Thursday, July 27, 2017

Let's talk, chat, write, signal, contact, blab, jawbone, palaver

The more I think about it, the more impressed I am with the value of human communication.  We get the idea of comments, questions, orders, requests, pleas, descriptions, objections and many other sorts of exchanges of meaning.  I hear and read about our connected world and I agree that we are quite connected with each other.

But I notice both change and competition for avenues of communication.  I have several email addresses.  If you send me a message to one of the accounts that I rarely check, I won't know that you sent something.  I won't know about the get-together you proposed.  If you aren't aware of the possibility that I never saw your message, you may decide that I don't like you, that I am a rude, crude type that just turns a cold shoulder toward a hot idea.  In our next communication, conversation, exchange, meeting, phone call or mutual glance, you may inadvertently or not, communicate with facial expression, voice tone or explicit words, that I have fallen in your esteem.  I am going to put you into my mental compartment for odd people, who suddenly switch from being positive to being negative, all without explanation. We may both be too proud, afraid, status conscious, suspicious, forgetful or untrusting to ever state what the problem actually is.  At our advanced age, we may completely forget the origin of our fallen friendship and just fall back on a vaguely inspired habit of avoidance or dislike.

Maybe you know about the British/PBS show "As Time Goes By".  Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer were a young couple very much in love when he had to go off to war.  He did write to her but the letter didn't get from the war zone to her.  She thought he didn't care and he thought she didn't care.  Years later, they found they were both deeply mistaken.

That was pathetic, and a waste of love and good social resources.  Please: when you send a message, don't put up with no answer.  Check with me on all of my accounts and by phone and by cell phone and by landline about my getting the message.  It wouldn't be a bad idea to stop by and ring that old-fashioned doorbell.  You can check whether I got your message while I serve you a glass of wine or milk.  Don't be insulted if it turns out that I did get your message and I do want to get together but the whole thing slipped my mind.  I have a slippery mind.

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