Years ago, if I misbehaved, missed a curfew, or brought home a less than ideal report card, privileges would be taken away. If I was really naughty (so hard to imagine!) I would be grounded. No TV, no friends on the weekend, nothing. Nada.
However, the worst punishment by far was when my phone privileges were taken away. Literally. My baby blue push-button phone would be removed from my bedroom despite tears and dramatic protest, and with it, all connection to the world.
How many of you remember sitting on the phone for hours with your friends while watching TV or reading a book or just hearing the other person breathe, with the occasional "Hold on" to take a bathroom break or make a sandwich? What? That was just me?
Today, I hardly use my home phone at all. In fact, if it rings I am startled, and dare I say it, sometimes a little bit annoyed, because it only seems to ring when my hands are knuckle deep in cookie dough or I'm about to walk out the door. Usually, the only ones to call my home are telemarketers, and my mom -- who refuses to call me on my cell because she worries I might be driving.
Today, almost everyone calls me on my cell, which was once a number only given to my inner circle. I feel that way about my landline now. I guard it like the Bat Phone.
Usually if I hear another person's voice on the line it's my husband or my kids or my BFF complaining she forgot what my voice sounds like. Don't get me wrong, I'm a very social person. I have friends -- ask anyone! It's just that I've gotten used to relying on texts and emails to make social plans and do quick catch-ups with friends. (Omg, I've turned into a teenager!) And, thankfully, according to Time and The New York Times, I'm not alone with my affliction.
When was the last time I picked up a phone just to chat? More often then I let on, but, perhaps, not enough as I should to really stay connected with friends. You would think driving in the car would seem like the perfect time, but that's when I enjoy listening to music, letting my mind wander, and perhaps belting out a song or two (windows up, of course).
Besides, some of my best ideas come to me while behind the wheel. I just can't risk missing that. You see, I would much rather spend time chatting with friends over a meal or a walk. When I am home, I often use my cell phone rather than my landline so I can walk around and do things, like make a cup of tea, visit the pantry, or rearrange a closet. I get restless, you know.
So a few months ago, while making my New Year's Resolutions List, I decided to add, in addition to the usual (lose five pounds, learn to cook, get new curtains), "Pick up the phone." Now that we're almost four months into the new year, I'm still struggling to make an effort. I did find some lovely fabric for the curtains, though.
Do you find yourself talking on the phone less too? Do you still use your landline?