Scene: An office supply store, prematurely decorated for Christmas. Kids hollering and playing a toy trumpet loudly, employees giving the stink-eye.
"Hey, should we do the grocery run while we're here? What time is (so-and-so from out of town) getting here today?"
"I don't know-let me check"
(Option A: the phone call)
"Hey, we were thinking about plans for the day, and wondering whether it made sense to go to the grocery now or later, so what time do you think you'll be getting here? PUT THAT DOWN RIGHT NOW. NO, YOU MAY NOT HAVE THAT IT IS VERY EXPENSIVE AND WE ARE NOT HERE FOR TOYS Sorry, go ahead."
"Oh gosh, I'm not sure how far we are from leaving, and even then, I'm not sure how far it is from here to your house. We will probably stop for lunch along the way. If you need to do some things, go ahead, because we haven't left yet and it will be awhile. The last time we did that drive there was some traffic, but oh, that was a weekday. So probably it'll be an easy trip. I don't know how far it is, though."
"SIT ON YOUR BOTTOM. YOU MAY NOT STAND IN THE CART_SEAT. NO. ON YOUR BOTTOM, PLEASE. ON YOUR BOTTOM. THANK YOU ok, just roughly what time do you think? NO YOU MAY NOT. SHHH. MOMMY IS ON THE PHONE. PLEASE JUST WAIT A MINUTE."
"Gosh I don't know, maybe 2? 3? Later? How about we call you when we get close."
"How far does the GPS say you are? I AM STILL TALKING ON THE PHONE, CAN YOU PLEASE ASK YOUR QUESTION WHEN I AM FINISHED? sorry, go ahead"
"Oh, OK, well let's see... turning it on... Let's see. We're 4 hours away now, plus lunch, so we'll be there in about 5 hours."
"YES, NO, WAIT, I MEAN NO, YOU CANNOT CLIMB ON THERE. ok, thanks - see you then!"
(Option B: Text)
"When will you be here?"
"Cool- c u later"
Once in awhile you meet people who Do Not Text. They know how to, but they won't. I appreciate a conversation as much as anyone else, but really, which option seems nicer?
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for SMS.