Monday, August 30, 2010

Texting on a Ditch

I awoke tingling with excitement. I clicked on the light and rushed into the kitchen to brew up a cup of cappuccino which is one of my “can’t skip it” routines.
Then I shuffled upstairs for one of my early morning rituals, a bath; gotta clean up for ditch day. I needed to hurry, slip on some clothes, and grab a piece of toast. This was a beat the clock morning. The plan was to meet Karen, my chosen partner in crime, at 7:30 a.m. The crack of dawn departure was to avoid any of my colleagues from showing up at my house and dragging me to the last day luncheon. I played the sly undercover game with them. When anyone would say, “You’re coming to the luncheon, right.” I would reply, “Uh `huh,” while delivering it with an affirmative tone. Yet a careful listener could detect that an evening out of the accent could actually produce, “Uh Uh,” which is a subtle, but barely discernible, no. Lying is not a comfortable position for me. But I can slide into a Clinton version of the truth or lack of it and walk away with an unscathed conscience.

When the idea of a ditch day was first presented, Karen got busy and chartered an entire day of fun including: breakfast at the Beachcomber, a visit to the Laguna Museum of Art, and lunch at the Ritz Carlton.
I pulled up at Karen’s house.
She approached the car with an expression of someone who had won the lottery and with good reason. She retired as well as I, but her day of freedom started two days earlier. She slid into the seat next to me. I turned and announced, “O.K. Thelma. We’re not going to careen off the edge of a cliff, but are you ready to push the accelerator to the floor board and grab that breakfast at the Beach Comber?” “I’m always ready to eat, Carol”, was her reply. You could feel the mounds of tension from our combined 63 years of service as teachers evaporate as we sped down Pacific Coast Highway. It was as if we had hit the fountain of youth and dropped back into our early twenties with its accompanying vastness of opportunities spread before us.

Soon I turned and asked if she would take over the wheel. I explained my plan to text my teacher friends a salutation timed to go off during the faculty meeting. Then I chuckled over the vision of all the messages pinging and ringing at once while the principal was delivering his message. Karen threw me a barely tolerable look. I’m not sure if it was my immaturity, inappropriate tech obsession, or both that elicited her response but she agreed to drive for awhile. I giggled on and defended myself with an, “I gotta be me,” statement. Transparency is the companion of good friendship.

The trouble I faced which is not uncommon among texters is a new phone. I couldn’t figure out how to punch out the message. I knew I better solve it soon since the meeting was about to begin. The stop and go of the brakes reflecting the recent construction in the area set my stomach into queasy. That motivated me into getting the job done quickly. Eventually I pecked out~

I ditched. I’m following Tara’s footsteps. On my way to the Ritz Carlton.

Then I clicked the names of the recipients and pressed send. What I noticed was that the message was sent sequentially rather than simultaneously which was even better. The cacophony of ringers would create a crescendo effect of distraction. Content, I sat back and enjoyed the scenery.