Pinched Nerve

Obviously my post yesterday hit a few nerves, rankled a few consciences, especially those from whom I have still not heard. Many assumed, incorrectly, that I was writing about them. The people about whom I am writing don’t even read the blog so really, the offensive factor was greatly diminished.

Although I believe La Lopez’s comment to be in the minority, it brought up a few questions of its own. Does she prefer emails to phone calls because she is a working parent and talks on the phone and to other people all day? How is she communicating with her college freshman son? Believe me, I will be waking mine up on Sunday mornings at 7 a.m. to see if he is home and/or conscious via the telephone. Somehow, a text message saying “How’s your hangover?” is just not as painful as your mother’s dulcet tones singing in your ear. As the commenters have pointed out, this is an Expat Issue. Or is this an Issue concerning the contiguous 50 states and 5 Canadian territories as well? How often does the mother in Maine/Manitoba call her son in California/ Calgary?

Have we cracked this nut? I don’t think so. I am hoping the issue marinates and we have more commenters who can either whine or offer perspective.

I wrote the above this morning and then I read Klab’s comment which perhaps confirms the La Lopez theory/working mother theory. Klab should be gratified to know that I have not sent out any photo albums for the last 6 months. However, this does not exculpate the other 50 percent of the population, the nonverbal, leftbrainers, the traditional hunter/gatherers. Do we let them off the hook? I am getting a busy signal.

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11 Comments

Filed under Family, Moving, People

11 responses to “Pinched Nerve

  1. Laura

    Your theory is probably right Expat, but in my case it also has to do with the fact that I sound much more clever by e-mail than by phone, and then there is the very handy spell check option to consider, and my favorite, the delete button. I think that´s the equivalent of hanging up, which might be a tad harsh.

    How do I communicate with my newly-minted college son? I send him e-mails, so that the 450 minutes he gets for free on Verizon (although all of it is free for other Verizon customers, which are almost all of his friends and the girlfriend) don´t have to be spent on family, which he clearly puts a category below said girlfriend. But the interesting question is, how does he communicate with me? Here´s the drill: I send him e-mails, telling him how much we miss him, enriched with tales of how much fun we´re having without him so that he misses us. He doesn´t respond. I wait about a week. I send another message. Same response. Then, all of a sudden I get a response to, oh, maybe one of the 10 or so things I asked him, very polite and warm, with the week´s essays attached to them and a request for my editing skills to be applied, in say, the next hour.

    Now, as Tom mentions, should I choose to chat online, or should he decide to poke me and thus allow access to his Facebook page, I would be able to follow his antics on an hourly basis, even while he is in class. But chat, I think, is for sissies, and has no spell check, although I understand that blocking people you don´t like or have broken up with is really fun.

  2. expat princess

    La Lopez: Velly velly interesting, especially the blocking people you don’t like on Facebook. I was invited to a friend’s page and up popped a whole lot of other people I knew who, it turns out, have pages too. I poked them and have had no response. One is a family member so what does that say?

  3. Mood Ring Momma

    This is actually the radish.

    I think this is the busiest October since I had young school age children. One of the advantages of having lived in one place for so long is that you had good friends but not all that many. You,on the other hand, have made good friends times three. To be a good friend, you really have to be a full time participant. But if you have three extra sets, it is hard to do. This seems very sad to say, but lots of people have a finite number of friends that they are able to handle. None the less in the future, they may be able to pop up and reenter at a high level of friendship. Not only a friend, but be of real service. I had to write a sympathy card this week and that did me in. Maybe you should catorize the A’s,B’s and D’s and remove the D’s. I am not being flip.

    Having to reenter the making of new friends is tough. I would know, it took three years to make two friends here. But that is the real issue here. Friends are treasures, and it may take a while to find.

  4. Flaky Friend

    These two posts have really made me think – esp. in regard to Radish’s last comment – about how few close friends I have remaining from past lives. Part of it is my not staying in touch, but part of it is that many of my sorority sisters, law school friends and friends from earlier days have pretty much dropped me as well. I know it’s not out of malice but probably more because we don’t have much in common any more. I feel fortunate to have you as a good friend and I know that when our kids are older we will be spending time together. You are a true blue gal. (I’m feeling sentimental). Also, e-mail me your mailing address so I can get off a Christmas bos). I am also sorry I have missed so many birthdays! Hence, my name “Flaky friend.”

  5. Princess Ai Lin

    I agree with Radish that there is a finite number of friends that one can handle — and I would venture to say that number fluctuates based on one’s free time. Young, unmarried adults – if I remember correctly – have time to lavish on their friendships. Then there is that monumental shift of priorities when you have kids and there is no longer so much time for your friends. If said friends also have kids they really don’t have that much time for you either so it is all good.

    As a result some/many fall to the wayside, with only yearly Christmas cards to prove their prior exsistance. However, I believe that those with staying power will always be there. Perhaps that is my rationalization for being bad at corresponding, but in my many years of being an Expat Princess I have been able to pick up where I left off with those select few — thank GOD! And much love to all of them.

  6. MCV

    Princess Ai Lin, you are a true gem! Now e-mail me your Vonage #.

  7. Susan O'Leary

    Love the blog and comments. But are totally loosing track of who is who. Maybe an email with who is who? With all your extra time!!!!

  8. expat princess

    MCV: you can call Ai Lin’s China number or you can go to Mood Ring Momma’s house if you don’t have your own Vonage. But she is leaving on a trip today.

    SO’L: you are SOL. Call me and I’ll run down the list of characters.

  9. KT

    I love watching all of the comments on this one, and while I think that it is a great topic, what I want to say is “WHAT?” I have never known anyone who receives more phone calls from friends from all over the world in my life (my brother is a close second) than you do. You receive these calls because you are a great person…but I also think you put the effort and work into friendships. Some of us don’t work that hard. Do prayers count? Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. expat princess

    KT:. Please. Your Vonage was ringing off the hook in Brazil. Who are you kidding? YOU WORK PLENTY HARD and prayers do count. Wish I was having a piece of your pumpkin pie in Hooterville! Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. gamamãe

    I feel a bit out of the loop on this and have been meaning to get a vonage phone since you were still living here. With my impending departure …acho que não vai acontecer. At any rate – please send me your contact number – I would love to stay in touch. I agree with maria about spending money on phone calls and good wine! I want to make it on the bulletin board too.I´m under the impression that the time differene here is about 9 hours or is it 13?

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