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An Open Letter to Everyone with a Cell Phone

Dear Friend,

When I say that I think I’m free next Tuesday, I’m not being coy. You see, a¬†glance at my calendar reveals nothing but cross-outs, redirection arrows and question marks for two solid weeks. Five different people, pleading a variety of Issues with a Capital Ish, have flaked out on me for everything from coffee to movies to dinner. (At my house. With food I had already shopped for. And prepared.)

I still can’t decide if my favorite part of this streak is the last-minute nature of most of these cancellations, or that fact that I was generally the one making the confirmation-turned-cancellation call. (Because after strike #3, you begin to develop a wee compulsion to “just make sure.” Not to mention an unwillingness to turn on the stove before your guests are securely chained seated in your living room.)

Sure, people get sick. And tired. And… whatever. But folks, come on. If you’re feeling out of sorts, or ill, or overscheduled, or as if you really, really need to spend some quality time cleaning out your mother-in-law’s fridge, tell me. As soon as the urge/flu/narcolepsy strikes.

Because here’s the thing: Cell phones and e-mail are communication devices, not time machines.¬†Calling to say you’re “on the way” is not the same thing as actually showing up at the designated place at the designated time. E-mailing a “sorry, I totally spaced” does not remove my memory of the three e-mails and two voicemails I lobbed your way. And let’s not even talk about the “I’m texting my retroactive regrets because even I know there’s no polite way to say I found something better to do tonight” phenomenon.

Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be busy on Tuesday. But call me Wednesday and we can figure out if there’s time on Saturday to maybe get together and do something somewhere.




On the Menu

Fish & chips & ketchup. Because in the good ol' U.S. of A., we like a little bit of processed to-may-to goodness with our British imports.