I don’t recall specifically when people quit calling, writing, or speaking in person to people, and instead began “reaching out.” Whatever the timing, I cannot help but think that it marked a point of devolution in our language.
As a downhome introvert, the idea of being reached out to is as creepy as bugs. Just call me, write me, or talk to me if we’re in the same airspace. I’m approachable; I’m just not particularly big on socializing, though I enjoy occasional brief forays into social terrain.
If I go into the bedroom when Effie is napping on her hammock, she often rolls over onto her back, hangs her head down over the edge of the hammock toward the floor with her face up, and wiggles around on her back, her forearms stretched out over her head toward the floor. It’s such an adorable greeting that I have long wanted to photograph it. Of course anyone who photographs their cat knows that cats scan their peoples’ brains, detect motives, and thwart them.
And so she did. I went back for my camera, hoping she would repeat her adorable greeting. She began washing her paws and tummy, and then lolled back, one leg reaching outward with claws extended, and her tongue out. I caught her just before she resumed putting her coat and paws in order.
The photo is significant to me. Effie is reaching out while sticking out her tongue. My response to the idea of being “reached out” to, in most cases, is “bleah.”
The second photo is close, but not her perfected form of the Adorable Look.