My three-way gchat with Bob & Cathie today
Bob: Son. How are you? I have been so worried about you since reading your blog post.

Eli: Oh dad, don't worry about me. I'm doing really well actually. Just trying to be better about talking about my struggles.

Cathie: How's my boy?!?!?! [12 different emoticons]

Eli: Hi mom.

Cathie: [5 more emoticons]

Bob: Do you know what the signs of depression are? Loss of appetite? Increased appetite? Loss of interest? Suicide?

Cathie: Whatever you do don't commit suicide!

Eli: Seriously guys. I'm not going to commit suicide.

Cathie: Do you need us to come down there and get you!? Or could I just send a Valentine's Day package instead?

Eli: Mom, those aren't even close to being in the same category of alternatives. But you don't need to do either. I appreciate the thought.

Bob: Irritability? Decreased concentration?

Cathie: Of course I have to send a Valentine's package!!! You're my little sweety pie!!! [6 more emoticons]

Bob: Do you have any friends? Are you and Daniel getting along? Is he depressed too?

Eli: Nobody is depressed. Seriously. Everything is fine. Yes I have friends.

Cathie: Can you name them for us?

Bob: . . .

Eli: Are you guys questioning me? Do YOU have any friends?

Cathie: I have lots of friends! I'm popular! Just like the song in Wicked! Dad has friends too but not as many as me.

Bob: It's ok that you don't have any friends because you can always count on B O B and momma C!

Eli: Dad, have you been watching MTV again?

Bob: I got to know how JZ and Pink and all my other peops are doing!

Cathie: Is Daniel doing ok? Can you hang out with his friends?

Eli: Daniel and I have the same friends. And yes, he's doing very well. He doesn't get as stir crazy as I do.

Cathie: That's because you are high maintenance and he's what you kids call "hang loose." [several more emoticons].

Bob: Can Daniel help you make friends and be a little less high maintenance?

Eli: Guys. I appreciate the concern. I may be high maintenance but I DO have friends. Your son has friends.

Cathie: Ok. Wink wink. We believe you.

Bob: Alright son. Sure you have friends. Suuuuuuuure.

Eli: I think I'm being cyberbullied right now.

Cathie: [crying emoticon] What are you going to do? Cry about it?!?!?!

Bob: cyberbully definition

Cathie: . . . ?

Eli: . . . ?

Eli: Dad, are you trying to google something? You know you can't just type your search term in the chat box.

Bob: Is google the same as search?

Cathie: Oh brother. You see what I have to live with? You need to type it in the google search box Bob.

Bob: Is that the one on the top?

Cathie: Here. Let me do it.

Eli: Wait. Are you guys in the same room?

Cathie: Yes.

Eli: Why are you gchatting with each other then? That's not even lazy. That's MORE work.

Bob: This e-technology stuff is great. Even 5 years ago we couldn't have communicated like this.

Eli: Ummm . . .

Cathie: We need to go. We're teaching English classes tonight to the refugees. But we love you!!!!! [heart emoticon]



Bob: Be safe.

Cathie: And remember, no one likes a frowny face. Change it to a smile! Turn that frown right upside down and smile all the while!

Bob: And take a Prozac if you need it.

Cathie: Only if you need a good time.

Bob: Love you.

Cathie: HUGS!!!!

Eli: Love you, too. And as usual, gchatting with you has been . . . confusing.

~It Just Gets Stranger