whatever.

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I’ve always been slow to accept new technology. I don’t really do gadgets, never have. I don’t have a smartphone, an iPod, or any Blu-Ray DVDs. And I’m pretty sure somewhere in my bedroom there lies a Walkman that just never made it to the trash pile 10 years ago.

Still, I’ve slowly been opening up to the idea of broadening my technology horizons. An iPad, perhaps. A Kindle, maybe. After all, we’re not exactly gonna go in reverse. Technology is only gonna get more intricate, more prevalent. Am I missing out in love, life, and the pursuit of all things happy by clinging to the tried and true?

It’s been a month since I closed my Facebook account, and so far all is well. Not even a chunk of sky has fallen. So in the interest of figuring out if new(er) technologies {or Facebook reactivation} are in my future, I’ve come up with a list. Is technology good or evil for my quasi love life?

The Pros

  • No more waiting. For the phone to ring, that is. Now that texting and IMing have become the norm, we gals don’t have to sit by the phone for the guy to call, because he won’t. Ever. We can just tell ourselves that he’s been driving…for an entire week nonstop…and is diligently keeping both hands away from that touchpad.
  • Online dating. You know, if that’s your thing. A menu of options whenever, wherever.
  • What distractions? Seriously, who needs to sit and wait when you can stalk your friends/enemies/exes, play Scramble, and stream music all at the same time?
  • Instant consolation and advice. Technology means we’re just one status update or Tweet away from plenty of advice from any of hundreds of contacts.
  • Fewer bad first dates. That’s what a quick Google search is for, right? Weed out the bad ones, at least on the big stuff that can be gleaned from that questionable profile photo.

The Cons

  • No filtering out creepers. Technology is CONVENIENT. A lot of great, awesome guys take advantage of that convenience. And a lot of weird, lazy loser guys who might not make any grand effort otherwise also know how to use technology to be…creepy.
  • No privacy. You need only Google, well, yourself to see how much info is out there to all, not to mention prospective love interests. (Double con if your name is not very common!)
  • 24/7 contact.
    Great for emergencies, but it also leaves the door wide open for unreasonable pressure to respond…on someone else’s timeline. It seems the greater the number of ways you can be contacted (and seen logging in and status-updating), the less likely someone is to believe that you are actually busy. You know, that reason that used to be totally LEGIT for fully employed, gym-going, 7-8-hours-of-sleep-needing adults?

OK, so maybe I’m not quite sold. I’m just very wary of letting another gadget or social media outlet into my life. I’m sure I’ve missed some of the pros though, so feel free to clue me in!

Forget about whether or not giving your girlfriends or guy friends the scoop on your latest relationship or date is actually helpful. I’m still undecided if that’s ever a good idea, because let’s face it–many married folks can’t remember what it’s like to be single, and single people are, well, SINGLE. So we won’t delve into going to friends for actually useful advice-getting.

Nope, I’m just curious about how much people divulge to their friends and family–leave nothing out or totally withhold (or a safe in-between)? Are your friends in the loop on the down and dirty of what’s going on in your love life? How much detail are you comfortable giving, and when does it cross the line? I read a book recently (see my post from yesterday) that I’m guessing is a pretty accurate account of what goes on a lot between friends when it comes to their romantic relationships and how they figure things out (or just vent). But frankly, I doubt I’d EVER forward a girlfriend an email I got from a guy, asking her to give me her take on it. It’s not just the inanity of girls-interpreting-guys either–it’s too personal a thing for me! (And maybe not so nice to the guy.)

So, how much detail do you give, and how much do you prefer to hear? I like to think I’m in the less-is-more camp when I’m on the listening side, but I’m the first to admit that when it comes down to it, I’ll never turn down some juicy gossip!

I’m sure we can all agree–there’s a lot left unsaid when we come to rely on non-face-to-face and nonverbal communication. Technology makes it SO easy for us to simply screen our phone calls, hang up without leaving someone a voicemail, and just stick with texting, emails, Facebook back-and-forths, and Tweets. But–these gadgets of convenience might just leave lots of room for missed chances.

I just finished the book “Save as Draft” (Simon & Schuster, February 2011) by writer-lawyer Cavanaugh Lee and I loved it. The book chronicles the romances and related comic (and often not-so-comic) missteps of a female lawyer whose relationships are wholly affected not just by the emails sent between her and her friends, but also the ones that they write but save {unsent} in their Drafts folders. Lee touches on something really unique to our modern technology-saturated age: are we overthinking it? Sometimes the things we DON’T say are the things that could have changed everything…for better or worse.

I’m definitely guilty of doing it. Except I never let an email sit in a folder addressed to someone unless I know for SURE I’m going to send it. I have typed out venting emails in a fit of anger (or sadness, panic, despair), but if I have ANY doubts about truly sending it, I’ll be proactive and make sure to put my own email address in the “To:” field before typing–just in case I accidentally hit ‘Send’ instead of ‘Save’!

Lee’s “Save as Draft” is clever, creative and modern (the entire book reads as emails, text messages, Facebook posts, and Tweets between the protagonist Izabell, her best friends, and the men in her life), and a quick, fun read. Writers will wish they had written it!

Do you save, edit, and delete often? Has technology made it too easy for you to NOT tell someone what you really meant to say?

Confession: I secretly hate email!

This might be coming off the tail end of having officially survived more than a week sans Facebook. (I purged the account in order to free up some time and lessen distractions.)  But I promise I’m NOT on a sudden tirade against social media or technology…deactivating my 24/7 presence isn’t the only reason I’ve been thinking about the art of the old-fashioned letter…and how much I wish I got more of them versus electronic hellos. (And I’m not the only one. Apparently, Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima had a handwritten letter on her Christmas wish list!)

I’ve been a fan of letter-writing for ages. Even today, I exchange letters and just-because gifts with a longtime friend who lives a few hundred miles away.

Here’s the thing: sometimes I let emails from friends sit in my inbox for days…weeks even…at a time. Sitting down to type a response to a long email can feel like a dreaded task to me. It’s because some people are so darn good at a super-speedy reply!  I guess I let the emails sit a bit because I don’t want a daily back-and-forth to spiral onto my daily To Do List.

My friend and I have an understanding that a month or two might pass in between our letters, and that’s perfectly fine. We don’t get annoyed when the other is silent for awhile. The time it takes to sit down and write out your thoughts, pages at a time, makes the letter that much more touching to a sentimental heart. I’m not planning on deleting my Gmail account anytime soon, but a girl can dream…

Have you ever written someone a handwritten letter? Or do you still prefer email?