Thursday, April 14, 2011

When technology doesn't work...

Matt's birthday is June 23rd. And by the time that rolled around we had been talking for 3 months. I was still recovering from my nasty illness, but things were looking up. School had ended. Work was calming down and I was headed to Nebraska with the High School Drama Department for the International Thespian Festival for a whole week. A whole week of nothing but theatre, theatre and more theatre! But this also meant a whole week of not being able to talk to Matt. And this week fell on his birthday.

We loaded up the bus on Monday morning and took off.  The ride down is 7+ hours. Nice thing was I had IM on my phone so I was able to spend most of it chatting with Matt. I can just see some of you rolling your eyes now...but hey!, when your relationship is dependent on technology when it works it's great!

The first couple of days are kind of slow going in Nebraska, but it's always nice to get away from the office and be a part of the creative process. Monday is a travel day, and Tuesday is a get settled day. And Wednesday is the day the festivities are in full swing and it was Matt's birthday. We had decided that Tues night, after I did my first rounds of checking in the girls I would sneak off with the computer and we could Skype for a little bit first thing in his morning, my night. *Side note...I used to tell him all the time that his today was my tomorrow. Kind of a catchy phrase, eh?

I only had until 1:00am when curfew hit and I needed to verify that all the girls were in their rooms, so I got myself a key to a break out room in the lobby area, signed in to Skype and took a seat. I was very excited! I had bought a gift for him a few weeks previous and had it posted so that he would receive it in time for his actual birthday. Now, if you know me, you know I LOVE giving gifts. I really do! I love thinking about if the person will really like it. I try to listen carefully to what they say to get hints as to what they like. Or maybe something they might not by for themselves, but really want. This was a hard one, but I thought I did ok. A Dr. Who DVD and a couple of books and a CD...I think...and don't worry...this is not a spoiler alert. He already opened the gift!

So...there I am, sitting in front of the computer just waiting for him to sign on. And...nothing. was quite early in the UK. 6am or I thought maybe he had overslept. So I waited...and waited...and checked my email. And waited. And checked Facebook. And waited. And checked my email again, you never know who might email you at 12:30am. And waited. And then I signed out of Skype...and back in again...nothing. I was getting very sad. Signed out again. And back in. And out again. And back in. Hmmm...nothing. It was getting closer and closer to 1:00am (way past my bed time mind you.) But I was needed back upstairs so I typed a Facebook message and logged out and headed back up to the floor.

As I was doing my rounds my phone started ringing. And there he was. And on his birthday, I had to tell him he needed to call me back in 5 minutes. So sad. I felt awful asking him to do that. I finished my rounds and made my way to one of the breakout rooms and waited again. And waited some more. And sent a text. And still waited. Now...I love you Matt...but you really have no sense of time...sorry! But this is something I have learned over the last year. And at this time, June 23rd, 2010, only 3 months in, I didn't know this. Now, every time you tell me 5 minutes I just double it. :) Love you!

And then...finally my phone rang and there was his voice on the other end. And guess what!??!??! Technology...not on our side that night. There I was sitting in a breakout room on the campus of the University of Lincoln Nebraska at midnight waiting for something to happen, for him to sign on to Skype and getting nothing. And he was sitting in his room in Bradford, UK, waiting for something to happen, for me to sign in and getting nothing.

Lame! We were able to talk for a few minutes before he had to jet off to work and I had to grab a couple of hours of shut eye before the next days festivities started. The week was a fun one, but it was hard not to be able to talk at some point every day or even have the privacy to do so if we could.

You know that song at the end of Napoleon Dynamite. Where his brother is getting married and he sings to his bride to be at the alter about loving technology? Yep! I did not love technology that evening. is great, when it works, but a pain in the behind when it doesn't. There have been plenty of times when the connection is sheer perfection! We can talk for hours and see each other the entire time. But there have been lots of other times when I can hardly hear him, let alone see his face. And don't forget those days when I can see and hear him, but his voice is 30 seconds ahead of his mouth and body...try having a conversation where the other person laughs, but you don't hear it and you're not quite sure if it is at what you just said or from 30 seconds ago when you really did say something funny. Ugh!

So, there are days when I can sing along with Kip in "Oh, I love technology, but not as much as you you see, but still, I love technology..." And there are other days I would like to take a sledge hammer to the computer just to help it work better.  That would work, right?

Hang in there computers...just a few more months and you'll get your much needed break!

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