Friday, July 22, 2011

different strokes for different folks

What kind of friend are you?

That's one of the things I've been thinking about lately, and I think it's so cool that God mad us to be wired differently. It keeps life interesting. What I mean, specifically, by that question, is this- how often do you need to keep in touch with your mom, your best friend, your neighbor? For some, they need to call home every day or spend two hours on the phone with their best friend, even after spending the morning with them. Others are doing well if they can manage to call their nearest and dearest once every other week. If you know me, you know I am the latter!

And I often wonder if I offend the friends I have who are wired to be like the first. It's a tense collision sometimes, I'd imagine. To a friend who needs to talk all the time to feel caught up, do I seem uninterested in friendship? Less invested? I hope not! It's just that...I HATE THE PHONE.

I feel like I'm different from most girls. Our stereotype is one of sitting on a chair with the phone cord wrapped around our finger (old school style) and gossiping about who said what to Tommy Walker...or some such thing. Kind of like that song Telephone Hour from Bye, Bye, Birdie.

I think I've always been like that. In my school years I would much rather have had face time than phone time. And even in college I was doing well to call my Mom to catch up once or twice a month. (if I ever get a daughter like myself, I'm going to cry..for a number of reasons, only one of which being my phone habits.)

Oh, the irony of dating a guy long-distance! I found myself spending hours an evening on the phone with Jerry. You know it's the right guy when you don't mind that time in spite of your aversion to the telephone. In Virginia and beyond (California and now Hawaii), I have been in a situation where every single person I knew before age 24 is a phone call away. Let the irony continue!

So now I am a girl who has friends all over the country, all family and friends I made between ages 0-24 are 6,000 miles away, and a phone call is required to keep in touch with any. I am not good at it! I am not good at keeping in touch regularly and via phone.

I'm great at short facebook posts from wall-to-wall. I am even decent at private, moderately-long personal messages. Emails, not great but if I can respond in 10 sentences or less there is a good chance I'll respond. And phone calls....horrible. It's rare for me to call most friends once a month. Though because I would want my own daughter to call me I've been trying to call my mother once a week. Most weeks I actually do that.

My calling habits aren't solely caused by my phone dislike, but also because of time zones making friends 6 hours ahead. And also significantly because I don't want to spend my days talking to people on the phone and ignoring Roman. It is important to me that I treat him with utmost importance. I don't ever want him to feel like the phone is more important than him. One good phone call per day is good. Two is pushing it. I will not have more than two phone conversations per day. Dude man and I have too many adventures to go on. There are refrigerator magnets to play with and the outside to explore!

I also have a strong sense of what you might call "phone etiquette." I don't answer the phone if I'm spending time with someone face-to-face, (hence the reason I don't feel right talking on the phone while I'm playing with Roman. If I wouldn't do it to a friend or to my husband, I won't do it to him.) I don't answer during meals, it's illegal to talk on the phone while driving in HI, and during Roman's nap times I need "me time" to regroup so that I'm refreshed and ready to go when he wakes up. So really, there aren't many times when I CAN talk! I usually chat in the mornings during Roman's independent play hour and maybe again in the afternoon.

And actually, I guess I don't hang out that often with people either. There is the "dog crew" I see almost every day but other than that, I rarely see the same friend once a week. I haven't always been like that- it depends on the life season I'm in.

In college I had the same classes with people and then hung out with them afterward. In Mathews, VA, I only had two friends my age-one of whom I lived with and the other one I taught with- so I saw them almost every day. And when Jerry was deployed at the same my girlfriend's husband was we hung out 3-4 nights a week. But I suppose not during this season...

side note: do you ever chose not to speak in correct grammer because of the cheese factor, even when you know the correct way to say it? Ex: "one with whom I lived, the other with whom I taught." Just sounded so formal for a blog post...

Focus, Lauren.

Anyway, the point to all this introspective rambling, I guess, is this: If you're my friend and you like to chat often yet don't hear from me...know that it's not personal. And if I know of friends who are wired to chat regularly I will try to call them more often than other friends of mine, just so that I can compromise and try to be a good friend for them.

So if you need something to think about while you wait for the spaghetti noodles to be done cooking or while you wait for the light to turn from red to green, maybe you'll ponder this topic and discover something about yourself. What are you like? Are you the everyday chatter? Or do you need space to function and recharge? Are you like me- a people person who needs daily alone time? Or do you like to be constantly connected with your closest girlfriends? I wonder, too, if marriage changes us. I used to hang out with people often, but when Jerry is home I have someone to share my heart with every day, which satisfies my need to be known. Does a good marriage affect the time we need to spend with friends? Not saying it does!! Just asking questions. Interesting.

I love the way we're wired. People are so cool. :)


  1. You know, of course, that I am like you, too when it comes to the phone. Which is what makes 6,000 miles suck. LOL. I keep telling myself it's just a season, we have the rest of our lives to get together every few weeks and spend an entire day (or weekend) together.

    Thanks for being understanding and awesome! Love you!

  2. Lauren, there is a reason we have been friends since elementary school. I am the same way. Plus no worries...people are busy and I understand that talking on the phone for hours is not our style. Love you for you and the conversations we do have, no matter the time space, are valuable and meaningful. I cherish those. :-)

  3. Kay you're not kidding :) I love that you're like that, too, because when we send our random texts or have a good phone conversation after several months of silence, I smile because I love how easy our friendship is- we just know we are close even though we don't get to connect often. I love you. :)

    Chelle- that's what I tell myself, too. I think it IS just a season. One that is over in a year and a half! And I look forward to the days when we can catch up every few weeks face-to-face. After all, our boys are the perfect age to love playing together. Thank YOU for being understanding of me. I love you right back!

  4. This might be a HUGE reason you and I get along so well and enjoy our company. I hate the phone. Everyone in my family knows it too. I'm a bad daughter who only calls her mother once a month. If. (Buuuut, she's usually too busy to call me, so let's not open that can of worms. I very much identified well with Hildie from Her Mother's Hope). Anyway, I can only do ONE phone conversation per day as well, and it usually goes to my sister Janna or Kiki. Janna is a chatty cathy and I've learned to "embrace" it over the years because the phone is her outlet. And, my prison, HA!

    Good post, girlfriend. You took the words right out of my mouth.

  5. Daniella I love our friendship and I love that you are the same about friendship/phones. :) I am VERY not good at calling my sister but we somehow manage to catch up several times a year. I think it's been good for our "sistership" actually. We're closer now that we have space than we were during the years we lived together or saw each other often. Oh yeah, then there is the fact that we are both older and more mature and more appreciative of what we have in each other. I suppose that helps, too. :)

    Thanks for the shout-out. xoxo