Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New fangled

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Hi, Guys. When I tried to log on this morning, blogger wouldn't let me, and now it's a little late in the day. I'll post something new tomorrow. It's going to be about dreams and dreaming, I think. Meanwhile, these comments will stay open. xxoo NP

Yesterday evening, I did something out of character. I called East Aurora, New York and talked by speaker phone to a book club there. They were at the home of one of the members. I was sitting in my rocking chair in my living room. What a world. What a century. But the thing of it is, I hate the telephone.

I've always hated it, dagnabbed newfangled contraption!

My first memory of the phone is of it ringing for me when I was twelve, and my mother whispering it was a friend calling, and me whispering back to please tell her I was in the bathtub. I loved my friends, but just did not want to take that phone from my mother's hand. I think I would have more readily taken a snake from her. Or a Snickers or Almond Joy, which I also loathed.

You want to know how to piss me off? Be with me somewhere and talk on the phone to somebody and then say brightly to them, "Here's Nancy! I'll put her on!" And then hold out the phone while I do that dance where you wave your arms in front of you all the while mouthing NO NO.

What is it with us phone-phobes anyway? There are a lot of us. Email was heaven-sent to us, believe me. It's so wonderful. We interrupt nobody. Nobody interrupts us. They answer if and when they want to, and ditto for us.

The book club chat, by the way, was nice. They were lovely. I was pretty comfortable talking to them, but I think that is because I was talking "at" them, answering questions, and such.

How are you with the phone? Like it? Hate it? Don't give it a thought?

Tell me in the comments. DON'T call me!


Nancy P said...

Two of my closest friends are also phone-phobes. If they ever call, I KNOW it's an emergency. "This must be important," is the first thing I say, and they laugh.

Good Tuesday, ladies and gents.

Richard said...

Every parent will tell you that a phone ringing after 11PM when the kids are away at school or out with friends is deeply disturbing.
Mary Alice

Nancy P said...

Oh, Mary Alice, that is so true, and I'm not sure we ever get over it. I have a friend who says that when her grown kids call at times when she's not expecting it, her first reacton is always a worried, "Is everything all right?" My son's 23 and living on his own, but if the phone rang at midnight, I'd still think, "Please, no."

olivia said...

Hate it. Use it rarely. I have an a/m and never, ever pick up -- why have an a/m otherwise? :) Everyone who knows me, knows to leave a message and I'll call them back, usually w/in a few minutes of their call.

Congrats on your hi-tech book club meeting Nancy ... :)

And Good Morning.

Nancy P said...

G'morning, Olivia. Lovely goldfinch photo on your site this morning.

I do that, too--answer messages instead of the actual phone. And I try to call back when I can leave a message in reply. :) If I know the person I'm supposed to call back is a "talker," I procrastinate. Email saved a friendship with a woman I know who LOVES to talk on the phone. Eek. Alien species alert.

Maria Lima said...

Oh, Nancy - more proof that we must be siblings in a former life.

I, too, detest the phone. I tolerate my folks calling me once a week, but otherwise, I don't use my land line at all.

I highly prefer email.

The WORST thing anyone can do to me phone-wise is to hand me the phone and need me to talk to someone on the spur of the moment...especially when it's someone I don't know. My mom and stepdad used to do that to me a lot.

At work, I suck it up and do it when I need to, but otherwise, don't call me.

Occasionally, my stepdad will call me just to chat, and I freak out, because he calls at random hours. I *always* think that something's wrong.

Rick Bylina said...

Hmmmm...At work, I love the phone. Email is passive communication. Ever since it came to be, too many corporate world minions use it for CYA. I call and ask directly, "HAS IS BEEN SHIPPED?"

When the protagonist is about to turn on the bad guy, the phone can ring forever. Other than that, I'm neutral about it at home.

My wife (oops there's the phone. Garden Gate wanting to know why I ended our subscription) and her sisters and mom talk for hours. It is their touchstone. I go into another room and read a book.

Bookmark at the moment, page 40 of some little novel about a non-deflowered girl of a diminuative portion of the earth that's been planed by nature and planted by man.


Nancy P said...

Hi, Sister Maria. :)

Hi, Rick. My bookmark is in a non-fiction book about dreaming that I'm re-reading. I'm on the chapter about Carl Jung.

todd412 said...

Good morning Nancy, all. I'm a phone-phobe too. I think it's far too real-time for most occasions. Thank goodness that email and a return to the letter-writing mindset came about just in time to establish itself before cell phones became so ubiquitous.

I mean, you don't see captain Kirk yappin' away on his communicator, do you? He only uses it for important things! And he would never pass it on to someone else in the away team: "Here Sulu, Scottie just wants to say hi." NO NO NO! (arms waving wildly...)

GreenMinute said...

Happy feet to Beth.

Rick, I absolutely adore this: Agents seeking a new voice, apply here.

I adore the people who call, get the answering machince, and then hang up, assuming I have caller i.d. I don't. I'd have to look at it if I did.

My piss-off is people who call with a task in mind and ask me to do something. This usually starts with "Is your computer on?" And ends with some imperative sentence or the other.

Imperative sentences being my one true pet peeve that involves people. I just don't cotton to imperative sentences. A'tall.

Nancy P said...

Hi, todd412 and greenminute!

Wow, do we have a blog of kindred souls, or what? (Or is it dreadkin?) todd, that is really funny about Kirk and Sulu. This Captain Pickard feels just like that.

And green, imperative sentences, lol! Don't they just make you want to yell, "Don't do that!"

GreenMinute said...

One of the wonderful things about age is having watched all this stuff change. I remember, in my youth, when the telephone was next door. No kidding.

I do worry about the generation come to young adulthood on cell-phone dependency. But not much.

I wouldn't want my daughter to be without one. Last year when I was on a college campus for a week or so, I marveled when I was out at night at the glow of light held to every (I promise you: every)face as students walked along the campus paths.

I also am quite fond of the idea that a picture can be taken of almost anyone in public at almost any moment thanks to cellphone cameras and other digi devices.

What does Bookmark mean?

Rick, I noticed your current reading list is similar to what you write. I might add Raymong Chandler to your short list, btw; you seem to be having as much fun with sentences as he did.

But, I was wondering if you have tried reading the opposite of what your are writing while you're writing? I find this can be inspiring (I am, though, truly insane so this may not work for others).

For example, when I read Little Women, I tend to imagine the girls with knives and a hidden cellar in the middle of the floor where the bodies fall.

Similarly, when I am reading Thomas Harris, scenes of Hannibal falling in love on a first date come to mind. Wine and roses, perfumed music on the breeze. I see him nervous at the wedding.

Ah, sweet mystery of life.

Bookmark me in the middle of The Old Contemptibles, trying to keep Melrose Plant and Marshall Trueblood straight.

Uh, pun intended.

Jungle Red Writers said...

I'm not a phone-phobe, but a cell phone phobe. It's worse than a land line because not only can it ring at a bad time, it can ring at a bad place. It startles me, without fail, and I feel like I'm on some sort of timed obstacle course to try to answer it without destroying my purse, embarassing my dinner companion,or worse, killing someone on the road. I keep it OFF most of the time and warn people not to leave urgent messages.
Jan Brogan

GreenMinute said...

Nancy, imperative sentences are the real reason I never want to be pregnant.

Push. Breathe. Push.

Screw that. :-)

GreenMinute said...

I feel like I'm on some sort of timed obstacle course to try to answer it ...

LOL, Jan.

AndiF said...

I hate, hate, hate talking on the phone. But other than that deep and abiding hatred, I'm fine with it.

Nancy P said...

green, when I was married to the rancher, they still had a party-line phone system in the country. Oh, and green, "screw that?" In the case of pregnancy, wasn't that was the problem to begin with? Snicker.

I actually think the kids are sweet with their constant attachment to each other. I just don't want to have to listen to it.

Jan, I'm so with you on the Startle Factor and then the mad race to get the damned cell phone on.

One time my son had his cell phone on his dashboard with the window on his side open. Around a corner he went too fast, out the window went the phone, along came another car. Crunch. Oh, how tempted I am to leave MY phone on the dashboard.

Nancy P said...

lol, andif!!

Do you guys remember your first phone number? Mine was Armour 0262.

Anonymous said...

I'm the odd (wo)man out here. I am umbilically connected to my cell phone. It's on 24/7, and rarely out of my sight. I love looking at the caller ID and seeing that someone loves me and wants to talk to me. If it's someone I don't want to talk to, I ignore it - that's what voice mail is for. I don't yak for hours any more, but a few minutes hearing the voice of a loved one can't be beat.

But maybe that's a function of my traveling - it's not like people can stop by my house and chat. And I don't feel so alone in strange hotel rooms when I'm talking to a friend.

That being said, I love email, especially for business. I hate calling strangers and asking for something, even when it's just ordering a product. If I can't do it online, I don't do it.

So I guess I'm doubly wired. But I PROMISE to try and unwire (dewire?) next week...honest!!

Thanks for the feet, green!!

Jen said...

I not only remember my first phone number, I also remember my first grade best friend's phone number, along with about half of my childhood friends' numbers, and most of the places where I've worked as well. My head is a like a Rolodex. (For kicks, if you know a 5 year old, ask them what they think a Rolodex is.)

BUT, I am also a phoneophobe. Don't like 'em, don't answer 'em, only use 'em when I have to, and hang up as soon as I've got whatever I needed. K'thanx, bye.

Anonymous said...

I remember my aunt's phone number. I grew up overseas, but came home to NJ for the summers. My aunt and my mom were twins, so her house was the closest to "home" I ever had (even to this day). So that number is tattooed on my synapses. Otherwise, I've had too many! :-) I can barely remember this one...

Oh, and I think it's great that you did the book club, Nancy. I've been reading a lot about authors doing that - now they get to be as excited as I was about connecting with an author they like!

Nancy P said...

Hi, Travelin' Beth! We love you even if you do love your cell phone. Just don't expect to see any of our names on it, lol.

Jen, my son and mother are like that, phone number Rolodexes for brains. Me, I have to tape my own cell phone number on the back of it.

Jen said...

I'm not sure how it's possible, but I actually don't know my own cell #, lol.

Nancy P said...

I guess you need to call yourself more often, Jen?

FARfetched said...

I'm OK with phones, especially with CallerID nowadays. I can answer it or let it ring, depending on what's on the CID display & my mood.

My smellphone is a constant companion, especially on the motorcycle when I can't talk on it anyway. If I have to call Mrs. Fetched & ask her something, I can. If she calls to tell me something else I did wrong while I'm at work, I can pretend I got a bad signal & let voice mail get it. :-D

My first phone number was ORchard 3-6436. We had five-digit dialing in those days; I think they went to 7 about the same time they dropped the names.

Nancy P said...

Hi, far. Welcome back. Sounds as if you had a good--though wearying--motorcycle ride.

I still miss the old phone numbers with names. So much easier to remember.

katiebird said...

Greenminute, I LOVE your version of Little Women. And I suspect Jo would too.

I don't ever answer phones (except at work where I HAVE to), but I will call my parents back when they call me.

The first number I remember was - Wow -- I've forgotten it! That can't be a good sign. Or maybe it just means I should be asleep.

When we moved to Kansas our number was Mitchell-9-2888. And my folks still have that number, but they call it 649-2888 now.

This week could be called The Longest Week. And it's only Tuesday.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

UPtown 3-2768. But the cooler neighborhood was AXminster 3.

Now, when the phone rings at home, my husband and I look at each other. And the battle begins.
Your turn, I say.
No, yours.
I'm not getting it.
I got it last time.
What if its something imporant?
It isn't.
What if it is?
They'll call back. We don't need to know it now.
We let the machine get it. Then we dive for the machine. We want to know who called. We just don't want to talk to them.

I think it's about the use of time. If someone calls, and we're doing something else, that phone call yanks away our decision-making power about what we're doing.

At work though, I leap for the phone.

What was that great movie? With Jason Robards? Where instead of saying hello, he answered the phone
"Is it someone with good news or money?"

Nancy P said...

Hi, kb and Hank!

Hank, that's so funny about you and Mr. Hank.

todd412 got me thinking today when he said phone calls are "too real time." I think that's true for me. They feel harsh, for lack of a better word, like sudden sun in my eyes. I like the lag between hearing a message and answering it. Or not.

katiebird said...

I just remembered - first reading then watching the film version - a scene in Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler.

Three siblings (I think lived together) and a visitor (the boss (?) of one of the siblings) were sitting in the living room.

The phone rang.

And no one made a move for it. They didn't even pause in what they were saying. No reaction by any of the siblings at all. No answering machine, no caller ID -- they just didn't care at all about that call.

But the boss almost jumped out of his skin. He couldn't imagine letting a phone call go by without answering.

At the time, it was such an alien idea that it REALLY stood out.

Now, it's my life. Mister and I never answer telephones. And we don't check messages that come in when we aren't around.

FARfetched said...

Hey KB, sounds like your week is going like mine.

In our family, Mrs. Fetched is the one who can't help answering the phone. When we were first married, she had a hard time letting a phone ring even when we were shopping at a department store! I dared her once to answer it and string the caller along… and she took the dare.

Kimberly Frost said...

I loved the phone and talked for hours in typical teenager fashion when growing up, having some of the most amazing conversations.

What I don't like are cell phones. I understand how helpful and practical they can be, but I can't believe the places people will talk on their cells. I will not describe the detailed conversations I've heard or the bizarre places I've heard them. Suffice to say, as I'm sure you've noticed, some people have gone insane with this technology.

Nancy P said...

Howdy, late in the day. I've been to the library to write, and I think I'll go back soon.

People who talk on cell phones in libraries!!!!

Anonymous said...

Even being a cell phone lover, I can't stand when people talk on them in public. I usually don't answer mine in those situations - or I hide somewhere where I'm not bothering anyone if it's important. And why do people talk so much louder on them?? My sister is an actress, and has had to stop a play because someone in the front row answered theirs...AND TALKED ON IT! Egads.

Nancy P said...

Omg, answering a cell phone in live theater, and on the front row!

I was giving a writing workshop once, with an auditorium full of people, and a woman on the front row did that exact thing. Answered her cell phone and talked on it. I was flabbergasted. I can't remember what I did, but I didn't ignore it. She was in no way apologetic.

Anonymous said...

People are amazing. I guess I understand why people hate cell phones - or at least cell phone users! Glad you like me... :-)

Starting the unwired process tomorrow - will be back next week. Have a great week!! I'll check in as I can.

FARfetched said...

Beth, I heard a story about the same thing (someone taking a call) on Broadway. The actor, whose name escapes me but is quite well known, bellowed, "Will you turn that fucking thing off please?" and drew the loudest applause of the night!

Nancy P said...

far, lol!

waving back at Beth!