Thursday, June 7, 2007

Fixing a land line?

Well, Judi has outed us as being over the hill by caring that her land line isn't working. Nobody still getting around on their original hips uses a land line. They're the ones, in fact, who renamed it a "land line". People Judi's age (and she's younger than I am) and mine still think of it as a telephone and actually use it on occasion.

My son and his friends have Blackberries. Regardless of where they are and with whom, they can reach and be reached. "Hey," I hear him say into something that looks like a tiny tape recorder.

"It didn't ring," I can't stop myself from saying despite his repeated rejoinders that it vibrates.

When I was a kid, we had a party line, which meant I could only use the phone if no one in the three other households that shared our line was talking. To place a call, I waited for an operator to greet me with, "Number, please?" It wasn't long before we had a private phone and a dial, which felt truly luxurious.

But as a single person in my 20's, if I were expecting, or even praying for, a phone call, I had to stay home. I didn't dare use my phone because they hadn't yet come up with Call Waiting. It wasn't until answering services and later answering machines became available that I was free to move about while hoping for something better to do. If we'd had this technology sooner, I'm sure I would have had far more dates. The younger generation probably doesn't appreciate Caller I.D. Each time we answered the phone, there was the risk it would be an aging aunt needing us to drive her cat to the vet or the guy who'd announced on our last date, "I'm a voyeur and an exhibitionist." We had to be quick, think on our feet and come up with excuses on the spot.

The only advantage we had was we could change our minds after dialing without the person hitting *69.

I think all Judi's repair charges should be taken care of by telemarketers since they're the only ones still calling on our land lines.