"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to lay to rest that wonderful device, THE LANDLINE.
But before we pay our final respects, is it too late to resuscitate our jingly-jangly, dialy or push-buttony friend?"
Only half of Americans now have landlines in their homes. And when I've personally asked my friends to give me their home phone numbers, many sheepishly shake their heads and admit they no longer know them.
It would seem most people presume anyone who really wants to reach them will just send a text. But this is a huge mistake, and you should grieve the loss of your landline. Here's why...
10 Unique Reasons You Should Mourn Your Landline!
- Eavesdropping! -- What's wrong with you heartless murderers? If you get rid of your home phone, how will I, uh I mean YOU ever be able to pick up an extension and listen in on someone again? How will marital affairs be discovered? How will you know your daughter is planning to sneak a guy into the house when you go to sleep tonight? And you may as well just stock up on beer and chips because every time you go out of town, your teens will throw a huge party that you won't be able to bust them on beforehand.
- I'm Hung Up On You! -- Is there no greater satisfaction than slamming the receiver down on either of your two ex-husbands? Err, okay, an annoying telemarketer? More power to you, Happily Marrieds out there!
- No More Building Those "Interesting" Relationships! -- Think back to the home phone and how often you answered it when it wasn't even for you. You're never gonna get close to your potential future mother-in-law now because she'll simply call her son's cell directly. Previously, she had a 50/50 chance of getting you on the line when she dialed and you could say self-serving things like, "Hi Rose! I'll put Robbie on the phone because I can't talk now ... That's right, I'm very busy cooking your smart little boy a six-course dinner starring his favorite tri-tip roast -- your delicious recipe, of course."
- No Screening People First -- Gone are the days when you could answer the phone and after the high squeaky voice politely requested to speak to your child (so they could invite him for a sleepover which you found out about by asking, "What is this regarding?") you could first ask things like, "Did your poor mother already say this is okay? Any child molesters in your neighborhood? Do you have guns in your house?"
- Not Having The Ability To Embarrass People -- I loved telling the throaty sounding female caller asking for my then husband that he couldn't come to the phone because he was in the bathroom. For the last 20 minutes.
- Acquiring Information -- With a landline, if the person you phoned was busy and told you to hold on for a minute while they set the phone down (with a clatter!) you could detect the entire mood of the household. Was a baby crying? Was romantic music playing? Was the television blaring "Seinfeld?" (If so they had a great sense of humor.) But nowadays you are just antiseptically put on hold with the cellphone's sterile mute button.
- No Finding Out What People Really Think About You -- I'd call my sister's house. She'd pick up in the kitchen and my brother-in-law would pick up the second line in their bedroom. I'd recognize the opportunity for what it was and instantly keep quiet. Brother-In-Law: Who's there? My Sister: It's just me in the kitchen. There's nobody on the line, I guess. But I was expecting Stephanie. She's supposed to stop by later to borrow my black dress. Brother-In-Law: What a pain in the ass your sister always is. And she doesn't look nearly as hot in it as you do. My Sister: You're right. I'll come right upstairs. Let's have wild sex!
- No Chance to Teach Your Children Phone Manners or More Importantly About Safety -- If your kids never get to answer the phone while you're out, how will you rehearse them to say polite things like, "May I please take down your name and number and have her return the call?" And how can you warn them that they should never say a parent is not home, lest the caller immediately come over and abduct them from their bedroom. And now there's no opportunity to teach them how to tell a little white lie (when you'd rather not speak to the pesky caller) by saying, "Sorry but she can't talk right now because she's super busy." But for God's sake, don't tell them I'm in the bathroom! That's for me to say about your father!
- No Cradle! -- There's no curved plastic piece for cradling comfortably between your shoulder and your ear while you do the ironing. Wait, you don't iron anymore? Hold the phone! "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to lay to rest another wonderful laundry device used mostly before job interviews and first dates..."
- It makes Steven Spielberg into a mockery! -- Who the heck is E.T. gonna call anymore if he cannot PHONE HOME?
And aside from these 10 quirky reasons, here's a very practical one for keeping your landline alive. What will you use to call your cell phone when you can't remember where in the house you last left it?
To see 10 top reasons people aren't leaving you voicemail, click on the author's humor blog right HERE.