Melanie Peters
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On the first Friday afternoon in November, 25-year-old Melanie Peters sat with her husband John, working at her computer. John was playing a Facebook game, while Melanie was searching the trending topics on Twitter, hoping to find a great idea for a story. As she searched, she sipped her cup of hot black coffee sitting beside her on the table. She searched and sipped, sipped and searched. Nothing she saw on the screen inspired her, however.

Her sipping and searching was suddenly interrupted by a rumbling sound outside--the familiar rumble of the mail truck. She stood up, stretched, and then went to get the mail, eager to see what was waiting inside the box. She hoped she might find a letter from her grandparents or maybe a movie from Disney Movie Club. She suspected that rather than finding the fun items she hoped for, however, she would instead find boring mail, like bills and advertising, but she had to know what was there. She arrived at the mailbox, opened it, and pulled out what was inside. Then she sorted through the items she held in her hand. There was their electric bill, an advertisement from the local hardware store, and something for her--a card or invitation of some sort. It was in a small white envelope, and it was from her friend Lucy Stewart.

She and Lucy had become friends when they met through one of the campus organizations that they were both involved with when they were students at Northwestern State University. They loved each other's company, and Melanie noticed that her day instantly improved when she spent time with Lucy. Lucy cared deeply for everyone she knew, and she loved to make people laugh. Melanie was curious, so she opened the envelope.

Inside, she discovered an invitation to a reunion. It was going to be held at a hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana the week after Thanksgiving. The invitation said "Bring casual clothes, and prepare for a weekend of fun! There will be shopping, movies, pizza, and all the coffee you can drink." Since Melanie loved shopping, movies, pizza, and coffee, she was excited and eager to participate in the reunion that her friend had planned. Then she read the next line on the invitation, which said "Please--no smart phones or laptops." When she read that line, she panicked.

She did not own a smart phone, but she loved her laptop. She used it every day for writing and for visiting various sites online, such as the site where her blog was located, and Facebook, where she kept up with important events in the lives of family and friends, such as birthdays. Facebook was also one of several sites where she posted her work and where she played favorite games, such as Candy Crush. What would a weekend without her computer be like? What would she do if she could not check the trending topics on Twitter? What if she got nervous when there was a lull in the conversation, and she could not relieve her nervousness by looking at her computer screen?

Then she realized that she was being stupid. These were her friends--the same friends she chatted with and read posts from on Facebook. She did not need to feel nervous around them. They had not seen each other for many years, so they would have plenty to talk about. She also did not need to worry about missing what was trending on Twitter, because the topics that came up between her and her friends would be much more meaningful.

She opened her phone to R.S.V.P. to the invitation, made a mental note to be sure to remember to bring her journal with her to the reunion because this special weekend would likely inspire many stories, and then smiled to herself in eager anticipation of a weekend that could not come soon enough.

Works Cited

An addict of technology must learn the importance of connecting with others without a screen in the way. How does this person do it, and what does he or she learn from the process? 2008-13. Bryan Cohen and Build Creative Writing Ideas. 15 November 2015.


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