Tuesday, May 6, 2014

e-love

DM and my little brother and i saw "Her" on Saturday night. yeah, about three months after it premiered. what can I say? we don't see grown up movies often. anyway, i thought it was interesting. it kind of made me uncomfortable and sad, which, i suppose, means it was a good movie. it got me thinking about how we, as a society, are becoming more and more dependent upon computers as a buffer or proxy for human emotion and interaction, and ultimately, those computers might just replace human interaction altogether.

sometimes, i am thankful that i have a computer or a "smart" phone there to do my bidding for me. but there are some relationships that i don't want to be digitized, like those with my family, my friends, and my best friend and partner, DM. in today's day and age, though, it takes work to keep these relationships "real." it's so easy to get sucked into the black hole of the interwebs. to fall prey to the ease and convenience of sending a quick text as opposed to really talking to one another. to allow the simultaneous playing of candy crush saga in each other's general proximity to count as "quality time." (i am speaking hypothetically here. if you ever see me playing candy crush saga, you can assume my body has been taken over by alien life forms.) maybe i'm old fashioned (or just old), but i think this new wave of "e-relationships" are a knockoff version of real human contact and you are going to have to drag me down that road with my heels dug in, kicking and screaming.

this is not to say i'm immune. i know how hard it is to find time and energy to foster the relationships that are important to you. i remember learning about the advent of "modern conveniences" in the home and how women's relationships with one-another suffered as a result. yes, you could do your laundry and your dishes in half the time, but gone were the conversations over the clothesline. it's even worse now. we are expected to be "on" and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. "did you not get my text/email?" "um, i did, but it was 3am, so I decided to wait until normal human hours to respond." but at the same time we're not really there. the only person i really talk to on the phone is my father. romance, too, is digitized, automated. why entertain and captivate each other when there are 1,000 television channels ready and willing to do it for us?

the other night DM and i were planning on an "at home date night," a.k.a. having our own personal wine tasting and movie screening on our couch. this is actually one of my favorite things to do, even though it may not be the most exciting or interactive or romantic way to spend an evening. DM was reading something on his phone and i was giving him the hairy eyeball like, c'mon, man! time's a-wastin! he responded, "hang on, i'm reading my wife's blog." it was funny, but it's also sad, and true. a testament to these times we live in. why would i waste my breath telling him how my day was when he could just read what i posted online? well, because, it's not the same. reading some sanitized-for-public-consumption version of my stories is an inadequate substitute for a one-on-one, give-and-take, face-to-face conversation. my husband shouldn't be finding out about what's going on in my life by reading my blog.

it's so easy to fall into this, though. i'm so, SO tired at the end of the day. every day. i just read a line in a book that said something like, "I was tired in the way that you are when you have a job and a husband and small children, the type of tired that feels like a persistent low-grade illness."* it's so hard to stay "on" past dinner and bath and bedtime battles, to save anything for my dear husband at the end of the day. i don't want to just give him the leftovers, but that's often all that I have left to give. i'm so talked out. i'm so touched out. I just want to veg out. but i, we, all of us need to make that effort, to be aware, and wary, of just phoning it in, of giving ersatz, Xeroxed versions of ourselves to those we love the most.

the other day DM and i were emailing each other. yes, again, welcome to the 21st century. i was telling him about how i had emailed the city council to tell them i disagreed with their recommended approach to street improvement initiatives in our town, because i am a giant dork, and how the deputy mayor (who i've actually worked with on a project) emailed me back thanking me for my insight, AND, though of course i do not take credit, the council actually changed their course of action! DM responded "WHOA! how do you know all this stuff?! your civic engagement is HOT! i want to get to know you better. date night?"

we are nerds. but i just think he's super cute. i lurve him. and i do want to get to know him better.

how about you? are you due for a date night, too? ;)

DM: "you know you're on vacation when you're taking pictures of your feet."
i think we might actually need a date week or date month.
i'm not sure a night is going to cut it ;) 
how apropos. i was just about to post and then someone sent me the link to this video, "look up," by gary turk. it's so true. and it made me so sad. especially the part about our kids. i want to throw my phone in the river and cry. let's all get off the grid and move to an ashram and eat collard greens (which, according to whole foods, are the new kale) and drink hemp milk and sing kumbayah together!



* i think it was "still life with bread crumbs" by anna quindlen but i can't find it again to be sure.

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