I’m not your middle-aged fuddy-duddy who poo-poos all technological advances. For example, I don’t feel that kids watching a DVD on a road trip is ruining “Family Time.” Today’s world offers such amenities, and I actually embrace them. However, I have my limits.
It began as I listened to a co-worker weave a tale of her daughter’s first date with this “super-cute” boy.
“So,” the co-worker begins, “they were sitting in the movie, and about 10 minutes into the movie he texts her!”
“Wait,” I interrupted. “Were they sitting next to each other?”
“Yes!” she said, not detecting my disdain, “and do you know what he texted? He texted,
‘Can I hold your hand?’”
“OHHHH!” cooed all the women in the office.
I stood there, stone-faced. I did not coo. But I had the restraint to not say what I wanted to: “THAT IS TOTALLY CHEATING!”
I understand texting provides opportunity to say things you would never do otherwise; and I see the allure of going that route. But you are not doing yourself any favors by skipping the entire dance that is hand-holding. You are missing out on the joy and satisfaction of one of life’s greatest accomplishments.
Allow me to walk you through what the experience should have been. At 10 minutes into the movie you are observing boundaries. What are the physical obstacles between you and her?
A bucket of popcorn? Sodas? Her purse? A giant wall of anticipation?
30 Minutes: You lean towards her, brushing shoulders. First contact. You are paying zero attention to anything going on in the movie.
45 Minutes: You casually place your arm on the armrest of the chair, and slyly look out of the side of your eye to see if she has done likewise. You leave it there to give her ample opportunity to notice it and move her own arm in that direction.
60 Minutes: Argh?! Your hands were so close, and now she has just as casually put her hands in her lap! You do the same, not wanting to appear desperate.
70 Minutes: Hands are inconspicuously back in proximity of each other. You’ve retained about 15 minutes of the entire movie so far, completely preoccupied. Then you make the move to check her reflexes – your hand sweeps past hers, lightly touching. Does her hand move? Does it begin to take the direction of opening? Does it completely sit still? Does it recoil, going back into her lap, with her saying, “Oh, sorry,” assuming you accidentally bumped her?
75 Minutes: The side of your pinky is now flat up against hers on the armrests. There’s contact, and nobody is withdrawing. You lift your pinky slightly, and her hand begins to slide into your now-shared space. It’s happening! Your hand slides over the top of her hand, she slides under yours, and your hands both turn and CLASP!
Somewhere, the Hallelujah chorus is being belted out. To the on-looking movie goers, nothing has really changed, but internally, you are a volcano of emotions! Your heart is visibly pounding in your chest, and your hand immediately begins to sweat, but you don’t dare break the spell by pulling it away to wipe it on your jeans.
In fact, you consciously avoid any movement whatsoever. You don’t want to draw attention that you are, in fact, holding hands and probably going to get married some day. You are now a team as you watch this movie. You laugh at the same parts, even making comments to each other.
90 Minutes. You remember nothing of the movie – other than it was your favorite movie EVER because you got to hold hands with your date!
Give all that up for the ease of a text message? I think not. Don’t surrender life’s delightful nuances to the crassness of technology. Please, join me in being a responsible tech-user.
Editor’s note: Please visit Ken Craig’s blog, which contains more of his writings and information on ordering his book.