Thanksgiving is not a sexy holiday. So as I strap into my plane-seat for the only damn town this year that WONâ€™T be under snow or butter-basted until the seams on braided belts groan under the girth of American heft, go ahead and indulge yourself. Iâ€™ll be drinking Pina Coladas in Miami with the Cubans and eating fresh crab instead of the flesh of some hormone-laced psychotic dinosaur remnant stuffed with bread. Seriously, have you ever SEEN a Wild Turkey in person? Those things are vicious.
But for those of you still freezing your butts off in a Polar Vortex somewhere, I can offer you words of cheerful, upbeat perspective. In a world of partisan gridlock, religious wars, dwindling resources, climate change, asteroids, and Kim Kardashianâ€™s butt, we can breathe a tiny sigh of thanks for what really makes a difference in todayâ€™s fast lane.
Iâ€™m talking about mobile technology.
If youâ€™re single and born after 1990 you donâ€™t know how good you have it. Does anyone remember what it was like to ask a girl out before cell phones or the internet? You didnâ€™t just swipe right on Tinder and then send her a picture of your â€œsouth of the border…â€
A man back in those days had to have dedication.
First of all you had to call on a rotary phone, where the dials went all the way around in a circle before the digits registered, wasting valuable seconds that, in todayâ€™s world, could be spent adjusting the sepia tone on your latest selfie.
Whatâ€™s her phone number again? Your â€œContacts Listâ€ in 1987 was a worn-out piece of paper or cocktail napkin you scribbled that number on with a broken mascara pencil you stole from some girlâ€™s purse and hoped it didnâ€™t rub off in your pocket before you got home.
AFTER you deciphered the number and fumbled around with the rotary phone youâ€™d finally get â€œthe ring.â€
In 1987 there was no voicemail so you had to let it ring at least 10 times to let them reach the phone, which was attached to a wall with a cord. If nobody answered you had to keep calling back and hope that at some point theyâ€™d actually be home at the same time you were dialing.
If the phone DID pick up youâ€™d probably have to talk to her drunk father, who would grill you over your purpose and intent in contacting his daughter because in 1987 nobody had more than one phone line in a household, much less their own portable one.
IF you passed the drunk dad test you then finally, finally got to talk to the individual in question! Yes. I know the last verbal phone conversation was with either your mother or some Indian guy named â€œJoeâ€ trying to sell you car insurance, but people used to have synchronous, simultaneous conversations on a phone on a regular basis because there was no texting.
Her mother or sister would probably pick up the other line every ten minutes by accident, hoping to get a â€œdial tone,â€ which is the sound a phone used to make when nobody was using it.
Does she have a boyfriend? Before Facebook the only way to do some reconnaissance was good old-fashioned stalking. You know, the kind where you drove to the personâ€™s house or followed them around for a few days and went through their garbage?
But now, thanks to the advent of mobile technology, you can do all of your stalking while hitting on somebody else at the bar and simultaneously sending out a few sepia-toned selfies to the latest crop of â€œlikesâ€ on Tinder.
Isnâ€™t modern technology great?
Now, while Iâ€™m not really a fan of said shots, Facebook stalking, and Tinder-based romance, but itâ€™s nice to have the option if I felt so inclined. And technology is about having options, whether itâ€™s that Tron costume you made for Nerdicon 2015 or just plain checking out how fat your ex has gotten on Facebook, technology has become a means through which we can express our self and find others with shared interest.
And for THAT, I can say Iâ€™m thankfulâ€¦
Now pass the soft-shelled crab and the sunscreen, Iâ€™ll be at the pool.
R. Chase is a local writer and surveyor of single life on the Bourbon Trail. Follow him on twitter at @_Rchase.