Opinion: Feuding family


I really hate texting.  Besides blowing up your data, communicating via text is the most likely way to end up in a snit with someone. There’s no time or space for long-winded explanations, and certainly no way other than emojis to indicate tone of voice. Mistype or misspell? You can end up with two distinctly different meanings. To wit: “Let’s eat, Grandma!” versus “Let’s eat grandma!”

I saw this played out firsthand last week when my four sisters and I were scrambling to come up with our summer availability for Family Feud. That’s right! Steve Harvey called! Well not Steve Harvey himself, but one of his minions. They want us on the show! Apparently our embarrassing audition in front of hundreds of other Feud hopefuls was a success, no doubt in thanks to one of my sisters’ remarkable execution of the Worm. Unfortunately, and I suppose ironically, trying to coordinate our calendars ended in a minor family feud of our own.

The controversial incident started with the fact that we live in five different cities. Synchronizing a three-day stretch between May and August when we can all ditch our jobs, husbands and kids to travel to Georgia is like trying to juggle lit torches, buzzing chainsaws and poopy diapers: It can be done, but only by using extreme caution.

A fourth of the dates Feud offered us are while school is in session, not the most convenient for me, the teacher, but perfect for my middle sister, the stay-at-home mom. Our annual family reunion week in July was a no for all of us, and my youngest sister couldn’t do June because she’s just come off a three-month maternity leave. That left only a few stretches where we could all conceivably get away from work and motherhood.

Slowly but surely the texts changed from “I can make these dates but not these” to “Some of us have to work for a living!” and “Why aren’t you making FF a priority?” When I saw “If you can find the time between carpooling and traveling to Europe, give me a call,” I knew two of my sisters were getting nasty. Thank God they recognized the need for clarification through a phone call before they threw down with frown-y faces.

Sure enough, they were reading into the messages way more than what was intended. This is Family Feud, ladies, not Family Rude! We’re supposed to fight against the other family, not ourselves. And let’s also remember that even if the Top One Hundred People Surveyed say texting is the best method for communicating efficiently, we should all recognize that lengthy and/or potentially emotional discussions should be addressed by phone. Right Grandma?

Peace out.


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