A Landline Timeline
In 2011I would stand in a Walmart grocery line reading the back of the Magic Jack package while thinking about my per month savings if I got rid of our landline.
I thought, "What if my cellphone breaks? Will I have to run out to use a payphone?" Did I know where a payphone was, and would it be safe to use it?
How much does it cost now? The last time I used one I had a pre-paid calling card.
I wondered how much Marty McFly paid to use the payphone in the future (2015). Times have changed so much that when Back to the Future was made, whoever stuck a phone booth in the future couldn’t fathom a time without one. That thought explained why I was having so much anxiety about something we didn’t use.
A landline had been a part of my life for 41 years!
I went into a reminiscent trance and my landline life flashed before my eyes.
With curiosity getting the better of me, I called the fire department and read the script from a book we got from school about what to do in an emergency. There was no emergency, and the dispatcher threatened to call my parents.
My friends and I would make prank calls. We couldn’t come up with anything better than, “Is your refrigerator running? Well you better go catch it!” Click!
I was on the phone all the time. Daddy would call me from work saying he had been trying to call me for hours. I would say, “I must have knocked the phone off the hook after I called mom.”
I dialed 777-9311 to see if Prince would answer.
We finally got Call Waiting and I could use the phone even if I was grounded. I would click over and daddy could tell I was on the phone. I learned that if I hung up the phone when a call was coming through it didn’t sound like a click over. When I picked up, I told daddy I was “doing homework”.
With a phone cord that stretched from the kitchen to my room, if there was such a thing as carpal tunnel in the neck…
I was still grounded. My parents had a phone in their room that beeped if another extension was picked up. If I unplugged my phone and plugged it back in with the receiver not connected, they wouldn’t hear the beep. I would turn on my television so they couldn’t hear my voice through the floor.
I asked for a cordless phone for Christmas so I could walk to the park across the street and talk in private. I looked ridiculous trying to use it at the park. I didn't do the math with the range.
I accepted collect calls from a boy I met in Daytona, not knowing it was that expensive.
I was a freshman in college and I had to use a payphone. When I was homesick and felt like I was going to cry, I went to the only place on campus where I had total privacy - the library.
I answered my boyfriend’s landline at a time that was too early for me to be there. (It was his Mother). There was no caller ID. He wasn’t there. She wondered why I was.
I called my parents from my honeymoon to tell them my husband got orders for Japan; my daddy said he wanted an annulment.
We had our first computer with Internet. Every time the phone rang, the computer rebooted.
After returning from the states we would have Caller ID for the first time. We would look to see whose mom it was and say, “It’s for you.”
Younger generations would embrace the new millennium and would not have a landline when they moved away from home. They would make calls from their cellphones after 9pm and budget 250 cellular minutes per month. We would continue to pay a monthly telephone bill with all the bells and whistles just to look at the caller ID and say, “It’s for you.”
We would disconnect our landline. A few days later, I would go back to Walmart and get Magic Jack as a security blanket. We would never use it.
I would be on my cellphone talking with my mom as another call came through. Bewildered, I would walk into my son’s room saying, “It’s for you” and I would long to have a landline again.
I would call the cable company to increase our internet speed. They would tell me I’d get more for my money if I had a landline.
I have a landline again and I still share a cellphone with my son.