Some say the best things in life are free. Others say they have lofty price tags.
I say they're $39.99 a month.
My week started out with more e-mail from my other half's father, which was mostly focused on the (plight of) the Yankees, but also on some other semi-related topics. For the most part, it's very cool. He's very funny, down to earth and easy-going -- like Kaia -- and he's a Yankee fan, which puts us -- weird or not -- in the same boat, in that we're commiserating at how awful the Yankees are doing. On top of that, though, we're feeling each other out a bit as if we were first meeting right before we have to spend a week together in the same cramped quarters. And while I am conspiring with my other half to get out there to hang with her and the mespuchah, we're not going to be spending 24-7 with her parents. So it will be a bit odd having had a bunch of e-mail conversation and never having met him. In fact, after our fifth or sixth reply to one another -- actually, I've lost count at this point -- I asked Kaia whether her dad goes both ways (wink wink). They do, after all, live in San Fran ;-)
Seriously, I am very happy to have been going back and forth with him via e-mail -- in some ways I wish I didn't work with my dad so I could communicate with him via e-mail and force him to figure out how to use the PC. Kaia's dad is only now getting the hang of e-mail completely, and he's not far ahead of my dad vis-a-vis PC knowledge, but there is definitely a generation gap between those that know the 'Net and those that don't. But sooner rather than later, he too will get the hang thereof. The one nice thing about talking to her father via e-mail is that I get the sense that he and his wife are very nice people, down to earth, and very cool. She's met my parents and agrees with me that they'll get along, so I'm not worried about that, but until we are all in the same room and smiling, I won't know for sure. And based on my history, I know when something is right and when it's not, so I shouldn't worry, but, then again, once everyone is in the same location and happy, I won't be worried :-)
The other cool thing about our back-and-forth e-mails is that he sees the Yankees -- and baseball in general -- in much the same way my dad does. They're both from the generation that worshipped Dimaggio, Mantle and Maris, and they each rattle off players from a past I never had like they're in today's box scores. And in back-and-forthing about baseball, I've gotten to know plenty of non-baseball about my other half's dad, and I am really excited to meet him and his wife. As they say in France, what a difference a year makes...
In the meantime, speaking of my other half, I've sort of neglected her the past 36 hours as I had a friend in from out of town. He was nothing short of amazed at the status of my apartment -- neat, organized, and downright habitable. Both he and I gave credit to my other half via telephone, but since she's not here that's as good as it gets until she is. But once in awhile I fire up one of her currant candles or catch a whiff of her perfume on my sheets or on my robe, and it feels -- just for a second -- like she's just around the corner on her way home.
So he and I hit the Stage Deli this afternoon around 3:30 for lunch, since I'd been downtown and he had gone across town to research something with a friend of mine, so by the time we both were back in the office and hungry, we opted for a carnivore's lunch of corned beef, turkey, pastrami and brisket, aka the "High Cholesterol Special." This was the first time we'd eaten in the restaurant itself because, since the Stage is so close to my office, we usually do take-out and wind up kicking back in the land of desks, PC's and telephones. But today, since his time in NYC is so brief and I was so overrun with work, I figured we'd get out for an hour and chill without interruption. Since my other half and I are planning to visit he and his other half in Maryland this summer, as well as a good friend of hers, her husband and their first child, a three-month old daughter, we'll definitely have more time to relax and enjoy some down-time, but today's the second day of the new filing quarter with a major City agency I frequent, so work is work and play is another day.
The one cool thing about the Net, not simply getting to "meet" my other half's dad at a fail-safe 3,000 miles away, is the fact that I keep in touch with loads of friends all over the place, be it around the corner or around the world. And since the other half and I spend so much time apart, the phone and the Internet are crucial to us staying together until we're in the same city. So for only $40 a month, I feel like I'm still in touch with a lot of people who I'd normally not "see" too often, and 3,000 miles -- and a 36-hour trip to Japan -- aren't such obstacles when I'm in need of "human" contact.
Oh, and the file-sharing rocks, too.