… rushing to answer the phone?
When Sheila Stewart suggested this topic for me, I didn’t know. How could I stretch that concept out to be a blog post? But, I’ve been mulling it around in my head and I think that it’s going to be a challenge to keep it a short enough post. And, it’s got lots of stories about my wife in it too.
About a year ago, the kids and I finally convinced her to drop the land line and get a smartphone. Well, that’s not true. It was the guy at The Source who let her know that she could get a smartphone and keep the house number. One of her concerns was that people we owed money to wouldn’t be able to contact us. Rest assured, I said, they’ll find a way. I didn’t succeed but thanks to the teenager at the store who sealed the deal for us. It’s been great for her and comforting to be able to answer the phone no matter where she is.
Just last night, she was in another part of the house and her ring tone had her running down to answer it. There really is a different mindset! We’ve had the talk about the phone log on the smartphone and she just needs to look it up and return the call. I didn’t succeed there either.
In doing my research for this post, we did talk about phones in the good ol’ days. When her family moved into town from the farm, they kept the old phone line which was on a party line and honestly was one of the best phone numbers ever. As an outsider from a rich family (we had a private line), it was funny to watch how things would stop at her house when the phone rang. But, you didn’t pick it up immediately; you’d go over to the phone and listen for the ring. If it was two longs and a short, then you knew it was yours. It was a challenge to pick it up before the other lady on the party line answered and handled the conversation for you. She lived on the phone, I think, because even if you dialed out, she’d come on demanding “Line please” no matter when you used the phone.
I tried to develop a change in this mindset when we rolled out the buggy electronic report card and my home phone number somehow got out. We would literally get phone calls all hours of the day or night. I was quite happy to let them go to the answering machine and return the call when it wasn’t, say, in the middle of supper. But good intentioned family members would answer and then “It’s for you, Dad.”
But, there was something about the damn phone. Three kids and a wife would race each other to answer it first. You’d pay for this form of entertainment anywhere else! Maybe it was an expected call or it was just the excitement of answering the phone not knowing who was on the other end. I don’t know for sure. After all, call display was just something that digital phones had at the time and we weren’t digital.
At times, it was like a race to see who could get to the phone first. I can tell you who got there last. Moi.
Even though we’ve “cut the cord”, I do find myself at times reverting to the old mindset and looking where the answering machine used to be when returning home to see if I missed something! I have issues.
For a Sunday, your thoughts…
- do you have any rush to the telephone stories to share?
- did you or your family ever have a party line? Do you remember your ring?
- do you still have a land line? Why? (apparently, there are good reasons)
- can you remember dialing a phone without an area code in front? Heck, I can remember our number started with HUnter 2, instead of 482
- when you get a call now, presumably on your smartphone, do you check the caller display first or just answer it?
Please share your phone stories in the comments. They’re interesting to read.
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