Friday, May 9, 2008

:: Telephonically Out Of Sync ::

It's a marvel to me that I ever sustained a long-distance relationship in my life given my general distaste for the phone. But yup, there it is, that high school-turned-college relationship that lasted through freshman year past graduation (with one breakup -- granted I did graduate a year early). It wasn't really all that long ago but it was long enough that we didn't have cell phones or unlimited long distance. We had phone cards bought at warehouse stores.

The hardest part about the long-distance thing, for me, was always this: when he'd call me (or vice versa) and I'd be in one mood and he'd been in a completely different mood and we'd try to talk and all but by the end, really I'd just be more annoyed than anything else. Sometimes I'd hang up and say, to myself, "God, sometimes I hate you." I didn't mean it, of course. You know how it is.

Maybe it's because I no longer have to rely on good phone conversations to sustain a meaningful relationship or maybe it's because I'm older and crankier or maybe it's because we do have cell phones and blackberries and laptops and all these convenient ways to communicate fast but I sure couldn't do the long-distance thing now, boy. My husband's been away two days and every conversation has felt rushed and intruded upon and annoying. Every one has left me thinking of a way to say, as nicely as possible, "How about we just catch up when you get home?" or, worse, "How about you just not call me while you're away?" Every time I've called him I've thought, just a moment too late, "Doh! I shouldn't call while he's away."

It seems terrible thinking that, but there it is. And really? It's not that terrible at all. I'm just so used to having Brian's attention, to seeing his face. I'm spoiled, really. And lucky.

Besides.  If he didn't call the whole time, well, I'd be sad on top of annoyed.  So there's that.


sue May 9, 2008 at 4:38 PM  

you are right...conversations are just not the same over the phone. it is too easy for one or the other person to get/be distracted, or answer the phone when on their way to get something done. You can't see their face/expressions/body language/mood, and you don't always have undivided attention to give or get. just the same, it is awfully nice just to know that someone is thinking of you and calling to say hi.

a pinkroom May 10, 2008 at 4:36 AM  

I feel the same about long distance relationships. I hope now that I'm older and wiser (ahem) I'll be able to sustain one from NH to NYC. My last long distance did not work out so well and I was forced to move to Rochester to be with him. Where we met! Even if the relationship didn't last, I'm glad the friendship did.

Christina May 14, 2008 at 3:24 PM  

Oh, Aaron and I spent most of the first six months of our relationship as long-distance, and then a year later had to do it again. And we both hate the phone. So a lot of it was spent in e-mail.

But like you, I'd be annoyed and sad if he didn't call me while away. I'd rather deal with the awkward conversation than nothing at all.