But not as much as I would be missing her if we didn’t have Skype. And AIM. And SMS. And her blog.
I’m going to sound like an old fogey right now: kids these days have it easy. Back when I was young and dumb and in love, I had to send LETTERS in the POST to my long distance girlfriend. I had to wait sometimes a week or two for her to reply. Phone calls back in the bad old Ma Bell days were way too expensive. Flying was much less common and much more expensive.
So we just… suffered.
Right now my girlfriend Cindy is in Brazil, where she’ll be for the next few weeks before heading off to Argentina for some tango lessons. Even in a developing country like Brazil, she has wifi in her hostel. Her US cell phone can send and receive SMS text messages for about $.50 a pop. She can upload pictures to Flickr or videos to YouTube as often as she wants.
I know what she had for dinner last night and what her plans are for tonight. On our Skype call this morning I made her laugh by dancing around with my cat in front of the webcam. Whenever I start to miss her, she calls my cell phone or updates her blog.
Do kids these days even write the sort of horrible, anguished love poetry that comes out of loving someone from a distance? I guess they do still, the difference being that they post them to their MySpace page or write Twitter haikus.
I have friends who back in the 80s lived in different countries for TEN YEARS before finally settling down in the same zip code and getting married. I asked them how they managed all those years. They said they just knew in their hearts that they were meant for each other, living in the confidence that they were going to be together someday. And they did it.
I think of this as a terribly romantic story with a happy ending, about people coping through adversity, true love triumphing over distance and time.
Somehow it doesn’t sound as romantic if they were having video chats every breakfast and jetting off to meet every three weeks on JetBlue.
So the practical side of me welcomes all these technological advances that ease the heartache of distance from loved ones. But my romantic side misses the unassuaged longing, caressing dog-eared snapshots in your hands and trying to remember the last kiss.
POSTSCRIPT, 7/14/07, 7PM:
Oh Jesus, I found one of those love poems I wrote. It’s really hard to read. Here’s a particularly terrible stanza:
She’s far away, missing me.
I never cry.
These cold waters seperating us
Will be like a baptism
Till a purer love is reborn,
I keep telling her.
Someday while we wash the dishes
We will smile about today,
I tell myself.
From 1992, entitled "White Stones." Ouch.