Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I'm an Impatient Little Boy...

My friend Emma and I had an early morning chat several weeks ago.  Things are complicated right now.  She wants to limit her conversations with men who are not her husband because they are taking a break from an open marriage.  I get it and our conversation was centered on mostly generic, friend type topics.  How is the family, how is life?  That sort of thing.

Later, I'm sitting in my truck ready to turn off my phone and walk into the office when I get this urge to send a naughty little sex note.  It was fairly short, just a few lines that offered a fantasy scenario involving me, her, my tongue, her ass, and a very brief encounter.  I hit send and then went off into my office.

Surely by that afternoon she would have responded with some sort of funny comment. When I started my truck to leave work for the day, I let the air conditioner cool things down, logged onto my phone and immediately began looking for an e-mail.  Nothing from Emma.

By the next morning and still no response, I suddenly thought for sure I had offended her by pushing sex into the discussion when, after all, she was trying to limit those conversations.  As I tend to do, I sent a quick note to her asking, "Was it too much?"

Almost immediately, she responded quick and too the point. "As always, I will let you know when you anger me.  Impatient little boys sometimes miss dessert."


Emma and Erin are roughly the same age and certainly from the same Generation "fill in the blank". (I'm too lazy to Google what they are). I guess I'm from one of those other generations with different e-mail habits.

I have found that my e-mail habits are what many would consider obsessive.  At work, I have multiple networks that I work off of and I am constantly moving from one network to the next checking for incoming e-mails that require my attention.

I have colleagues who refuse to be ruled by their phones or their e-mails.  That is, if they are in the middle of a conversation and the phone rings, they will simply ignore it and let it go to the answering machine.  Granted, this is probably the correct way to handle the situation but I think to myself immediately, no wonder I always get this guy's answering machine.

If my phone rings, I feel compelled to answer.  And this is rude, I'm sure, but when I have people sitting in my office, I am constantly keeping an eye on incoming e-mails and, yes, I've even responded to e-mails while continuing a conversation.  This habit of giving precedence to incoming messages on a box or incoming phone calls over the person who is there in my face in the present is fairly rude.  But it is an indicator in my mind of something that is part of my military culture - always expecting some new information that will change the direction of my day.

I think this same mindset has caused me anxiety in my communications with others, especially people like Emma and Erin who are quite adept at social media but don't feel the pressure to respond to every little e-mail I happen to send on a whim.  With Erin, I'll send five or six e-mails before I get a response and it may or may not address anything I have written about in my e-mails.  What is true is, she doesn't use e-mail as her primary form of communication like I do, so I have to just sit back and accept that, like a blog post that takes twenty minutes to write, I may never get a single response or comment.  And guess what; it isn't the end of the world.

The older sister in the bunch (and by the way, she isn't old at all), Aunt Clara, has figured my e-mail patterns out.  She knows that I have a certain window in the morning where we can fire back rapid e-mails between each other, and then I'm off to the shower and I check my e-mail one more time before I go into the office.  On many days, I check my sex e-mail once or twice if I can get out to my truck for a few minutes, then immediately before I head home from work.  It is a pattern and it works.

So what does this say about me?  Is this a generational thing?  I've read a few articles saying that some people aren't using e-mail at all, that everything is done via text and instant message these days.  I'll tell you what it says.  I've just become my grandmother who insisted on handwritten letters over phone calls.

1 comment:

Aunt Clara said...

You know I recently ended an online friendship with a gentleman (ha!) acquaintance, and let me tell you, my time away from e-mail has increased! I love not being tied to my laptop anymore, obsessing over answering him! Of course, I can still get my e-mail on my phone, but since he and I are no longer talking, my phone is quiet as well.

Oh, you know I love the conversations you and I have and you've been very helpful at putting my mind at ease about these AM extortion e-mails, for which I thank you again.

Yes, extortion e-mails from the AM hack. AND I NEVER EVEN DID ANYTHING!