Thursday, December 30, 2004

A Flaw in the Digital Age

I stopped keeping an address book in about 1998 or '99. Remember those? Little books where you wrote down everybody's demographics with a pen or pencil? Come to think of it, remember pens and pencils? People seem to have forgotten how to use them. I mean, how much has your handwriting deteriorated? Really, look at it sometime.

Anyway, ever since I stopped keeping an address book, I lose everybody's contact info except for email addresses. Since I have gone through so many computers, and Outlook isn't easy to update, I've had to re-do my contacts so many times, I've pretty much lost everyone. When it comes to things like wedding invitations or packages or CHRISTMAS CARDS, which need snail mail addresses, I have to launch an aggressive phone-calling campaign, and enlist the help of parents. Who has time for that, and who wants to harass people to help? So, over the last two to three years, the only people who receive Christmas cards from me are people who send them to me. I get my cards out between Christmas and New Year's, and they are usually received after January 2nd.

So far, nobody has complained, but this year, I feel like a schlub. Last year I simply laughed off this rather George Costanza-ish behavior of mine, including my justification for it. This year, not so much. I feel like I should be doing a better job at this. After all, I'm proud of my Holiday cards. They are usually quite artistic, multicultural, and have a message of peace inside. This year I especially love my blue-and gold stamps, with Islamic writing that says (translated) "May your religious holiday be blessed." Religious pluralism and inclusion is one of the strongest foundations of my faith, and this is the one time of the year I get to express that.

So anyway. I have decided to revert to the old-fashioned paper-and-pen address book. I expect I'll have to get one at some store like B&N or Papyrus or CuCu, because if it isn't beautiful it will annoy me every time I look at it. This is the 21st century, and I feel cheated. Where are the flying cars? Where are the medical hypo-sprays? Now I'm reverting to a plain paper address book. I'd better be able to revel in the antique chic of the thing, at least. And I've tried the palm pilot thing. I had a Handspring for awhile. The charging stand developed some problem and stopped communicating with my computer, so even if I could get the batteries to recharge correctly (which I never could) I still can't update the thing. And tech support was useless. Maybe it's the cord, maybe it's the software, try reinstalling, yada yada yada. It's crap. And "writing" with that stupid little stylus really pisses me off. Of course, I could be just jealous that I didn't get the actual Palm Pilot, or the higher-end Handspring that supposedly has such a devoted fan club. My little green Visor was a gift. I should have been more specific when I said I wanted a PDA. The same thing happened when I was eleven, and begged my Dad for a computer, who proceeded to ignorantly (but with the best of intentions) buy a Commodore Amiga instead of the Apple IIc. Thus, down the drain went a promising career in IT.

But I digress. All this whining is because I have received a delightfully large number of holiday cards this year and feel guilty that I didn't send more. If you sent me one and put your return address on the card, you'll get one shortly after the New Year. Otherwise... sorry...

Next year, I'll be better at this. There's a goal. It's good have goals.

6 comments:

Frank said...

You've inspired me to churn butter again. XOXO.

riye said...

argh, that reminds me of yet another thing for 2005. i too have a collection of people's info scattered across my work email, personal email, phone, and post-it notes.

have a happy new year!

Heather said...

I just wanted to wish you a happy new year while I was here!
Heather

Amanda said...

Happy New Year! Thanks for letting me know I still have time to get my cards out. I feel redeemed!

Debby said...

This time of year I love to see what others are talking about concerning Christmas plans or activities and what they are doing about sending out Christmas cards. While trying to get some new ideas, I’ve read some pretty hilarious stuff. My keyword search led me to this post. While your site wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, I’m glad I came across it. Interesting read. Happy holidays to you.

Chris said...

Hi, as we approach this season of gift giving, Christmas cards and wild parties, I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading your blog and want to wish you the best for the holidays. I hope it is a time of refreshment for you and your family.