Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back in the Day

So for the last week I've been waiting for a phone call that I'm beginning to think is not going to come. It's frustrating and I shall rant and rave about it someday, but today . . . is not that day. Today is a bit of an auld lang syne day.

You see, I've been a bit paranoid about missing this phone call, so my phone has not been farther than about a foot away from me for several days now. Yes, I do mean ever, and no, I shall not make you cringe by illustrating that I do mean EVER. I've also randomly called and texted people to make sure it was still working becase as ridiculous as it sounds I would rather be able to pretend to believe the thing wasn't making any sound because there was something wrong with it than because no one is trying to get in touch with me.

All this has gotten me into one of my philosophical moods (among others less pleasant) and I've been wondering - what the heck did people do before cell phones? Believe me, I know how ridiculous this sounds . . . in fact, I didn't even get a cell until I was junior in college, and even then it was only because it would cost the same as a land line since it was clear I wouldn't be splitting the land line bill with roommates. I clearly remember what it was like when cell phones weren't so ubiquitous . . . not only that, my parents still have one! I'm pretty sure it hasn't actually been picked up in years . . . but I could call it right now if I wanted to, as I've mentioned it's about the only number I still know.

But I have a rather specific scenario in mind (perhaps overly specific, but Luke kept coming up with solutions and i kind of didn't want one). I'm thinking 60s/70s . . . ish. Someone who lives alone. Pre-answering machines. Waiting for an uber-important phone call. Out food, out of clean clothes, whatever. For some reason they need to leave the house somewhat urgently. But they absolutely can't miss that phone call. What do they do?

I have absolutely no answer. I mean, think about it. Desperately needing to leave for whatever reason . . . but what if they did? What if that call came while they were gone? What if it was a call for some big job or promotion or massive lottery winning or whatever but it was a one shot deal so if you missed the call they just went to the next person on the list but you didn't know if they would be calling tomorrow or a week from tomorrow? And there's no food in the house except a piece of stale bread and a carton of sour milk and you've been wearing the same outfit for two weeks because you don't have a washer? But if you decide to take your chances and go out and they call while you're out - YOU'D NEVER EVEN KNOW!!!!!! You'd get back and have no way to tell if the phone had rung while you were out. None. And so you'd go on waiting and waiting and waiting for the call and all the while you'd know in the back of your mind that there was slightest chance you'd already missed the call but there's no way to find out. So how long do you keep waiting? On the one hand, they probably didn't call, after all the phone had been silent for so long . . . but what if they did? What if you missed it? But really, what are the odds? You were only gone for half and hour! No way would they happen to call in that tiny little window of time . . . but what if? What if? WHAT IF?!?!?!?!?!?!

(side note: is it possible to make yourself bipolar? because that would explain a lot . . . and not just about me, lol)

Okay, so I'm probably totally exaggerating an already unlikely situation, but that's kind of what happens when you have nothing to do but sit and watch your phone all day and- HOLY CRAP HAS IT BEEN ON SILENT ALL THIS TIME?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!

No . . . that's just the sound of the phone not ringing. (believe me, I've checked. About ten times. Today.)

But really. What did people do back in the day? And don't even get me started on before phones when you had to wait for letters or people to show up at your door or whatever. All the million and five ways that could go awry? No thank you. We'll just add that to the list of reason I'm glad I wasn't born even a decade earlier than I was. Just below air conditioning and above disposable diapers. (because I would have NEVER gotten a repeat babysitting job if any of those rug rats had been wearing cloth . . . it was all I could do not to puke on some of them as it was!)

Anyway . . . I'll go back to just driving myself nuts now.

P. ost S. cript
As if I didn't adore this song already . . . here's one (and probably the only) way to get me to willingly go into eighth position!! Hey Ashli - wanna do a duet?

(side note: I think channel PBS-BUT-NOT-KBYU has been in pledge drive mode . . . well, since March. Weird, but I'm not complaining since they're finally showing stuff I like consistently!!)


  1. did I miss that you play the cello?!?

  2. Haha, probably not. I don't deny it, but I don't advertise it very often either.

  3. Heard about it. Listened to it. Loved it. Find me the music. And the free time to practice. And a piano. That's in tune. Done.

  4. Before answering machines, there were actually answering services. If you paid for the service and no one answered at your house, the operator would route the call to the answering service where a nice girl would take a message. But I think most people didn't care to pay for this service and just sat by the phone.

  5. Too bad you aren't closer to my house or me closer to yours because I have a wonderful- in tune- baby grand you could use anytime you wanted.

    Which reminds me- it is due for a check up next month. Better get that scheduled.

  6. I wish I had a baby grand! Our piano is sadly out of tune and one of the hammers is broken (sigh). Repairs are so expensive!