The Land Line

I miss my land line. Not the marketing calls, but just about everything else about it, even the ability to hold it to my ear with my shoulder, the solidness of the phone.

When I recently made a call to a florist, I realized I could have done it anywhere, but I’m such a creature of habit, I wanted to be in my office. I needed an address, which I know is on my phone, but it’s also on paper in the address section of my maroon 3-ring Notebook of Important Information. (Imagine that in the voice of James Earl Jones.)

My upstairs office is my default place for business calls, but I also place them at the kitchen bar. The wall phone used to hang right there. It had a long cord, of course, so I could stir whatever was on the stove while I talked.

Those two locations are important because that’s where my paper calendars are. I know I have a calendar on my phone. When I first got a cell, I sat down and took an hour to load family birthdays on it (as if I don’t know them by heart), but I don’t take time to input appointments.

It takes dexterity to toggle between a calendar and an address and still keep a call connected while holding the phone, and that’s after putting it on speaker so you can finagle all the movement between screens.

I also miss the simple blinking light of my answering machine. I could check it when I came into the house. There was a sense of anticipation before pushing that button to discover who had called while I was at the grocery store.

I’m on audio overload. Did that beep come from the microwave or desktop computer or dishwasher or phone or watch or toaster-oven or laptop?

So many things need charging. I’ll admit I have a watch that can make and receive a call, and I’ve answered it when I’ve been out in the yard without my phone. If I’m listening to a book through my Aftershokz, a phone call goes automatically to that headset.

Nobody’s making me own Bluetooth technology. I could still have just a simple land line. I got rid of it as an unnecessary expense since most folks were calling me on my cell. My choice. But without a cell, while driving home from the dentist, I couldn’t have answered the call from the plumber and told him, “Yes, five minutes is plenty of notice.”

So many conveniences. So many complications. So many contradictions.