Sometimes, it still surprises me how fast I got over the pleasures I thought I received from talking on the phone. I must have spent half my life on the phone in middle and high school, and then, as a young woman, I so enjoyed those hours talking with old friends. My husband might have taken the out for a stroll or to the park, and I curled up on a chair or sofa or bed and talked. I caught up with a friend's life, and she with mine. We went back and forth, on and on, until finally, I was convinced to hang up. People were hungry and dinner needed to be made.
It was so enjoyable, those phone hours, the lulling conversation, the two worlds that opened up--the one outside me as I spoke, the one between my friend and me on the phone, the universe in the wire I imagined stretching between me and everywhere else. The conversation had an arc, a beginning, middle, and end. It had a pace. it had chapters. It had characters and themes.
Even when my life was the most stressed, I craved those conversations, but now I'm completely over the phone. I'm done with it, for the most part. I feel guilty about this doneness,hiding it a little, or at least I used to until I thought about it today. So I am out of the closet: I don't like talking on the phone.
But I do feel bad about this, as I see this dislike as sign of my isolationism and misanthropy. I'm here in my office, emailing you instead of calling you. I'm texting you instead of calling you. Michael calls me from the road and I tell him to tell me all about it when he gets home. I want face to face or I want it in writing. No calls, please. Take me off your list.
I also see this dislike as part of my being swept into the modern age. I'm losing an old skill, the skill of being able to hold long conversations without checking my cell phone. I just checked my cell phone as I wrote this. It's blinking green, so no messages. I'm ADHD, ADD, all that jumps around and doesn't stay still. In a conversation, I actually have to listen, and what I really want to do is move along little sister. I'm a product of my environment, and my environment is going to hell in a hand basket.
Sometimes I do like to talk while on a long car journey. I have a car with an integrated blue tooth (can you believe that clause I just wrote? That phrase? Integrated blue tooth? Five years ago, no one would know what in the hell that was!). So I can chat as I drive, and that seems okay to me as I'm multitasking.
I just checked my cell phone again.
But the point is this. I want to talk to you but just not to you. I want to write a long email and have you write me back. Or I want to have lunch. Pasta. With a wonderful sauce. And I want a great conversation. I promise to leave my phone in the car.
Causes Jessica Inclan Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org