Wednesday, April 9, 2008

House call

I was a bit irritated when Trevor called me from his cell phone the other day. The call itself was not the problem. After all, that is why we gave him the phone in the first place and I do enjoy talking with him. The problem was that he called me from the basement.

After ascertaining that he was indeed home, I told him to walk his lazy bum upstairs to talk to me in person. Being fourteen, he was highly affronted by the request and demanded to know why he had to hike two flights of stairs instead of conveniently using the phone. I blustered something about preferring face to face conversations.

Then I started thinking about it. The phone was easier for his brief question, and generally, I'm all for easy. But I really do prefer conversations in person. Phone calls and e-mail are fine for long distance, but seriously lack the inflection and body language that communicates more than words alone can. And I love words.

I thought the long winter here was isolating, but perhaps everyone feels somewhat isolated in these days of instant, often impersonal, communication. Or maybe, as my son pointed out, I'm just old and out of touch. Either way, I think people still need to take time to see each other in person. So how about it, anyone flying in to have lunch? No? Bummer. I guess I'll settle for phone calls, just not with someone who is already in the same house.