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Take the time for yes, no, please, thank you

The Examiner

Back when I was a young whippersnapper, many, many moons ago – some 871 if my calculations are correct – communications were a whole lot slower than they are today, but in a way far more satisfying than they are now.

Annie Dear

Waiting for Dad to come home with the evening newspaper, or snagging the morning paper – just to read the comics of course – was quite joyful. I graduated from comics to doing the puzzles and crosswords as the years rolled on, and it became great to read the news as well. This was in the days before 24/7 coverage, so there wasn’t any call for the press, TV or radio to make stuff up to fill the void.

My oldest brother left to take up a post with The Telegraph in London when I was about 8 or 9 – I think it took him 52 hours to get there from Sydney – and it was if I’d lost my right arm and best friend. Being 12 years older than me, he was my protector from evil and younger brothers (I love you, E), and I missed him terribly. But Mum saw my need and provided me with a pad of blue onion-skin airmail paper and envelopes.

God knows the drivel I would write, but what a thrill it was to have the postie deliver a reply.

We’ve lost the art of communication as technology has sped up our lives, and let me tell you, at my age I’d quite appreciate it if it would not romp along at such a rapid pace.

Everything is so instant, and sadly things we knew, respected and loved have fallen by the wayside. You can’t get the smell of an old book from an e-reader – and I am sad to admit I’ve succumbed in a huge way in this regard. Nobody is taught to write beautifully any more, just how to type faster, and no doubt that will become a thing of the past in the near future. Kids can’t tell the time unless it’s digitally presented to them.

And due to the speed of life, the art of courtesy is dead. Oh, it may shudder the odd breath or two, but it’s most definitely on its last hoof.

I’ve been trying to get hold of someone to help us with bits and pieces around the house our knees will no longer allow us to do. Through various means I’ve reached out to three professionals. One I’ve never heard back from, and another gave me a quote by text, and when I asked him for it in writing and in detail, he seems to have dropped off the planet. The third is due at the house in approximately 30 minutes – I live in hope.

Now I understand people are busy, but have the courtesy to first of all acknowledge I’ve spoken, and if you can’t help me, then have the courage to tell me. You won’t shrivel up in a ball and blow away – and you will relieve me of angst and rising blood pressure as I will otherwise convince myself you’re not that busy, you’re just rude.

Peace, love and beads, dear reader – they go a lot further than you may think.

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedear@icloud.com.