We need a better method of communication.
That particular sentiment, expressed by a friend frustrated when we didn't connect tonight, is one I hear in one form or another all the time. Because the rest of the world relies on cell phones for contact and I don't, I wind up frustrating people when they can't get in touch with me.
Everyone's so used to the instant gratification of their phone - quick, Google it and see who was in that movie, text her and tell her where we are - that, honestly, I feel like people have gotten lazy about making plans.
Scene: my apartment as I'm getting dressed, Friday around 5:00. The phone rings and it's a neighbor extending an invitation to start the weekend with drinks at Quirk, something he'd mentioned in the abstract on our walk last week.
When I explain that I have plans and am primping for a 7:15 pick-up, he's put out. Disappointed. Says he'd been really looking forward to seeing me.
Well, unless this desire for my company came upon you in a mad onslaught - which could be flattering if it did and I'm not entirely discounting - couldn't you have asked sooner? That said, I give him points for picking up the phone and calling to connect.
What if I buy you a cell phone?
It is astounding how many people - old friends, new acquaintances, dates and those just interested in knowing me better - have made that offer to me. Two people bought me an iPod Touch in hopes that I'd carry the device with me everywhere and thereby be somewhat reachable.
Another goes out of his way to send text messages to my land line via a computerized voice, a phone hack I didn't even know existed until I got his first few messages.
Sometimes it takes a few years to get the hang of communicating with me. A guy I started out dating before settling into long-term friendship relied on email for years, eventually switching over to phone calls because things were resolved so much more quickly that way.
It still delights him when I'm the one who calls first. I may be a Luddite, but I've got this land line thing down. Plus I like getting home at 1 a.m. and having a message waiting for me.
And tonight? While I was off with a fellow music obsessive enjoying Don Cheadle's splendid take on Miles Davis' fallow period, "Miles Ahead," and chomping popcorn at Bowtie, my company was eagerly sought elsewhere.
So call me maybe...with a little notice?