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.


  1. and just to think FPFG - our paths nary would have crossed without this transitorized box. I love technology - and how the sam hill did you get Blogger to work? I still can't - haven't been able to since this morning.

  2. Loved it! It is amazing how much life changes from decade to decade... and how it goes unnoticed until we reach back in to our arsenal of memories. Love your way with words :o)

  3. 8 computers for the whole campus...can you even imagine nowadays. who's the granny :)

  4. Love this. Everything about it. Takes me back too!

  5. our computer lab only had 4 computers and it was in a 3rd floor closet. yikes.

  6. I went to college in the dark ages when the only computers in the computer labs were HUGE and spit out those crazy cards with holes in them. No email, no facebook, no nothing....

  7. Have I mentioned I love me a good "married" romance story. Keep them coming. I'm all smiley and dreamy thinking about sending a not so "everyday" message to hubby right now. Thanks for the inspiration Granny.

  8. Your story made me smile because it is so stinkin similar to mine! My hubby and I fell in love largely via email and he still has the book of the first 6 months worth that I gave him our first Christmas!

  9. First off, what happened to vacation 1.0? Was I dreaming? I love that I totally know the exact computer lab(s) you are speaking of. Those were the days! I think I would sit in the computer lab and write emails to friends that were sitting across the computer lab. Of course, we have our own email history, which perhaps after you are a famous author, can be published as a memoir of a friendship told through email! ;) I'm still saving them!

  10. I had to learn to put it on data cards then took them to the lab to see if it would run. I am ancient. Call me Stonehenge.

  11. So, so sweet : )
    Makes my heart melt a little.

  12. Shannan - this is great! It totally brought back so many college memories for me with Ian. I still have our folder with some hard copies--very formal emails, at first... We had the same bank of computers where we could check email, although even though I am only a few years younger--we all had computers in our rooms (oh, technology)!! So funny, right? I love the ending...Ian and I spend most nights side-by-side with computers in our laps! I occassionally post on his facebook while I am seated by him...just to crack myself up! Also, the Yahoo video is great! I've seen it before, but I love it...I'm sitting at work, listening to country music and missing Indiana...thanks for this Friday treat!

  13. I totally relate to that! My first form of communication with my now-hubby was "instant messaging" and email, which I too printed off (all of them) for keepsakes!

  14. I sent hand-written notes to my love in college whilst we spent our days apart during summer break.

    They were full of sap and tears of separation.

    Hopes. Dreams.


    I used postage stamps and everything.

    I sealed each one with a kiss.

    A real one.

    Straw-Very-Berry glossy kiss.

    I put glitter in the envelope one time.

    He sparkled for a week.

    You just can't send glitter these days like you used to.


  15. Oh my does life change! I just keep wondering what technology will have in store for us in the years to come!!!!

  16. Time flies ... and we really change !!!
    Hope you are having a great time !!! ... ^___^

  17. I love technology for all of the friends I've made, but I can also remember a time of phone booths and no real interest or knowledge of email.

    I didn't have a home computer until 1999. I still remember how excited I was to get home after work and read and send emails.

    I never realize how old I SEEM to my nieces and nephews until..out of the blue...little Emerson asks me "Auntie Tina..did they have color tv back in the olden days?" <----I was honestly stunned the first time I was on the receiving end of such a question! I said "Yes, honey. I do believe color tv was around even back in the 1950's which..believe it or not..was long before I was even here."

    It was hilarious.

    It was sobering.

    He believes I lived back in the Olden Days..just as I had believed MY parents had lived back in the Olden Days! When I tell him we mostly played outside, made up games like "Statue Maker" (where you run around and the Statue Maker yells "freeze!" and you then..yep..become a statue until you are freed...)and had NO computers, he seems stunned.

    He once actually thought I was raised in an Amish lifestyle.

    Good times. Great post. Thanks for making me smile. :-)