When I was a teenager there was one phone in the house and it was situated in the hall where everyone could hear your conversation. Permission had to be requested to use it and the phone bill was poured over by my dad to make sure that no unauthorised phone calls had been made. The phone was a luxury. If you wanted to make a private phone call then you gathered some change and hot-footed it down to the local telephone box.
These days everyone in our house (and our extended family... and all of our friends) has a mobile phone, therefore, the house phone rarely rings. When our phone was an indulgence and a privilege and it rang there were screams of "I'LL GET IT" and a race down the hallway, elbowing my sister out of the way just so that I could be the one to answer it. These days... nothing! It rings, and it rings, and it rings until I answer the bloody thing.
What am I greeted with? It is usually one of three callers:
- My mother-in-law - "Did he ring?" she asks. How am I supposed to know? I've been at work all flipping day! I take the (cordless) phone through to my husband (where, I might add, he has the exact same phone in the other lounge - he just never uses it) and say "It's your mum" whilst offering him the phone and whispering through gritted teeth "just fucking answer it for once, will you..."
- My sister - so I settle in for a phone call that is going to last at approximately 59 minutes as her phone calls are free if they last under an hour. I don't mind these too much as we don't speak to each other as often as we should but she usually rings just as I'm halfway through a chapter in a study book, Big Brother is starting or something interesting is happening on Twitter.
- A cold caller - the colourless voice asks if they are speaking to "the home owner" and continues to read from a script until I cut them short. I seriously can't be arsed with phone calls like this.
Occasionally my daughter will text the house phone by mistake which makes for hilarity and confusion as the automated voice tries to make sense of her txtspk. Yesterdays monotone entry was [sic] "nert curmin ver head killin" which I think translates as "I'm not coming round to complete my passport application online as I'm hungover from going out last night".
On the very rare occasion that I do have to ring my own house phone because I can't seem to get through on their mobile phones (no signal / switched off / switched to silent...) no bugger answers it... because it's me that's ringing!!
Picture credit: Google Images
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Footnote: I did a quick google search for the image above. I used the search term "telephone" and hundreds of images of the traditional telephone with a dial and a cradled receiver. I used the search term "phone" and was greeted with images of mobile phones, digital touch-tone phones, hands-free phones. It's a sign of the times *wistful sigh*
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