Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Refurbished Relationship - Conclusion


When Hub finally came home he looked humbled (maybe, if my guess is correct, even a little frightened). He gave me a little stuffed animal with a sheepish grin. Obviously the little boy within was wounded and shocked by my tirade, but the ego of the old man, was absolutely flattered. Surprised, astonished, and very much pleased by the positive validation that he remains after so many, many years, so ultra-important to an old woman.



In all this there is convolution. The most complex convolutions link faith and fear. And my convolution is this.

It is certainly true that cell-phones make us feel in control and radically alleviate concern when we are separated from each other. But at the same time, that positive effect may have a negative side. With every new confidence we lose the sweet softness that once precluded it.

Do you remember how often on the beach we used to go over to our children and touch their arms, forehead, hair, and give their hat a tug and speak to them with gentle concern about staying in the sun too long? That’s what we used to do – a whole lot of touching a whole lot of stroking. But with Sun-block lotions, we now sit on the beach and ignore the children at play, without concern.

Likewise, with nursery monitors, as parents there is no longer the need to stroke, touch, and check on babies with the comforting tap of footsteps in the hall, a touch on the face, and the comforting smell of our presence in the room.

A cell-phone gives us a similar confidence. Quick-time electronic access insidiously closes down the emotions that used to fire synapses in the brain of loneliness and concern that in turn fired warm and fuzzy neurological impulses.

So is it possible that cell-phones give a confidence that permit us to inadvertently disregard how touched we are by relationships and how cherished they are? I never realized before today that a simple gizmo, (ie. cell phone) could so deeply affect, and toughen up, otherwise tender thoughts.

We now have the power of omnipotence that can manifest all things. With cell-phones, there remains no need to cling to the traditional mind transmissions of past generations. In the pre-cell era, rather than voice-mail, we used internal supplication in situations of isolation and fear.

Fear, like the concern in my story, forced us to find something within ourselves that propped up faith. A surprising thing, since we swore we were ‘without faith’. But suddenly here comes faith rushing in. Encompassing any and all unseen forces of heaven and earth to stand guard and protect cherished ones.

With no other way to cope we used to pull aside ‘the atheist’ within and demand he do his part in the effort to remedy our fears by pretending we had faith until faith was realized. So with that thought, is it at all reasonable to conclude that cell-phones have contributed in an inauspicious way to the death of God and spiritualism?

I really don’t know, but one thing I definitely do know. I can’t tell Hub this story.

It would only further enhance his status around here and goodness knows he’s had enough stroking with the passion of my tirade and tears. Any more this week and he will NEVER take his cell phone with him again as long as we both shall live. The little boy might have been quite frightened, but the old man was way too flattered.

And where does Old Dog fit in? She was the tool of unseen forces to give new appreciation and meaning to an existence that was getting a little too old hat, and a little too mundane, bordering, it would seem to me, on that level of familiarity that can, without obvious symptoms, breed injurious contempt.

It strikes me that if Hub had his cell phone, this day would have differed from no other. There would have been no worry or turmoil and our relationship would not have got the soul searching and deep-polishing it got today. But without that ready electronic access, we both got a shake-up. A nasty bit to go through for me, but edifying to my heart, soul, and relationship.


Of these things I am certain because after yesterday’s vexations, this morning dawned new and different. I looked at Hub across the table. Asked him how he slept. He told me the coffee was so good. He poured me a fresh cup. And we lingered over coffee with happy smiles. I ruffled his hair. He rubbed my shoulders. We laughed at nothing. And we engaged with refreshed delight in each other’s chatter and presence.


Joy Des Jardins said...

What a satisfying and beautiful conclusion to your day of vexation Roberta. A new day with new delights and a deep appreciation for one another. I've got 'the warm and fuzzies' now....thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

You have turned a personal experience into a beautifully written, completely absorbing story!

I am of course glad that everything turned out well and that this afforded as much tension and drama as any but with a happy ending.

Thanks for sharing one of those personal and yet familiar moments of marriage.


Pauline said...

loved the unfolding story and glad it ended well! how then did we get along, have upsets, resolve them and so polish our hum-drum lives before the invention of technology? We've become so complacent and dependent on gadgets that to lose the use of one causes drama. but surely before the advent of things that cause us to forget our need for daily touch and communication, we managed to reconnect.

Roberta S said...

Hi joy. Pleased you took the time to read my story and pleased you took something from it that was 'warm and fuzzy'.

Roberta S said...

Hi susan. Envying your writing the way I do, your critique is too kind. But much appreciated.

Thank you, too, for taking the time to read such a lengthy rant.

Roberta S said...

Thank you for the comment, pauline. I depend on gadgets to a limited extent, but like anyone else, I don't want anyone looking to take away the few I do depend on.

Sensitivities are definitely lost because of it but hopefully as long as we have the 'written word' we can resurrect them on occasion.

This must be true, because your poetry resurrects sensitivities I'd forgotten, though I can't say that forgetfulness is spurned by gadgets -- more like to be...old age.