Thursday, June 30, 2005

Social Disconnects, Gray’s Papaya and Boys who Cry

So Tuesday night I come home to find a T-Mobile Sidekick 2 in the box sitting on the kitchen counter. A friend of mine who had been saying for weeks that he hated his sidekick and wanted to get a blackberry, left the device at my house because, “You like it more than I do.” He’d been saying that he was going to give it to me but I honestly thought he was kidding. So you can imagine the level of flabbergastation when I walked in the house and found it sitting there. I immediately drove to his house (He lives 30 seconds from me. I could have walked…but it’s hot and muggy here.) with every intention of giving it back. Of course he wasn’t home. He called me not too much later and I told him I was giving it back. He asked why and I told him that I couldn’t take a gift like that. He told me it was just that…A gift. I didn’t have to earn it. I didn’t have to pay him back for it. He just knew that I liked it and wanted to bless me with it. (The whole situation gave me a little insight on my values system and how I still feel at times that I have to earn my salvation, the ultimate gift. But that’s another story for another time.)

I finally gave in and just accepted the fact that there are people who are generous and loving and do have the inclination to just bless people without regard to personal benefit. Man, I wish I were more like that. I also wish this dang phone wasn’t so complicated. I have been reading the manual for 2 days and the only thing that I know how to do is make calls (barely), text message (again barely) and surf the web (got that one down pat.)

Social Disconnect
I’ve seen it a lot recently. But I didn’t think too much of it. However, while I was in NYC last week, I was again reminded. People don’t connect anymore. There is a huge social disconnect occurring in our society and I don’t think anyone else notices or cares. We now have a bazillion times the amount of technology that our grandparents had. We are plugged in, wired up, online, multi-connected and tuned out. If we so desire we almost never have to interact with a human soul. We can order groceries online, rent movies from the internet, download songs from ITunes, obtain entire books without ever setting foot in a library or bookstore. And it’s all in the name of convenience. While I was on the subway in NY, I noticed that every 3rd person had an IPod. It made me realize that we are at a point in society in which we don’t even have to acknowledge another human so if we so desire.

I’m not pointing fingers. I’m part of the masses. My birthday is in 22 days (If you need an address to ship presents to, drop me a line) I will be getting an IPod, be it because my dad buys me one or because I carry my tail to the Apple store and get one myself. I’m a music junkie and it will be nice to not have to carry around all of the cds I think that I might want to listen to every time I get on an airplane. And now with the sidekick I have access to the web anytime, anyplace, regardless of how bad an airport’s wireless network is. I will become a member of the nameless, faceless masses known as humanity. And I gotta say, it scares me.

What happened to making connections with people? Didn’t we used to be outgoing? Wasn’t there a time when stranger didn’t equal danger. Remember when you used to not only know your neighbor but your parents trusted you to go over to their house if something happened and the parentals were unexpectedly called away. Now, I could pass my neighbor (the one on the left) on the sidewalk and never even know it. I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup.

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned. But for the most part, I like people. I like friends. I like gatherings. I’m not ashamed to smile at a stranger, play with a child I don’t know, say hello and/or thanks to the person holding the door for me. I like big hugs from my linebacker guy friends. I like linking arms with my girl friends as we giggle about some cute xy-chromosome individual who’s just walked by. Maybe I’m just a southern girl to my core. But I really do miss the interaction. And I’m scared of what we’re on the road to becoming. Somebody hold me…

Food, Food, and more Food
As you know I was in NYC for 5 days last week. Goooood times. Greeeeaaaat eating. My justification was that I was walking everywhere, at least 5 miles a day. So it really was okay that I was eating enough for two. Okay no it wasn’t but I didn’t care. I ate sooo much stuff. The following is a VERY short list of places to eat if you’re in New York.

Gray’s Papaya
-Best Hot Dogs I’ve EVER had. I’m not a small chick but 4 hot dogs…really? So unnecessary.

Remember that episode of Making the Band when Puffy made The Band walk to Brooklyn to get him some cheesecake? At the time I thought he was a narcissistic dictator. Now…not so much. Oh my holy cow…that cheesecake was without question THE BEST I’VE EVER HAD!!!!! I’m talking reach out and kiss the waiter good. Make you do the hallelujah dance good. Would walk across the Brooklyn Bridge 10 times good. I’m trying to figure out how I can get one shipped to Nashville. That in itself is a shame.

Pizza Joint
I didn’t give a name because I went to like 3 different pizza places, you know the standard run of the mill, hole in the wall spots, and got some of the best slices that I have had. Maybe it’s a New York thing, I don’t know.

So basically, after blowing a whole bunch of money on clothes that were a size smaller than usual (yea, for the size 12 halter dress from H&M) I’m now back in the ‘ville, eating nuts and oats and such so that I can stave off the extra LBs that I acquired post shopping/eating. But it was soooooooo very worth it. I might even name my son Junior. Yes, it was that good.

Sometimes life is sad
Tag’s grandfather died unexpectedly on Tuesday. He is a mess. I have never done well when boys cry. Maybe it’s because I’m a crier and I know too well how it feels. And maybe it’s because I’m so unaccustomed to guys crying that if I see one in that state I know that something powerfully moving/painful has happened. Whatever, the case I feel down right ill when guys close to me cry.

He is so sad and I just want to be there for him. I just want to give him a hug and tell him that it’s all gonna be okay. What is that? Why do we do that? What is it about women that we innately want to stop the pain, even going so far as to take the pain on ourselves? To hold, to nurture, to comfort, to heal, it’s our roll (and to the feminists: save it!) and it is sometimes painful, exhausting and thankless. But we do it anyway. I guess because we have to.

Anyway, if you think of him, pray for Tag. God will know who you’re talking about.

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