Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"The number you have reached is not in service."


Count them. TEN! I just walked through my house and picked up all of these awful things and threw them on the living room floor. Okay, really only eight because two of them are toys. No wait, if you count the one that is hooked to Zeus' belt the tally is nine. NINE! This is the number of obnoxious telephones that litter my life and disturb the peace, usually at the most inopportune times.

The telephone has become a necessity in life, but I also consider it to be just plain evil when in the wrong hands. It's bad enough to be surrounded by them in my home but now they invade my space wherever I go. Obnoxious ring tones interrupt dinner conversation in restaurants. Clueless people carry them into movies. Drivers narrowly miss me on the streets while they chatter away to who-knows-who while making right turns without looking.

The loathing I feel for telephones can be traced back nearly three years. This was a particularly trying time in my life, thanks to Littlest Ms. and a ridiculous elbow. The last thing I wanted to do was make nice to anyone who called. Hearing the phone ring was like sticking toothpick slivers under my already aching little fingernail. Thank heavens for Caller ID. I learned quickly how to use this technical wonder to it's fullest potential. I usually got around to returning calls, but only when my sanity was restored (!?) and it was a convenient time. A few people caught on and took me to task but at the time that was the least of my problems.

Cell phones. I have a love-hate relationship with them. A cell phone is nice. But... just because I have one doesn't mean that I carry it on my person all the time or that I will answer every time someone dials my number. Most of the time it is left in the car (I don't carry a purse, remember?) and I will check it when I am done shopping, or eating my ice cream cone. I'll call you back IF you leave a message! Yes, much of the time it is no different than an expensive answering machine for my car.

My ability to look at the Caller ID screen and ignore it can be considered a manifestation of my sometimes passive-aggressive personality. The only other option that has worked, at least it did for a while, was to flush the damn thing down a toilet at Sam's Club. This little episode cost me a new phone and at the same time probably set Sam's Club back a few thousand dollars in plumbing repairs, not to mention the inconvenience of shutting down the main Ladies Restroom for over 24 hours. Oh well....

Here's where I might offend you, a risk I will take. Text messaging can be obnoxious, depending on the texter or textee. When we are chatting and you invite another person into our conversation via texting please don't be surprised if I get irritated. Is that really any different than answering a telephone call in the middle of a sentence? Especially since you usually don't bother to say "excuse me while I take this call". I get dizzy from watching your fingers move over that miniature keyboard at breakneck speed. How long can you possibly keep this up before carpal tunnel finger sets in? And another thing: texting while driving? Come on, are you trying to kill me? Yes, you know who you are.....

The phone rang while writing this post. Unknown Caller. Incognito? The rule here is no name, no answer. Leave a message. I'll get back to you.


Muriel said...

I'll admit, I have texted while driving. But only do so while at a stop light. Most of my family doesn't even listen to voice mail but will respond in a heartbeat to a text. I love the girl I saw on Dr. Phil once who was responding to some teens who died in a car accident as a result of texting "they must not have known how to do it right, or they wouldn't have crashed". Seriously?!

But I agree with everything you said. And that is the reason we only have two phones. One cell phone for each adult in the house. No land line. No child who will ever need one while they are in school (I know we are going to raise a social outcast).

KFinley said...

I too admit to texting while driving...guilty! The truth is that some people won't respond to phone calls so I just text them!

You could always go back to what my dad does - not have a phone. I don't think I could do it again, but it would be nice to not have people be able to reach you at every second.

Who knows...I may just have to start turning my phone off part of the time...easier said than done.

Numismatist Facts said...

My dear Kara, that is precisely my point. Just having a phone does NOT mean that you are required to answer it. Maybe I should patent a 12-step program for those who are addicted to phones. You would be surprised at how liberating it can be when you turn the sound off.

Jodi said...

I've never texted a day in my life let alone while driving! Driving with other people on the road is scary enough. The beauty of cell phones is that they are there when you need them and can be turned off or ignored when you don't want to be reached.

Karen said...

I got rid of my land line two years ago because it was a $100 a month expense virtually going out the window because I wasn't home as much as I was away. I went totally cellular and haven't regretted it. I have a lot of texts that come through (baseball scores and other fun things) but I won't answer it while in the midst of a conversation, nor will I take a phone call unless I need to.

Oh, don't get me started on the unknown and private numbers. I refuse to answer those and if I could program my phone to put them to "silent" I would. They are invading my privacy and 9 times out of 10, they're a telemarketer who try to get around the "Do Not Call Registry" laws by saying they're an affiliate of someone I do business with. Right.

I want to smack people who text while driving; they're a danger to themselves and the other people they'll injure/kill in an accident. The only time I'll text is when I'm at a long stoplight and only if it's necessary.

OK, off my soap box ;-)