God Bless the Folks Who Made iChat Affordable


Last night, before I had a chance to change into my pjs or put some food on a plate that might resemble dinner, I got a text from my big brother. Which was unusual.

There are days when I wonder how we could go months without speaking or writing, especially now that we’re both hooked up with iPhones. Making contact could not be simpler. And yet it doesn’t happen all that more frequently than back when our mode of communcation was limited to land line telephones. I don’t have hard feelings about it really. Each minute of our lives is packed so densely with tasks and stimulation and responsibilities. But that’s the topic of another post.

To make it simple, here’s an illustration I did for my Women for Women sister in Congo:


At least a couple times a week while I’m at work, where my AIM buddy list is viewable on the screen at all times, I’ll see my mom, or dad or niece log in. There’s a millisecond when I entertain the idea of saying “Hi” – but I usually sweep it away thinking, I’ve got work to do. I’m not getting paid to sit here and chat.

Then after that comes the thought that just 60 years ago, people separated from their families would give ANYTHING to be able to have a momentary word or two with those loved ones. It’s the time machine game I play in my mind. I think back 110 years to the covered wagon folks. How many months – months – did they wait for that piece of paper inked by a loving hand that said something as insignificant as “We had two inches of snow Tuesday night”?

So when it occurs, as if by miracle, that I see the bubble on my screen announcing that Mom’s sitting at her computer available for communication, I’m torn every time. What gets me is when I remind myself that there will come a day when the bubble stops coming up, and at that time I’ll ask myself, Oh why didn’t I say “Hi” more often?

Last night when I got the text from my brother, I immediately logged on and said, Let’s iChat. So we did.

We talked about everything from business advice, to why we used to call our grandparents by their sir names, to how great his children are, to our favorite restaurants: “Ruth, stick with the filet. Don’t listen to the bone-in rib eye people. They’re two cuts of meat.”

Yeah, he gets me.

4 thoughts on “God Bless the Folks Who Made iChat Affordable

  1. skype is a lifesaver when you are living abroad.. especially if you get one of their little phones. I have vonage too which I believe Monica could get too – then your friends in the USA could call you on a USA number..

  2. I have the Yahoo version of Skype (Yahoo Voice) with a Maryland number. I love it. It is 1 cent a minute for me to call the States and for my family to call it’s the same as a local call. I think $25.00 lasted me 5 months.

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