Delayed Gratification

Delayed gratification. It’s almost an obsolete concept in our country. The word “delay” has quite the negative connotation. Think about it. You’re traveling somewhere: what do you not want to see at your airport gate? Delayed. We don’t like our plans to be delayed. We’re impatient for every fun event. And the more technology scampers ahead, the more “delay” shrinks to a pseudo-four letter word.

You want an answer to a question? Forget dictionaries, encyclopedias and libraries. Google it, or ask Siri or any other almost-personal-robot app. No need to set up an answering machine (a what? The younger generation asks) to collect your calls while you’re gone. We’re inseparable from the little cell phones that are almost an extension of our arms.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m as bad as everyone. Maybe worse. I’m impatient, I want what I want now. And if I forget my cellular tether, I start freaking out I’m going to lose touch with the reality of the world. When I was young, I got “fancy coffee” from a “fancy coffee shop” once or twice a year, when we’d drive 45 minutes out to the mall to go Christmas shopping. Now, I do my Christmas shopping online (with two-day shipping: I mean, good grief! Why does it take them so long!) and there are half a dozen Starbucks for me to frequent within a seven minute drive.

But, with all the prevalence of the “I want it now!” lifestyle flowing in my American veins, there is still one slower tradition I still adore. I am a greeting card freak. I absolutely love getting cards in the mail, and sending them out to my loved ones as well. I also love letters. Real letters. Hand written. Stuck in an envelope. Stamp in the corner.

E-mails are great for work purposes. I use texting and Voxer with obscene frequency. And I am glad of them. But a sure way of making my moment, my day, my week, is to send me a card or a letter. Old-fashioned. Slow. Delayed.

Gratification.

~ S.D. Bullard

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~ by sdbullard on August 28, 2015.

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