Friday, March 11, 2011

Call Me

It's hard to imagine that once upon a time someone actually declared the telephone "a worthless toy".  And, I'm not talking about my husband, Davis, although if I asked he would probably agree.  No, back when Alexander Graham Bell showcased his invention and tried to sell it to Western Union he and his speaking telegraph were ridiculed.  Laughed at.  If I had been there I would have embraced it with both hands.  Through out the years, in all it's various forms, it's been the telephone that's never very far from my fingertips.

Back in the day phones came with a round dial. A finger poked into a hole bearing a number and had to spin the dial all the way around, wait for the spinning wheel to come back to it's original spot and then move onto the next one in the sequence.  By the time a person got through all seven digits of a phone number they had forgotten who they were calling in the first place. And, talk about the colors - white, pea soup green and mustard yellow.  When I was growing up we had one phone, a white one that sat in the dining room.  Every conversation anyone had was listened to and commented on by everyone else in the house.  Most of those comments consisted of, "Stop talking so loud, I can't hear the T.V.",  "How much longer are you going to be?  It's my turn." and  "Hang up or I'm hanging up for you."  All right, most of the time the comments came from me and were directed at my siblings.  Except for the last one.  That came from mom.  And wasn't said so much as it was yelled.  The day my parents installed a second phone jack in their bedroom and we were going to be able to have a conversation in total privacy was a happy day for the family.  We all gathered around the man installing it and anxiously waited, arguing over who would get to be the first to use it.  My mom won.  She called my dad at work and said, "Hi, hold on a minute, I can't hear you over the kids.  They're using the phone cord to tie each other up."  Over the years we upgraded to keypads that could be pushed, phones in every one's bedroom, the cordless, and finally the amazing mobile cellular that was the size and weight of a half gallon of milk. 

Then came the fateful day my husband and I decided that in the interest of saving money we would cancel the house phone and use just our cell phones.  Which wasn't a problem in the beginning.  We had thousands and thousands of minutes.  Everything was going along fine until my friend began texting me.  I resisted texting for a long, long time.  Mostly because I felt like I was to old to say things like, "LOL" and "TTYL".  Eventually, I taught myself how to text back and was hooked.  I could text her all day long at work and never get in trouble for being on the phone. It was great.  Until my husband opened our cell phone bill and let me in on a little secret.  Our plan didn't include texts and all our conversations were costly.  Hundreds of dollars costly.  

So, we found a new plan that included unlimited texts but very few minutes.  I haven't heard the voice of a loved one since.  Texting does have it's draw backs.  For instance, it's hard to decipher the tone of a voice from a text.  Is that person being sarcastic?  Or sincere?  How will I know unless we text the words, 
"Are you sure?"
"I'm sure." 
back and forth the rest of the day?  I am of course talking about a conversation that could apply to any I've had with my friend, sister, neighbor.  All women.  My texting conversations with the men in my life are a lot like the one I had with my husband recently while he was at work on break:

Me: "We have to figure something out with the fence.  Echo has tried to get loose and attack the 2 Golden Retrievers behind us and the new puppy next door.  And that was just in the past five minutes.  Also, I realized that we don't have the cheese I need to make dinner.  We aren't having enchiladas. I kind of feel like ordering a pizza, but we're trying to not eat out so much so what do you think?  Milo got in an argument with me over doing his homework so he's grounded from video games.  Make sure you don't let him play any.  And don't forget tomorrow is my meeting at the library."

Him: "K."

K?!  That's it?  I pour out my frustration over our wayward dog, belligerent son, lack of foresight in planning the dinner menu, question what we should about that and also a quick reminder while I was thinking of it, in a message that took four separate texts to transmit and in response I get a "K".  In fact, I have received this "K" from both my brothers also. 

The cell phone billing statement highlights the differences between my husband and I in a way that fourteen years of marriage has never managed to.  I'm a talking, texting fool.  My phone number is the one that uses up all the minutes we are allotted and has an embarrassing amount of texts going in and out.  In contrast, his number has only a few calls listed, none of them lasting more than five minutes and the only texting done is in response to mine.  They all say the same thing. K.  And, we're k with that.


  1. Ha the same things happen in my house! My cell bill takes up three pages and his less than 3 lines on the bottom forth of the page. Sprint also does a breakdown of how to split the bill and it usually looks like this his share $0.50 mine $130 how fair is that. Thanks a bunch sprint for giving him something else to rib me for!

  2. haha fun story! i also remember those "hang up or I'm hanging up for you!" calls. It was mostly me saying it to my sisters because I didn't want to hear them talk any longer! And when it comes to cell phones, we're the exact opposite. My husband is calling and texting all the time, all day long. Me on the other hand, I call my husband and my mom, and I text my husband and one of my friends - mostly in reference to play dates. that's it. I would never notice if my phone went missing.

    p.s. I'm just a random follower but I wanted to let you know that I always look forward to your stories!

  3. This was awesome! I giggled the entire way through :)

  4. Too funny:) My daughter is a texter, but not me. I don't even have a cell. But I remember the old days when we used those phones you described earlier in the post. We even had a party line. Our phone rang once, a neighbor's rang twice, and yet another's rang 3 times. And any one of those other households could pick up and listen to your conversations! The dark ages. That's where we lived back in the day:)

  5. This was a great post. I think the same holds true in many households. On average, women tend to use more words than men do, so we do indeed talk and text more. Thank you for stopping by my blog earlier and leaving a comment. I'm stopping back. Have a good weekend.

  6. Stopping from Mom Loop! I am not big into texting, but the other moms in my playgroup are. Their finger fly over their keyboards at break neck speeds.

  7. Made me smile : ) Thanks for visiting my3littlebirds via BlogFrog...I'm a new follower of yours.

  8. Thanks everyone for the comments! I also think it's usually women using their cell phones more than men. And it's funny how quickly technology can become a normal part of your life. I'm not good at texting even though I do it all the time. I'm one of those people who type in proper grammer and punctuation and never abbreviate or use smiley faces. Don't know why not. And it seems like if there was more than one kid in the house there were guarenteed to be arguments over the phone. We had 3 teenagers in our house so the phone fights were common.

  9. Loved reading your post. Very funny and so true!

    My husband and I have worked at the Telephone Company, when it was AT&T the first time around. Way before the breakup in the 1980's. (So I'm dating myself, right now). We continue to use the landline service and keep a cell phone with us, that we seldom use. We don't text, primarily, because we don't know how....hehehe. I still don't understand why, someone would spend so much of their time texting, when it's so much easier and faster to just call the person.

    Love your blog, I'm your newest follower (redirected from BlogFrog) -- Nancy

  10. I think your husband and my husband should get together. Oh wait...that might not work so well in the conversation department. Or would it?

  11. "Hang up or I'm hanging up for you."

    I too have had that one shouted at me more times than I can count!!!

    I went to straight cell service several years ago and resisted texting for awhile, but then everyone was texting...ugh...and now I'm addicted. But I still had folks like my parents who resisted texting.

    So, last year, I did what I never thought I would do. I ended my contract with Verizon (who I liked, but just couldn't afford everything). And I bought a Straight Talk device from Walmart. The phone was $100 and at most it cost me $45 a month for unlimited everything. Minutes, texts and mobile web. They have dozens of different phones available and service is pretty decent almost everywhere.

    Definite savings for me! Went from close to $200 a month for 2 phones to under $100 a month for 2!

  12. Great post! I am your 100th follower! Yipee!!!

  13. During my growing up years we had to share one phone between six family members. It was a challenge when I became interested in boys. I was self conscious enough talking with a boy on the phone, let alone knowing family members could hear me as well - ugh! My brothers had a good time kidding me until my mom came and rescued me.

    Following you now on FB!

  14. Lisa, your comment makes me so happy!! Thank you, thank you.

    I started texting mainly because I have a friend who only texts and I wanted to keep up talking with her, so I had to learn how. My husband has a group of guys that he goes bike riding with a lot in the summer and I'd like to be a fly on the wall and hear what they say to each other sometimes, none of them are big talkers. I imagine total silence the whole time. I am going to Walmart to look into those phones, never heard of that before!

  15. I can relate to your texting your husband. My husband does the same thing to me! He would rather talk to me face to face or on the phone instead of texting. But it seems for me its easier to text than to get on the phone for a 5 min conversation! Thanks for the laugh! :)

  16. I am thankful for my phone. Men don't seem to talk that much, just my observations. I used to hate texting, till I found out I could have an argument with my kids without any belligerence. Now, I'm Ok with that.

    Here from blog frog.

  17. How funny! Only in my case it's my husband who uses the phone more than me.

  18. Oh, the old days of phones with cords. I remember my mom installed an extra long cord to the phone so she could go from the phone's location in the kitchen to the bedroom and close the door. But that cord always led us kids right to her hiding spot. Thanks for sharing. :)

  19. My mom also got the extra long cord so she could go into her room and shut the door. And then us kids sat outside the door knocking repeatedly whining, "Moooommm" until she came out and put us all in a corner. Good times!

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

  20. I think we could almost do away with our land line now, as we hardly use it, what with most of our friends and family being on Face Book. Still, it is nice for people to be able to call us on it as mobiles can be expensive to ring.