I am not a phone person.
This comes as no surprise to any of you who know me. When my cell rings, it is merely a request for my attention, not a requirement.
… it’s learned behavior from my dad. Our adult conversations have mostly gone like this:
Dad: “Nnnnnyellow?” (His resounding bass voice rolls a series of “NNNN’s” to signify he is about to name the color yellow. It’s cute.)
Me: “Hey Dad!”
Dad: “Hey! Here’s your mom”
Now, Dad and I have a great relationship, it’s just that he already spends most of his days on the phone and I, well, I would rather stick those itchy, off-brand cotton swabs into my corneas than chit-chat on the phone and he knows this.
… it’s because I once heard it said that after 5 minutes most phone conversations turn from “what” to “who”, and spiral downhill into gossip. I generally find this to be true, and am adamantly committed to never disparage others, even when the reverse courtesy is not extended.
… it’s because I’m afraid of calling people at the wrong time. I’m a firm believer in etiquette when it comes to the right and wrong times to use the phone. I adhere to a strict “9 to 9” rule. Any earlier and you risk waking people, any later and you risk waking people. It’s rude, unless it’s an emergency. And by emergency, I mean death.
Then there are our “rural” friends and family who always seem shocked we are still sleeping after sunrise. They always say something politely passive-agressive like, “It must be so nice to sleep in” when what they’re really thinking is, “WHY ARE YOU STILL LAZING AROUND IN BED? WHAT WERE YOU DOING LAST NIGHT…WORSHIPING SATAN??”
Anyway, while we’re on the subject of poorly timed phone calls, my mom has been guilty of this on numerous occasions. When the cowboy & I were newlyweds, Mom ALWAYS called when uh, well, you know. Bad timing. Sometimes REALLY bad timing. We referred to it as her “sexth sense”.
Then when we lived in Alaska, she would forget which way the 3-hour time difference worked. She’d call at 8 a.m… thinking it was 11 in Anchorage. Unfortunately for us, it was 5. In the morning. FIVE. And we had a 3-story condo with only one phone (pre-Caller ID days). If we wanted to actually ANSWER the phone, we had 11.63 seconds from the first inkling of a ringtone to jerk awake, unswaddle from the blankets, bound down the hall and descend a flight of stairs (necessarily taking 2 at a time) just to grab the phone off the wall before the mystery caller hung up. Many times I took a bronze medal in this event, but other times my qualifying time just wasn’t up to par.
Speaking of this 100-meter-phone-dash… one morning the phone rang me out of a dead sleep. Probably one of those “rural” friends. I stumbled down the hall with Frankenstein lead feet thinking, “Have to pick thing up and SAY words! What to say??? What WORD you say when you answer phone? What IS word?!?”
11.63 seconds later, I picked up the receiver and muttered loudly, “HUH?”
Eloquent, as always.
Maybe … THAT’S why I’m not a phone person.