Tuesday, April 7, 2009

And then my brain fell out: or, Why I love text messaging

I wonder if I'm the only one who does this..

Do you know the moment in sappy movies when someone says “Penny for your thoughts” or “What are you thinking right now?” Invariably the response is some deep and romantic thought. I live in fear of these moments. At least my husband has realized my secret. At any given moment there is nothing going through my head. Absolutely nothing. It’s worse if I hear a song, then I can’t even try to think of something else. I admit there are a few times when my mind wanders into really bizarre territory, but this is not very often. I believe this is one of the reasons I’m not a very good driver, or gardener, or pick my son up from school-er.

Leaving a message on an answering machine is a particularly obvious instance of this. If you’ve ever gotten a message from me, you understand what I’m talking about. This is how it goes:

  • I think of a reason to talk to someone long enough to get the phone in my hand.
  • (if I can’t find the phone or I have a wrong number, I completely stop the process and probably never try again, also explaining why some people who should have gotten messages from me never did.)
  • I find the number in my phone and dial, contemplating any weird spellings or funny patterned numbers. If, at this point, I don’t start chanting the reason I am calling, all is lost.
  • (if, however, I text at this moment-hallelujah-I sound like an intelligent person)
  • (chant reason in head, i.e. babysitter at 3, babysitter at 3, babysitter at 3, babysitter, that’s a funny word, why don’t they say baby watcher, or baby holder, or...)
  • The phone begins to ring, I count the rings, don’t ask me why, I don’t know, I must count. I like it when the rings are multiples of four, but it never is.
  • I listen to the greeting message, I wonder if I need to leave my number, I wonder if the person knows what they sound like on the phone, I wonder a lot of things and at this point my mind is completely blank
  • I am always surprised by the beep, I forgot it was coming.
  • stunned silence, I can’t remember why on earth I have made this phone call.
  • I stammer, I say something about calling me back and possibly needing a favor as fast as I can, I remember to say my name and I think I say my number, but at this point, it could be anyone’s number, then if I piece anything together I am cut off by the answering machine.
  • Mission accomplished.

I like to think of myself as a pretty rational individual, I can usually make intelligent comments in my classes at the U--not Sunday School, however, I can never read scriptures in church because I am always on the wrong one. My attention is always captured by dust motes or a dirty mark on the back of a chair between when I hear the scripture reference and when I get around to raising my hand. When I actually focus, I manage to write coherent sentences, finish the dishes, and change the laundry before it mildews. I like to think that most days I manage a respectable amount of focus, but I know there are times when my mind just falls out, takes a personal day, leaves me like the scarecrow stuck on a pole. The worst days are those days when Spencer comes home and asks me what I did all day and it’s a blank. I try to remember, but the best I come up with is a lot of giggling and cereal stuck to my socks.