Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

It Got Me Thinking…About Cell Phones October 11, 2011

By Kathleen Guthrie

I love my cell phone. I don’t know how I ever got along without one. It allows me to text flirtatious messages to my honey (while he’s sitting in Very Important Meetings), it provides a sense of extra security should I ever need roadside service, it gives the illusion of professionalism when clients catch me “at work” at the bakery down the street.


I miss the old finger-dialed, actually ringing, heavy-weighted unit with spiral cord–connected receiver for one reason: When circumstances warranted, I could smash the receiver down with a satisfying slam. Remember those days? An un-helpful customer service representative gives you attitude, and BAM! A persistent telemarketer calls in the middle of dinner and asks for the male head of household, and BANG! Your father/mother-in-law/sister/so-called friend hurts your feelings for the last time and you’re done, so SLAM!

Tapping end on the screen of my high-tech model just doesn’t send the same message.

(Sigh)…I miss the good ol’ days.

Kathleen Guthrie is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She now understands why her parents vacationed in spots with no phone or TV service.


10 Responses to “It Got Me Thinking…About Cell Phones”

  1. cazzolafamily Says:

    LOL. We just installed one of those in our vintage kitchen over the weekend. Besides being able to slam down the receiver, they have the most beautiful, crystal clear ring.

    • Kathleen Says:

      I agree about the ring. The house I grew up in was on a lake, and our lot was 200 feet deep, and we could hear that phone ring FROM THE LAKE. Of course we could never answer it from there in time. And there was no answering machine. And no star 69 or caller ID . . Gosh now I feel really old – or maybe I should say ‘Vintage’ 🙂

  2. Kathleen Says:

    I have the same frustration when wanting to ‘slam’ the computer when is it s-o-o-o- s-l-o-o-o-w. So try with your phone, what appeases my anger at the computer. Scream, “YOU SUCK!” And do it loud enough to rattle the windows. 🙂

  3. Kathleen Guthrie Says:

    OMG, I am laughing so hard right now. I can so relate to your comments above. A couple of years ago, I tried to explain to my nieces (the oldest is now 11) why we say “dial” a phone number. I tried to describe the actual “dial,” and the look of disbelief mixed with concern (for my sanity?) was priceless. Heck, I remember when my grandmother’s number was in letters! Yes, I am indeed “vintage.” HA!

  4. Rerah Says:

    I think I prefer the term “retro” over vintage…… I miss the sound of dialing on those old phones–and you never had dropped calls or needed to get a new phone EVER. Plus you had to be creative to have a private conversation. An extra long cord could take you to our hall closet or the guest bathroom. When you slammed our phone down hard enough you could hear the bell–good times!

    • Kathleen Says:

      You never had to buy a new phone because you paid “rent” on the one you had. And if it broke, they would fix it for free. THAT THING NEVER BROKE, it was indestructible. And when my folks sold the house that I lived in, the first 20 years of my life (my mom used to say they had to sell the house just to get me to move out) I wondered how much we paid for that phone, in total.

      • Kathleen Says:

        And I am sticking with Vintage. “of lasting interest and importance; venerable; classic: as in vintage films”

        “Retro = Origin: Latin, representing retrō (adv.), backward, back, behind
        – “denoting something associated with or revived from the past: retro fashion”
        – I dont want to be “revived” unless its by a cute, young EMT 🙂

  5. Rerah Says:

    Both words have been used to death. “Classic” may be the best choice….

    I doubt my grandparents would believe what I just paid for my new phone–it has to be more expensive than 40 years of renting! Kids today have no concept of “long distance” calling either–my Dad would time us when we called relatives.

  6. Kathleen Guthrie Says:

    Long distance! We talked to relatives twice a year — on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Period. And forget overseas calls. And there was a lag time, remember? You’d ask a question, there’d be a long pause….then you’d hear the other person respond. It was such a BIG DEAL to make these calls. Now it’s part of everyday life.

  7. Rachel Says:

    Hahaha! I miss being able to “not be home to get your call.”

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