Saturday, May 22, 2010

Telephones...love 'em or hate 'em

I have never liked talking on the telephone. As a teenager, when girls are supposed to be on the phone for hours, I used the phone to plan where to meet my friends if we were going out, but none of us lingered...and probably wouldn't have even if our parents had allowed it.

As an adult I developed a big case of phone-avoidance. I'm a hard worker, but if a task requires a phone call, I tend to put it off as long as possible. When we began to use email at work, I used it at every opportunity. Eventually I learned that some conversations really need to happen live...sometimes I'll begin an email and then, with a sigh, pick up the phone.

When I was first getting to know my husband, I enjoyed a couple of long phone conversations with him. He was a great story-teller, and I remember being very surprised that this talent was evident even by telephone.

I carry a cell phone for emergency use. I've never actually had an emergency, but it comes in handy if I'm away from home overnight and want to call hubby without running up a bill on my host's phone, or incurring the ridiculously high rates that hotels now assess.

Earlier today, Respectfully Yours posted a query about telephone use, asking about memorable calls--for better or worse.

You won't be surprised that I told her my favorite calls in recent memory were from our son-ln-law, saying, "Come to the hospital" to meet our grandchildren.

And now each weekday morning the phone rings and the message is, "We're on our way." Five minutes later the grandkids toddle in the back door, ready for a new day of Wild Rumpus Daycare. I'm not a morning person, so it's always a little jarring, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Peter always answers our home phone; I am perfectly happy to ignore it. If it's important, they'll leave a message. If it's someone I know, I'll email them back.

19 comments:

Everyday Kathy said...

My mom always hated the phone... still does. I finally inherited her affliction! I used to use it constantly for work but now I'm known for never picking it up. I carry my cell phone for emergencies but I rarely if ever just chat.

Kathy over at Everyday Bliss

Cheryl said...

Phones weigh 1 billion pounds. Ugh.

Jeanie said...

I decided a long time ago that I must be very insecure because I can't ignore a ringing phone. I don't actually talk on the phone very much though.

Kathy said...

Oh my gosh...I am just like that. I hate the phone but I love texting and e-mail. I hate it at work if I don't have an e-mail address for someone and I actually have to call them. I remember when Irv and I were dating in high school....we would spend the evening together and then he would go home and call me and we would sit on the phone listening to each other breathe because we really didn't have anything to say. I would actually fall asleep on the phone! :)

Emma said...

I hate the phone, too! I am so thankful that my job doesn't involve talking on the phone. I'm guessing that many writers feel the same way.

injaynesworld said...

LOL! I spent hours on the phone as a teenager, but I'm sure had there been the internet I wouldn't have touched it. I love knowing I can read and respond to my e-mail on my own schedule. Talking on the phone just sucks precious minutes from my day. Every time the damn thing rings, it pisses me off.

DJan said...

When we moved to Bellingham from Boulder, we let our land line go, but we each kept a cell phone and rarely use them, except for short calls. If I want to talk with my relatives, we use iChat and talk in person, sort of. Occasionally someone will call me to chat, but it's very rare these days. Email communication is far preferred by me and my friends.

gayle said...

I use to love talking on the phone but not so much anymore!

Respectfully Yours said...

Great post. Glad I inspired you to talk some more about that darn phone. I do enjoy talking on the phone I must say. I like conversation better than texting etc. Grandchildren visiting is always a great phonecall. Have a great weekend.

@eloh said...

I don't "talk" on the phone, but I'll have a running conversation with a ringing phone.

When I was a kid, our home phone was also our mother's business phone. So the same thing as you, get on and get off and I recall we always asked permission to use the phone. Later is was a relay between Dad's business... so it was a tool and not entertainment.


I got a call from a hospital in Port Saint Lucie Florida at 11 pm, 14 September, 1992 concerning my 20 year old son. I hate telephones.

FabuLeslie said...

Yes! I agree. Email is so much better since you can do it in your own time, and give people time to process things before responding. It helps make us more deliberate about things. Your story about how the phone signals the grandkids' arrival is great! :)

CatLadyLarew said...

I ignore ringing phones all the time because I have phone-o-phobia. There's something about not being able to see the person I'm talking to that bothers me. But blogging... that's a whole other issue. I love the "conversations" I have here.

Ms Sparrow said...

I had a job for many years that kept me on the phone. The last thing I wanted to do when I got home was talk on the phone. I still avoid making phone calls.

Grandmother said...

I don't like phones unless it's SKYPE and I can see my daughter and grandkids. Love email and blogs though!

grammy said...

I don't love it or hate it I guess
it is great to talk to my best friend in New York on weekends when I have free minutes (o:
My husband is a man of few words ... so when dating and far apart it was soooo hard to talk to him. It is a wonder we made it through that (o:

Far Side of Fifty said...

I wish I could rip ours off the wall. It totally irritates me. I hardly ever use it. I never answer it unless Far Guy is gone..I answer then because it might be him needing me. Most of the time the machine picks it up..I sort from there, and return the calls that must be important to someone else:)

IndigoWrath said...

I nodded all the way through this (apart from the grandkids). I've never liked the phone, I'd rather be up close and personal, or at a distance and use email. But yeah, sometimes you just HAVE to, dammit. Indigo

Krista said...

Sounds like we have a similar phone style. I hate the phone. I prefer email ten times over, for sure! I'm one of the only people I know who doesn't have a cell phone! Mr. Handsome was the other until last week but he just got one. *eye roll*

Robynn's Ravings said...

I'm RIGHT there with you. I can use the phone, there are times I love it ("Mom, I'm here safely....), but given an option, I'll take writing any day. Even texting!

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