“Don’t Text and Drive.”
I have a better suggestion. Don’t text and do anything else. Ever. If you feel the need to text, it should have your whole attention. Don’t text and drive, eat, walk, talk, or care for young children.
We were transitioning our family from home-schooling into private school. I took a job at a little Classical school to help with tuition where all of my children were enrolled. I was teaching kindergarten-first grade. One of my students, we will call her Hannah, was struggling with math. My class and the preschool class were at recess and Hannah’s dad texted me. “Mrs. Amerine, can we set up a conference time?” About the same time, I got a text from my husband. He said, “Hey, want to grab lunch?” I sent “Yes.” as one response… And then I sent this : “Sure thing baby! I don’t have much time. Meet me at the Deli on South 14th at 12. Order for me. I want a turkey club, lightly toasted, no mayo, and a diet coke. Don’t sit next to the door because I have on that short skirt you love and it’s cold out. Can’t wait!”
A few moments later I got this response…
“I am not comfortable meeting you alone for lunch without my wife.”
I have no words for the humiliation. I have to walk away from this blog, just the memory of that moment…talk amongst yourselves while I cry and take a Xanax.
I am back.
Texting is taken too lightly. Our smartphones are making idiots of us. We shouldn’t text and drive. It’s not fair to anyone around you. And it isn’t possible to drive and text safely. And it occurs to me, I shouldn’t be doing anything at the same time I am on my phone. My phone is taking too much of me. And so I go before the Lord with this. My brain is a house divided. I wasn’t well liked as a child. I actually had undiagnosed learning disabilities that made me a less than wonderful student. At the time, that translated to a behavior problem although, I don’t recall misbehaving. We moved a bunch so I had few friends. In high school, we moved twice. I had a really good friend, Becky, who sought me out, sitting alone, and took me under her wing. The second move was my sophomore year. We moved to Texas and the school I attended was small. About 100 kids per grade level. The majority of these kids had been together since kindergarten. The new, tall, blonde girl doesn’t make friends with other girls easily. Especially when the girls are already very close to each other. The boys? That is another blog or book series. (Sigh)
I felt left out most of the time. I remember sitting alone at lunch and that was humiliating to me. When I graduated from high school (by the grace of God), I met Lisa. Lisa loved me. She thought I was funny and she couldn’t wait to introduce me to all of her friends. I experienced, for the first time, what it was like to have a “gang.” And then she graciously introduced me to her cousin, a hotty “grown up” in wranglers with a mustache and legal I.D. He was 22 and I thought he was wise for his years. I liked him so much, I married him. And we lived happily ever after. We settled in this area and we have community and people that love us, champion us – a gang. They are there for us when we are in need. I love that. But…
The wounds of a lonely, outcast linger. And in the last few years I realize I am trying to bandage those wounds with my smartphone. Constant texting means I am engaged in a social outlet. Facebook “likes” mean that my “friends,” think I am funny. My friends, albeit I don’t really know but 1/10th of them, like me. They really like me! Finally, I am liked. And so I check my smartphone constantly to see who likes me now! And then I check my blog and someone just called me smart! And that doesn’t happen very often, you’ll learn why eventually. And I want some more people to call me smart! And I want to tweet stuff and get followers. (This isn’t working, I don’t get twitter. It’s not enough words.) So I go back to Facebook! And there I am “Liked.” And in the process I am glued to my smartphone.
The tragedy of this is I am “Liked” more by my Father in Heaven than anyone on earth can like me. He affirms me, and laughs with me, and gives me more “Likes” than I could hope for. I wish I had known I wasn’t alone at lunch all those years. I wish I didn’t feel the need to stare at a screen. I wish my brain wasn’t a house divided. But I will not grow in wisdom or glory to Him unless I put my phone away. Today I hope to check with Him to see if he likes what I am up to. And instead of updating my status for the world’s approval, I hope I will update my status with Him first. I hope that I will make good decisions, and keep my eyes on the wheel and the prize, instead of getting lost in seeking the approval of man. Be blessed and watch where you are going! May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained! Love, Jami P.S. ILYSM BFFS
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17