Posted in Relationships - Online Dating

In the Olden Days

Once upon a time.. (all the best stories start that way…)  there used to be crushes, and note passing, and staring across crowded rooms.  In the ‘olden days’.. there were secret admirers that would leave you notes to find.  And friends that would find out for you, if someone liked you.  There were poems and love letters that you could keep forever.  But alas, that was in the olden days.  (Big Sigh)

Now.. we have technology!  We have computer dating, email, cell phones and text messages.  We can’t forget google, facebook and skype.  It’s taken me awhile to get with the program.  Before I began online dating I had to master email and downloading a picture from my cell phone or camera onto my computer and finally onto my dating site profile.  (I can’t tell you the number of guys who don’t have a picture on their profile just because they don’t know how to get one on there.)  I had girlfriends (Dawn you know who you are!)  who needed a “sister” on their Facebook games.  She didn’t tell me it was addictive.. ( I had 1700 ‘sisters’ when I stopped playing that game.)  Then I had to get a ‘smart phone’ that’s actually smarter than me.  It does things I don’t even know about.  Then Michele introduced me to Skype.  OMG!  I love Skype.  It’s just like being across the table from who you’re talking to and they can be half way around the world, (right Thys?).  Michele and I watched a movie together one night on Skype.. it was so much fun.  (Except she had better treats than I had.)

But Goose… Goose is a texter.  He’d send me messages from the first light of day, til night when we were both laying in bed.. 90 miles away from each other.   It was like we were together all day long.  I knew what he had for breakfast, who he saw at the gas station on the way to work, what his work schedule was for the day, and how many peanut butter cups he ate on his break.  He’d text me during the cub scout meetings I’d be at with my son.  He knew how much glitter we put on the ornaments they made.  He’d text while I was having lunch with my daughter.  He got me hooked on texting.   Now, I’m not blaming Goose completely.  I’d answer him every darn time he’d text me.  It wasn’t like a one or two text kind of exchange either.  It was ongoing.  Sometimes for an hour or more at a time.

There are some things about texting though that I realized.  People type things in a text that they wouldn’t say to you in person.  It’s like a veiled communication.  There’s an ‘at arms’ length’ feel to a text.  Emotionally detached.  You can send witty banter back and forth like a ping-pong ball.  You can laugh and tease and flirt in a text message.  It’s fun.  You feel a little less inhibited because you’re not looking the recipient in the eye as you say the words.  But there are things that are missed in a text. You can’t hear a person’s tone.  You can’t tell the difference between an insult and sarcasm.  You miss the nuances of a person’s voice.  Hearing someone whisper the words ‘I love you’ is very different from when its sent in a text.

That’s when it occurred to me..I’m a professional talker.   I could just call him.  So I did.   I love to talk with people.  I even talk to myself.  And YES I do admit, I also answer back. You see, back in the ‘olden days’ I was a directory assistance operator.  Way back before the time of computers, when we had to look up all the phone numbers in huge telephone books.  And we were timed.  So many calls per minute.  I learned to talk a lot in an 8 hour shift.   Then when I moved to California, I worked at an answering service.  When I moved back to the midwest, I was a hospital switchboard operator.  Then my career took a drastic turn.. toward social work.  I became a counselor.  I learned to listen before I talked.  It was a good thing.

I miss some of the things about communication from the olden days.  I miss having a stack of love letters tied with a silk ribbon.  I miss the thrill of opening my mailbox to find a heartfelt, handwritten letter.  It’s personal.  You know that for the time he spent writing it.. he was thinking about you.  He was carefully choosing the exact right words to convey his thoughts.  And when you receive it, you can hold a piece of him in your hands.  And feel his thoughts in your heart.

(All the best stories end with .. And they lived happily ever after…  I’m not sure we’re that close, so I’ll just say..)  The End


13 thoughts on “In the Olden Days

  1. We are so in tune with this post. I have never sent my grandchildren a text or e-mail…

    Nothing takes the place of a card or letter in the mailbox.

    1. My 6 year-old granddaughter sends me emails from her i-pod. Things like: “Good niynt grandma.” It just makes my heart melt.

      I sent her a Christmas Card in the mail.. she loves getting her own mail.

    1. When I was 17 I met my first love. When he went away to college we wrote lots of letters. He saved every letter I wrote him and when we met 35 years later.. he gave them to me, sorted by date. He’d kept them all of those years.
      I’m not sure how his wife felt about it, but I thought it was very sweet. I still have them. Maybe one day.. I’ll give them back with a few new ones added.

  2. Cellphone texting is my least favourite way to communicate. Emailing is fine by me, but nothing beats the good old telephone and chatting on Skype (with microphone) is almost on a par if the reception is good.

  3. Jeannie I love this post…nothing beats a card sent for no other reason than because you were thinking of someone, a piece of poetry, a letter, something handmade…all things we can keep. My first love and I used to swop notes on the way to school each day. I now write and send poetry to those I care about – I loved this post because it evoked happy memories – thank you x

  4. Thank you Jane… the comments today have given me a few happy memories too.. and an idea for a new category on my blog. 🙂 I’ll have to ponder a bit and see what this idea can grow up to be.

  5. Yes, absolutely right Jeannie. It is the furthest distance i ever travelled to visit a friend LOL Amazing technology indeed. Keep up the interesting blog. I am one of your biggest followers .

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