“The telephone, which interrupts the most serious conversations and cuts short the most weighty observations, has a romance of its own.” ~ Virginia Woolf
Oh, it’s for you. 🙂
by Edward Field
My happiness depends on an electric appliance
And I do not mind giving it so much credit
With life in this city being what it is
Each person separated from friends
By a tangle of subways and buses
Yes my telephone is my joy
It tells me that I am in the world and wanted
It rings and I am alerted to love or gossip
I go comb my hair which begins to sparkle
Without it I was like a bear in a cave
Drowsing through a shadowy winter
It rings and spring has come
I stretch and amble out into the sunshine
Hungry again as I pick up the receiver
For the human voice and the good news of friends
~ from Counting Myself Lucky (Blacksparrow Press, 1992)
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with telephones.
I love the way the old ones look, from candlestick to wooden wall crank to trimlines to princess phones. Remember rotary dials and party lines (okay, maybe you’re too young for that)? The point is, there was a sense of design to old telephones along with their utility.
And the best people talk on phones.
When it rings, you just never know who wants to speak to you, only you.
Sometimes it’s good news,
sometimes not so good.
You can flirt on the phone,
act all business-like,
pretend you’re really interested in what the other person is saying even when you couldn’t care less.
They can’t see your funny facial expressions!
You never have to dress up to talk on the phone. You can be firm, authoritative, and persuasive even in your shorts.
If you’re in the mood, you can even have a right neighborly chew-the-fat chat.
You can ask someone out or even propose.
Heck, as long as you have a tuxedo and the right calling plan, you can phone anyone long distance, over time and space. Amazing!
Everyone, but everyone, uses the phone, from Presidents
Yes, even the Queen.
There is just one leetle problemo.
I do not like talking on the phone.
I hate how the phone interrupts whatever I’m doing: Pay attention to me me me! Pick me up! Stop and talk to me NOW!!
Nine times out of ten it’s a robocall, an annoying credit card alert, a “can you hear me okay?” scam, someone asking for a donation, usually with that annoying opener: “How are you today?”
I was just fine until you called me.
I admit, this is pure introvert behavior. Introverts hate to be interrupted, jolted out of deep concentration, expected to instantly transition into polite conversation. I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled — sorry, I am too grumpy to make small talk.
I suppose I’ll always prefer the written word to the spoken one. Keep those emails and snail mail letters coming!
But back to the romance of telephones. Please permit me to wax nostalgic.
We still have our landline; a good backup in case of power outages and jammed networks and such. We have several different phones connected to it; they remind me of simpler times when a phone wasn’t a camera, calculator, flashlight, map, weather report, internet browser, jukebox, photo editor, personal shopper, address book, talking personal assistant, and mailman rolled into one.
Yes, in the old days, a telephone was solely about one person talking to another. It wasn’t a status symbol, it didn’t foster bad manners (why do people assume we want to hear private conversations in restaurants and other public spaces?), and it didn’t blow up and catch fire.
Once upon a time when I was a teen, how I longed for that phone to ring! Will he ever call? Remember spending hours and hours on the phone gabbing with your girlfriends? Oh, the angst, high drama, and gossip burning up those lines!
Let’s face it, the telephone is a vehicle of seduction, and will forever remain a direct line to love won, love lost, and everything in between. There are many great pop songs to prove it, too.
Hello, it’s me.
I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet
To go over everything
They say that time’s supposed to heal ya
But I ain’t done much healing.
If you’re feeling sad and lonely
There’s a service I can render
Tell the one who loves you only
I can be so warm and tender
Call me, don’t be afraid you can call me,
Maybe it’s late but just call me,
Call me and I’ll be around.
Rikki don’t lose that number
You don’t want to call nobody else
Send it off in a letter to yourself
Rikki don’t lose that number
It’s the only one you own
You might use it if you feel better
When you get home
Sound familiar? Ah, good times. Enjoy reliving a few more romantic ups and downs via these telephone tunes, and behave yourselves, cause I’ve got your number. 🙂
It’s for you again!
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT TELEPHONES?
Ditty-licious Michelle Barnes is hosting the Roundup at Today’s Little Ditty. Ring her up; she’s a cool operator. While you have her on the line, check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared in the blogosphere this week. 🙂
“Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it’s not for you.” ~ Ogden Nash
Copyright © 2017 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.