In the words of N*SYNC:
Digital digital get down.
And by “get down,” I mean “get rid.”
That word play didn’t really make sense. And now you’re all confused.
What I’m trying to say is that for the first week of the New Year, of the new decade, of 2010 I shall be participating in a digital cleanse. A whudda? (And no, this isn’t like the creepy LEMONADE cleanse I attempted back in ’07 to purify and detox my system. Read: lots and lots of runny poop). This is an attempt to rid myself of my attachment (addiction?) to my iPhone and the instantaneity of responding to people via Twitter, Facebook, and email from the palm of my hand. I lived for years without these technologies, yet why do I have trouble envisioning my life without them now? Why is it I feel compelled to email someone instantly upon receipt? Why do I feel this NEED to check my inbox the moment the ding of my iPhone chimes in a new message? Aside from being obsessive, it’s not safe when I find myself reaching for my phone while driving thanks to its vibrations of new mail. And why have I wasted hours of my life looking at facebook photos and status updates that at times make me question or feel dissatisfied with my own life? Why should these virtual communities have that influence on my personal reflections? And why do I check the stats on my blog religiously after posting to see how many people care about what I have to say? I started this thing as a space for myself to process the experience of motherhood and to one day share that story with my daughter who made it possible. Why, then, has it become just another technological compulsion and emotional compass?
So, to help sort out these questions, I shall rid myself of emailing, texting, tweeting, facebooking, and blogging (except for work related/academic necessity). This will free up my time for that looming thesis I can’t stop talking about, and force me to connect with friends via the HANDwritten word or an actual phone call, where I use my phone to ya know, SPEAK with someone. What I’m saying is, I’ll be out of digital range from January 1- January 8. I’m not looking for some crazy, life-altering revelation, just a chance to get back to basics. I’ve been there before. Why not now?
The digital cleanse is an idea conjured up and advocated for by none other than my soul mate (prior to meeting James, of course), John Mayer. Yes, this man is on my “list.” You know, the list of celebs couples create so that if hell froze over and the opportunity presented itself one would be able to sleep with said celeb with a Get Out of Jail Free card. Yep, I have a thing for musicians or those that are musically inclined (thus the reason why my pulse raises at the thought of James bedecked in his high school marching band paraphernalia and I get hot just listening to his old college a capella albums) (yeah, they recorded albums, N-B-D). Also, John Mayer, he is tall. And for a gal who is six feet, and as described by my college roomie who stands in at 5’2”, I come from a family of “heightests.” We like our men tall. Even my bitty baby sister (5’6” = bitty in the Ulmer household) who decided to bust out of my momma’s womb six weeks early (apparently that’s what you get for being impatient) needs a man that is 6 foot plus. In college, during those “experimental” years, I may have dabbled in dating a man a half foot shorter than myself, but we all see how the ended… I’m married to a band geek, but damn it, he is six feet TWO inches. Which means, when I’m not wearing heels, he can see over the top of my head. Bam! TALL!
I was actually confronted face to face with John Mayer’s Ulmer-approved stature back in summer of 2002 when my hetero-life mate and I were living in San Francisco and, thanks to a high school buddy of my mom’s who is a baller in the music industry, we got free front row tix and back stage passes to one of JM’s shows. When we got back stage, I spotted John sitting (brooding?) alone, waiting to go on stage, harnessing all that sexy-musician-energy and I, of course (because I am a large, loud, bubbling fool) rather ungracefully made by approach. I was completely unprepared for what came next. John stood and so filled with shock and awe and intense-tall-longing was I that I didn’t make out a word to say hello and he breezed by me and on stage. So much for convincing him that I was in fact his life-long-soul-mate, DIDN’T HE KNOW?! My friend and I were then allowed to stand in the wings of the stage and dance during his set, and sadly, our pitiful attempts at electric sliding to “No Such Thing” were met with ZERO attention from JM. I’m not even a fleeting memory as that creepy, awkward tall bitch who did the ELECTRIC SLIDE to one of his songs. <Sigh>
His music has traveled with me, however, and was the soundtrack to finding the man who turned out to be my actual soul mate. Those early weeks of my relationship with James are filled with the melodies of JM, as we lay curled up in flannel sheets, in the quiet isolation of our dorms, discovering how lyrics and life could collide. Continuum was released about a year into our relationship, and I thought James might just break up with me, so sick was he of listening to that album on repeat. And then, seven months ago, “Daughters” was the first sound to hit our own daughter’s ears as she entered the world and changed our lives forever. Again, lyrics to life. And now with Battle Studies, while I can no longer relate, I can remember.
John, I hope that one day you find what your music’s helped me find. And in the meantime, call me. In the name of the digital cleanse and all.