Communication let me down

Back in the day, sometime in the 90’s, when I first had an internet connection at home * I began trying to find an old friend of mine that I’d lost contact with.  She was my verybestfriend until I moved to California when I was ten.  Unfortunately, her name is pretty common, and not so many people were on line back then, so I couldn’t find her.  I checked again maybe two or so years ago, and finally did get an email address for her.  So, I wrote to her and she wrote back and it was nice and we sort of got caught up some.  Until I totally blew it.  She’d just had her second baby and was getting ready to go back to work.  I said, in an email, that I really missed working because being home with the kids meant no coffee breaks and no shopping at target on my lunch hour.  I was trying to kind of make a joke, not to be mean, but because I was having a really hard time being home with the kids and it came out in all sorts of ways.  I said it because I knew how much it broke my heart going back to work when Nate was six weeks old and cried all the time and I was hoping to inject a little humor into the situation. 

What I got was a reply about her really dreading going back to her job, and, I think, about how lucky I am to stay home.  And I am lucky.  Also, I give up A LOT of things to stay home with the kids.**  Then I wrote that we were going to be visiting my grandparents who live about an hour from her house, and I got silence.  I never heard from her again.  I think that if she knew me now, and read that or even if she’d heard me say it over the phone, she’d have known that I wasn’t making light of her situation, but that I was saying, in a backhanded way maybe, that I knew what she was doing was really difficult.  Sometimes I see hits in my stats coming from the town where she lives.  So, B, if you are reading this, I’m really sorry for being an asshole and I plan to visit this summer.  I would love to see you and meet your family. 

*Anyone out there remember during the 80’s using the modems that you had to put the phone into to use?  You’d set the (what’s it called?) earpiece into the cradle and be really quiet so the computer could get on line.  All the little beeps and static were really loud, and you could look up song lyrics in the Library of Congress!  Song lyrics you could never before even guess at like Louie, Louie and Jumping Jack Flash

** Haircuts, makeup, new clothes (even from target or old navy), trips, dinner out, decent health care, homeownership, retail therapy, mental therapy, pedicures, massages, chiropractic care, yoga (or any) classes, professional carpet cleaning. . . you get the idea.

5 thoughts on “Communication let me down

  1. marian

    I’ve had a couple of similar experiences after locating old, old friends on the interent. I will email something and then bingo, they let me know that they disagree or are offended, and they’re gone. On the other hand, I did locate my best friend from high school and we’ve stayed in touch. But it’s odd how I (and it sounds like you) assumed that sense of humor and ways of communicating had kept apace with each other, only to find that they hadn’t.

    Or maybe it’s not similar to what you’re saying and it’s just the going back to work thing that’s so gut wrenching. But anyway. Hi. Your site is up to its old tricks of loading r-e-a-l-l-y slow. Are you using that danged old telephone modem again?

  2. capello

    Dude, I remember having email in some funky space-age thing. And “chatting” to people. And writing emotions like or “I have the hiccups today.”

    Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t regain a sense of humor until the baby is about six months old. Hopefully she’s reading and understands you better now.

  3. Lin

    How is it that one can have so much in common with a person (no matter how many years ago)and when you come together later in life, it’s gone, just gone. I don’t get it. I have always believed that the essence of what makes a friendship so sweet always remains, if it’s true. Having said that, a number of my old friendships have proven not to be ‘true.’ I guess we really do fundamentally change and that fact just kind of disappoints me.

  4. sara

    I think you’re talking about an “acoustic coupler.” We had one that was 300 baud (woo!) and I could read faster than it could download data.


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