What's a LAND line?

That's what our children will ask us. No shit.

Phone talk has been following me around lately. While in Alaska, we touched upon the topic over Christmas dinner (with my friend's parents). My friend's dad asked the table, "Remember party lines?" Well, no, I don't remember them, but I've heard of them. (My mom HAD one growing up.) The other "kids" at the table had no clue what they were, though, and suddenly I pictured future conversations with my own children: "Hey kids! Remember LAND lines?"

Remember the first bag phone? Remember ANALOG? (Shout out to Jeremy Alley!) My first cell phone was a TRIFOLD.

I cannot WAIT to show my kids this:

Gone are the days of extending the phone cord beyond all reasonable lengths in order to have a private conversation. Gone are the days of slowly lifting up the phone and practicing the breath management of a YOGI in order to listen in on your older brother's conversation with his high school girlfriend. (Hi, Eric!)

My friend Jason brought this up too, in regard to drunk dialing. It's so much easier than it's ever been! However, contrary to Jason's argument, I would argue that nowadays, we drunk TEXT because we've lost the social skills to actually brave a conversation after one too many brewskies. (That used to be where all the real conversations began!)

Like most people, there are moments when I have a panic attack because I (momentarily) think that I've lost my blackberry. Then there are other moments when I want to throw it into a river (hi Mark!). My mom would vote for the latter of these two options if she had to choose. She is constantly giving me a hard time for being attached (AT AN UNCOMFORTABLE LEVEL) to my phone.

THIS JUST IN: My Mom JUST called me. RIGHT NOW. Had I not answered the phone, I would have been left a cold, annoyed message about how I screen her phone calls and AM I ALIVE, ANYWAY?

Seriously though, my mom really gives me a hard time about this. So much so that I was going to make a (silent) resolution to be better this year. But I think I've got to go public in order to be held accountable. Paul and I have both, on separate occasions, lifted up our cell phones in the middle of dinner while the other one was mid-sentence. Shame on us! I've been on the receiving end of this type of behavior enough to THINK that I (usually) notice when I'm doing it and either a) stop doing it or b) apologize and explain why it must be done. Either way, it sucks. It communicates that the person calling or texting is more important than the real live conversation happening in front of you. Yuck!

So, enough is enough. I don't want to be the person who does that to people anymore! Here's my public commitment to be more conscious about when and where I use my phone. I know there are plenty of other cell phone etiquette taboos to keep in mind, I'm just starting with this one. What's your most annoying cellphone catastrophe? Let's hear 'em.


  1. Holy crap - this hits close to home. Hubby and I are obsessed with our phones. It's pathetic really. We have season tickets to the Buffalo Sabres, and between periods, neither of us talks to each other, we just bury our faces in our phones.

  2. Haha! I just cancelled our landline. We went to it because the husband was supposed to put his cell phone down when he got home. After 9 months, he still has it attached to his hip and won't turn it off... ever.

    Me, on the other hand, I barely touch the thing. I have a plam pre that does everything I want it to, but I don't use it. I rarely answer calls, text occasionally, and don't use it for time checks. I'm tempted to be done with it, but I've had the number for a good 12 years...

  3. @ Shannon - it's it RIDICULOUS! Paul and I struggle to have a darn conversation ENOUGH...then you add phones in to the picture? Yikes.

    @Nicole - I so envy you at times! I'm sure I'd get used to not having a cell on me at all times, but it literally gives me a panic attack to think about it.

    But, no more!

  4. Ummm, im still laughing about the Jeremy Alley bag phone/analog part!
    Trevor swears phones are making ppl social idiots, kids dont have conversations they txt! we have a "rule" at our house, no phones at the dinner table---if it rings you can call 'em back later =)

    On a sad note, Trevor and I LOVE our blackberry's and our 4 year old does too *great*

  5. Janna, I was waiting for a Glendive person to comment on that. Seriously, I'm going to put it on my life list to get Jeremy Alley a) a blackberry and b) a new pair of glasses. I give him a hard time about it everytime I'm in town. :)

    Good dinner table rule. I think we shall implement that at our house too. And, it's just the two of us.

  6. We are WORKING on a plan to silence our phones once we walk in the door, put them into a dish, and leave them there until we're ready for bed, when we'll put them on the bedside tables for emergency access. Part of me feels anxious about this, and knows that our families will want to reach us during that time since they couldn't during work.

    I actually grew up with a party line for a while, weirdly enough!

  7. @ Jolynn - SERIOUSLY? You had a party line? That's kind of rad, actually.

  8. I have to clarify that one of the other "kids" at the table (namely me) DID know what a party line was because that's what us kids shared growing up. We had the 20foot cord so that we could use the phone in both kid rooms, and I spent many an hour on that phone. Which made my parents equally as mad (because I wouldn't come TO the dinner table) as answering my phone now at the dinner table.
    All that aside, I am 100 percent behind your resolution and will jump on that bandwagon!

  9. Whit...really? How did that work? Do you mean a separate line that was for you kids? The party line I was talking about was a line where my mom's family, for example, shared the same line with a few of their NEIGHBORS.

    I always wanted a special "kids" line at our house. I'm jealous.


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