I hate the telephone.
I used to think this was because my parents hated the telephone. When we moved from Houston to the country outside of the then-tiny town of Friendswood, my parents refused to get a phone.
They explained this by saying that it was because Daddy didn’t want work (The Houston Post) calling him in the middle of the night to go cover some breaking news. I mean, they were fine with phones at work, where they needed them (as reporters and editors).
This lack of a phone was highly inconvenient. I remember running like hell down the road to the nearest neighbor to get someone to call the fire department when the pasture caught fire as we were burning trash. (Note that there were oil and gas pipelines across our property.)
It was also inconvenient if I forgot something for school and needed to call my mother.
They finally got a phone three years later, making it a birthday present for me. They also put it in my name. This made it possible for my father to continue to avoid unwanted calls. There are a lot of Moores in the greater Houston phone book.
It also meant that I started getting obscene calls at an early age. Not to mention calls for other Nancy Moores (something I have gotten all my life).
It was also a party line, which is something that people who always have their private phone in their pocket probably can’t comprehend. I think there might have been six households on that line, each with their own ring.
This wasn’t much of a problem, since we rarely spent a lot of time on the phone. Long distance cost a bundle back then and it was long distance from my house to the town where I went to school. Even talking to your grandmother on your birthday you got off the line quick.
It was only in the last years of her life that my grandmother was willing to chat on the phone for half an hour. I am glad I got those calls in.
But I didn’t set out to write about the history of the telephone. I was talking about why I hate it. It’s not just the culture I grew up in; it’s something more basic. Continue reading “Don’t Call Me”…