Friday, April 13, 2007

Where the heck is Deb??

May I clear something up, please??

People are apparently writing about the "If I Vanished.." post in a most esoteric way. Imagining that as one ages one "draws in".. and gets smaller. Imagining "vanishing" as dying. As disappearing from the world gestalt.


Honestly, at this point in my life, I'm getting out in the world more, not pulling inward. And I'm way too young at 55 to start thinking about my declining years.

Let's remember the original story on Grey's Anatomy: a woman leaves her home to travel into Seattle. We do not know why, but assume it was an ordinary day. She is in an accident that disfigures her face (eliminating the chance for the hospital to publish photos of her and say: Who Is This?). She has amnesia (eliminating the chance for her to say: I am Madame X.).

And nobody has come asking about her.

She is someone who we assume worked.. and her co-workers aren't inquiring about her.

She is someone who we might assume has a lover with whom she conceived, or at least some friend or companion who shares her life. Some support for her and her child. They have not come asking about her.

She must live somewhere and neighbors aren't missing her. Friends are not asking about her.

This woman has vanished from the life she was living before the accident and nobody appears to care. Or at least not care enough to ask the authorities "where the heck is Madame X??

It is as if mystery woman lives alone and isolated in the world.

And Dr. Addison wondered if the same would happen to her. Would anyone notice and ask after her??
I know a number of women who travel alone and relish the experience. I would LOVE to do it, but it terrifies me. Not the lack of companionship or shared experience, but the thought that something could happen and nobody would come asking the authorities "where the heck is Deb??"

When I asked these women how they have overcome that fear, they all admit one thing: they have friends or family members with whom they are in contact every day. Most of the time, they are not people they see face to face, or even talk to on the phone. Someone will text them to say what they're having for breakfast; someone sends a voice message to tell them about a tv show they saw last night. A third might leave an email about a boring meeting; a fourth might ask why she isn't "Twittering" yet? AND THEY EXPECT AN ANSWER.

Yes, some of these women have people with whom they talk by phone every day. (NOTE: rarely talking to direct family members). But more often than not, it's more techie and less real life. But it is regular. It is throughout the day. It is expected that there is back and forth. These women might physically be alone (several of them work from home) but they are connected.

It is my own fault, but I have set up "barriers to communication" that mean I do not have this connection in my life.

I have a spouse who hates the phone more than I do. He can happily travel the world for 2 to 3 weeks and feel assured that I am home safe and sound. He will send an email when he can, and wait for an answer (which might get caught in the corporate spam filter). That's it. No answer, no panic. He's now gotten a Blackberry for work, so it's likely these emails will increase.

Friends (including some of you reading this) expect to find a new blog post most days here. But if one doesn't show up for several days, you just assume that I'm busy. No email, no question, no communication.

Real life friends usually only call or email when there is information to convey. They convey the info and let it drop. That's my own fault, I know.

One friend kind of "got it" from the original post. She emails me a couple times a week and expects a response. She calls me one morning a week and expects a response. She has promised me if I don't answer the phone or call her back quickly that she will "call in the cavalry." I am a bit calmer now.

But nobody communicates with me daily and expects to hear back in a timely fashion. This has made me vulnerable. This has made me fear vanishing. It's a much more real fear than disappearing from the world consciousness.

It is quite literally: what if I left the house tomorrow and didn't return ? How long would it take for anyone to know that I have been taken? That I have vanished? And, more importantly, to ask someone "where the heck is Deb?"

Oh, BTW beginning this afternoon until Wednesday morning, I will be Art Quilt Claremont. I still plan to be blogging, but if you don't hear from me.. that's the first place to look.

Check out my other blog: Deb's Daily Distractions

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