The drop in: Go over to their house and knock on the back door. (The front door was for salesmen and strangers.) If no one was home, you left a note, or came back.
The ring up: Pick up the phone and dial the number in your area code. (Calling long distance meant an emergency) If you no one answered, you called back.
The send off: A letter sent to someone too far for the first too. A letter in the mail meant someone really cared. An upside down stamp or SWAT written across the seal meant love.
Now communication is so simple it’s become complex. No one listens to voice mail. Some people instant message, some text, some communicate in Facebook groups, some prefer emails. Some like to SnapChat. The drop-in is impolite.
As Thanksgiving approaches, here’s how I communicate with my four kids:
- Text a group message to everyone: Don’t group text Wrestler #1. Only text Wrestler #2 certain hours because according to him, texting requires an immediate response. So far, I have two yeses, an I don’t know, and one unresponsive. I’m keeping it to myself which one is Wrestler #2.
- Post on our Family Facebook Group. Wrestler #2 suggested this as communal bulletin board. He even helped me set it up. Then he stopped using Facebook.
- Email. CeCe and CoCo don’t read or rarely respond to email. Wrestler #1 has about six email addresses, Wrestler #2 uses his for work only. Loved-One has so many emails, mine gets lost.
- Telephone. Even though no one answers the phone anymore due to too many canvassers, robo-dial political calls, and solicitations. No one listens to voicemail either. Loved-One won’t return calls with no messages. Everyone else leaves this message, “call me.” Wrestler #2 answers phone calls because he thinks it might be an emergency, then gets a bit annoyed when it isn’t. CeCe’s voicemail prompts the called to text her.
- Send a group invite through Facebook or E-vite. Ask for an RSPV. (Good luck)
- Snap-chat. Not everyone has it, but Miss E is pretty responsive.
- Shared calendar. This seemed like a good idea. I’m sure it was, since it was mine. CeCe never puts anything on it. Wrestler #1 puts everything on it. Wrestler #2 says it’s too confusing. CoCo reminds me of each event. Loved-One likes it.
- US Postal service. The invite will be posted on the refrigerator. I feel appreciated, but still a bit in the dark.
- Face to face. No one writes it down. Loved-One forgets. I forget what people told me.
Everyone has their preferred method and how they think the other methods should be used. I’m still not sure who’s coming to Thanksgiving Dinner. It’ll be worse as Christmas approaches and my siblings begin to communicate. With eight siblings, their spouses, children, and grandchildren, it’s like a TORTIPHICANE (a tornado inside a typhoon inside a hurricane.)
I wish someone would create an app that could automatically send a message I create via the receivers preferred method of communication. The app could have an option to send a slight “shock in the pocket” (SIP) everyday until the receiver sends Respond If You Please. (RIYP.)
Am I the only one with communication problems? How do you handle communicating with grown children or extended family? Is there an app builder out there who can fill my request?