Friday, May 13, 2011

The Evolution of Love and Email

Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

I’ve already let the cat out of the bag: I’m on the granny-ish side when it comes to some things. Stodgy, even. It doesn’t surprise me, and I’m sure you’re not surprised, either.

Last Summer Calvin spotted his first pay phone. It was a real head-scratcher. He kept laughing his “You’re pulling my chain!” laugh, but he was the only one laughing. Homeboy couldn’t wrap his mind around a big phone in its own little house that you stick a quarter into to make a call. Cracked me up. (Ok, so I was laughing…but for different reasons.)

Then there’s email. My kids will never know life without it. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I’m great-great-Grandpa So-and-So, who gathers the littl’uns around to talk about the first time he rode in a real motor vehicle. Life before cars? Who could imagine!

Email officially landed in my life somewhere around my Sophomore year of college. Lordy, it was like a UFO had landed on our tiny college campus. The messages might as well have been hand-delivered by Martians wearing shiny suits. Of course, no one had their own computer back then, but it was all good. There were eight computers in the basement of the library that we were free to use. As long as it was before curfew. Eight computers. For the entire campus. And no one thought a darn thing about it.

Cory and I met a year later and spent most of our waking moments together, but we’d always find time to sneak off to the computer lab to send each other emails. I printed hard copies of every email he sent me that first year – what else was a girl to do? In the end, I lost that folder, but not the guy.

That was just 15 years ago.

We still email each other almost every day, though most of them aren’t quite as sappy as they used to be. They’re more in the “call me when you can” or “can you pick up some lemons on your way home?” vein.

I look back at that giddy girl, waiting for her turn at the computer to read what must have been easier to type than to say, and I’ve got to smile.

Those early-love words were something big and real. They were important. I wish I could read them again now, because I’m sure they were all kinds of silly and gag-me-with-a-spoon. The key to our future marriage didn’t rest on the keyboard of computer number five, but I love that we had a new kind of help in getting to know each other.

That smoking hot guy with the longish hair and the earring happens to be sitting to my left, on the couch. Sans earring. He’s got his computer on his lap and I’ve got mine, but in between emails, I can reach my hand over and grab on to his.

This is how love looks, in my modern-day world.

Don’t tell Granny.