nonsensical text

Monday, September 25, 2006

watch out for that chasm!

There are so many cordless phones in this place that my memory has weakened on some of the advances in technology that have happened during my lifetime. I mean, until five minutes ago, how much time had I recently spent pondering the finer points of the expandable telephone cord? But, as I sat here facing an empty page, feeling the need to write, but having absolutely no clue where to focus my attention, I couldn’t help but study the one corded phone in the house.

Has there ever been a phone cord which didn’t develop slinky-like kinks after extended use? The DNA perfection of the coils is marred by two simple curves flowing in the wrong direction.

When I was a child, we weren’t even allowed to own our phone; we had to rent it monthly from the telephone company. As a pre-teen in a house with three females, we had a 40 foot long cord on our kitchen phone. We were spoiled by the ability to wander the house while on the phone. I can clearly picture balancing the receiver on the stair railing while switching to the upstairs phone. Occasionally, my best friend and I would play a game in which the object was to hang up the downstairs receiver and race to the upstairs one before the connection was lost. Sometimes we made it, sometimes we didn’t. Now, I am so spoiled, I won’t usually answer the office phone because the reality of being anchored to the desk suddenly reminds me of everything I need to be doing in another room.

I always wanted a princess phone when I was younger. Nowadays, mentioning a princess phone probably brings forth images of a Disney-themed masterpiece in cheap plastic. In my youth, it was a fancy dial phone of elaborate design. Instead, we had a standard olive green (it was the seventies, after all). Our first touch tone was mustard yellow – a status symbol of moving up in the world – it took so little then.

The mustard yellow phone of elongated cord could be found attached to my ear as I pranced through the living room dusting to the strains of Mozart’s 40th. It was during those years that, proud of my well-learned telephone etiquette, I loved calling my mother at work, just so I could ask for her by first and last name. The phone was like the computer is now, a barrier between me and the listener which obscured my paralyzing shyness. For a period in high school, drama would become that tool.

Now, I examine that phone knowing that tomorrow I must make a call. I wonder just when I started being afraid. I dissect my psyche to search for clues to what brought it about. I come up empty.

All I know is that my ankle is much less swollen, and I am trying to talk myself out of having to make the call. Those coils make really cool patterns on the curtain...

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5 Comments:

  • if you had to make this call for your kids - you would...don't be an idiot!! (said with much love - you know that, right??)

    and my first memory of a phone was a black rotary hard wired to the wall. the only time i ever used it was to speak to my grandparents in germany every Christmas!

    By Blogger spidermama, at 1:06 AM  

  • I can remember begging my mom for a touch tone phone. She used to tell me that it cost more to have touch tone service. Did it? I don't know. She also told me that a cat had run away while I was at my grandparents. Years later I found out she had given it away. I also wanted the princess phone! We are a product of our time, are we not?

    I had a friend in high school who hated to make phone calls. She was a good student, on the student council, etc. Totally capable. But if she had to make a phone call to anyone other than family or friend, she'd wig out. I swear I made all the arrangements for a high school I didn't attend because of her phone fear.

    I'll send you some good chocolate or something if you make the phone call. Or a book. What kind of bribe would work?

    By Blogger Mary-LUE, at 10:25 AM  

  • LOL, N. I am an idiot, though, and there's nothing you can do about it. ;) For te record, unless it is an emergency, I would usually make St call and schedule an appointment, even for the kids. It's this elaborate poopy diaper/telephone call trade-off system we have. Mind you, I have never been so cruel as to make him schedule OB/GYN appointments for me.

    My grandparents' phone was black rotary and hard wired. We moved into brand new townhomes in 71, thus the olive green. I don't remember how old I was when we finally got touch-tone.

    Just so you know, I did call the doc's office, but I got an answering machine, so now I get to wait for them to call me back.

    Mary, touch tone was more expensive back then, but I had forgotten that until I contemplated my phone cord. Sorry about the cat (but LOL too, because time can turn these things into comedy).

    Definitely a product of our time. I like that you made the calls for your friend. I can appreciate it since my dear husband ends up doing the same for me!

    I did get myself a choco milkshake as a reward for making the call. I guess if they miss me when they call back, I will have to up the ante(choco and books....you do know me don't you?).

    By Blogger atypical, at 12:41 PM  

  • I still have my first phone -- a pink princess touch tone. I rented it when I first moved into a college dorm. Several years later the phone company offered to let me buy that phone for $25. At that time you could either rent it or buy it. Oh the dilemma! See, if you bought it then all future repairs would be your own re$ponsibility. I'm not sure why I even WORRIED about that. The thing is built like a tank! Anyway, it is currently in storage, but I think about getting it out and using some days.

    By Blogger Terri B., at 3:31 PM  

  • terri b,

    isn't it amazing how many memories can be attached to a simple little thing like a pink princess telephone?

    I think you might be younger than me. I am trying to remember how old I was when princesses came out in push button form. I am thinking it may have been past my college days, but i dropped out, so that isn't saying much....

    :)

    -me

    By Blogger atypical, at 1:05 AM  

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