29 July, 2011

Flexing my Writing Muscles on a Hot and Steamy Day

I sit in the bookstore today; heat forcing me inside.  Were I only part mermaid…. That is what I thought as we left the house this morning water bloated air as we walked… 
There are thoughts running through my head a mile a minute… and this is the third post I have started, the other two not flowing the way I would like.  
I wonder now how it is that I once finished posts?  It was as if the post would write itself more than I would write it.  Beginning, middle, and end… everything kind of structured in my lose, blog way.  
Now… well, now it is different.  There are those things that I want to write and am not sure I can write in a way that is best understood.  
There are those things that circle through my head and are not yet ready to be born on page.
And then there is the reality that I don't feel overly inspired… which is quite odd as I thin about it because I am sitting here, in a bookstore, in the middle of DC - a city that definitely is not short on character or happenings.  
I went into the bank today to pay my credit card bill.  The tellers are always quite nice and quite interested in sharing information about securing an account with their bank and no longer having to write checks as I could just use online banking or something.  
i am a hold out - I do not use online banking; and I still use checks and stamps.  And those who receive thank you notes from me or my daughter are possibly surprised that they are handwritten and arrive in an envelope!  
Every once in a while I am tempted to do online banking - how much easier it would be to sit at my computer and just "click" and "wow" bills are paid.  
Then I remember all the reasons why I continue to use checks and stamps…. and there are lots of reasons but the one I like best is that I like writing the checks; I like paying the bills; I like closing the envelope and sending the payment on its way.  In my mind, a check is that much closer to using cash.  Although a check isn't exactly "money," there is a feel about it, to me, that is closer to real in that it isn't plastic.  
My daughter noted the "Pay by phone" parking in DC yesterday and commented as to how everything is becoming so technical.  
Last night I had her buy her sandwich for today with cash.  "Why am I using cash?" she asked.  "Because it is kind of fun?" I answered.  
I appreciate the world that technology offers.  I mean, really, I could use online banking and pay my bills from anywhere.  I could give up the handwritten thank you and do it via e-mail, as many of my friends have done.  (or I could just give up the thank you note completely or do it by twitter?)  I could even eliminate cash from my home completely, and checks, and soon enough, even plastic.  
But my question becomes, what makes it all real?  if we don't see the money pass through our hands, if we don't write the checks, if we start paying for everything with a click of a button linked directly to this or that account… are we really aware of the money that is being paid, the cost, or the significance?
My daughter is at the end of the Net Gen  - a generation that is growing up knowing nothing but internet connectedness, social networking, online relationships and challenges…. a generation that lives and breathes technology and networks.  In her first level math classes, the teachers were challenged to teach the class about money - dollars, coins, making change… Some of these kids found it a bit challenging as they rarely saw or used cash.  How to learn to make change or identify coins and their value if your family doesn't use cash?
it is an evolving world… and one day, likely sooner than later, kids won't know what it is to have a piggy bank or to wonder of the jingle of coins in a pocket.  
For work, and for my daughter, I keep up with technology and trends.  Whether I choose to use the technology is one thing, knowing about it and having an awareness of the world in which my daughter lives is another.  
And there we are, a kind of post for today…. flexing my flexing muscles in a way.  
The topic that is really on my mind if you have read this far, is illegitimacy - and it is one that I am not sure how to discuss…
Have a wonderful Friday!


LesleyG said...

I use online bill pay, but it's definitely not ideal. For example, my phone company cannot seem to figure out where the checks come from (a third party the bank uses when companies like my phone company don't have automatic wire capability), and so for the last 10 months once per month I have had to call them and explain it so that my money is put toward my account. I think technology is serving absolutely no one in this case.

And I will always write handwritten Thank Yous as long as we have a postal service! :)

BigLittleWolf said...

Like you, I try to keep a balance between using technology for my convenience, and retaining some more "hands-on" ways of doing things.

Like cash. Or a check. If for no other reason than to still use our hands for the exchange of goods and services!

A touch of the hand is a good thing.

(And nothing like writing in a bookstore. Yum.)

Cinderella said...

I feel much the same way. I prefer the hand written ways of communicating and paying bills, the face-to-face interaction.
Only with my blog do I use the computer a lot. A stamp is good enough for me and so is writing a check to pay a bill.
A hand-written letter is a pleasure to receive!