Something big and important has happened.
I am now the proud owner* of a landline. I have an actual home phone. Yes. Two phones, actually.**
I can now confidently complete the Home Tel. No. section of official forms, which is great. For years I have felt somewhat off the map, dodgy even, not having a home phone number to provide to the authorities – whoever they are.
It’s like I legitimately exist now.
This silliness aside, it really does feel like a momentous event in our household (for me at least) having a landline. I’ve been trying to work out why. I mean, it’s just a bloody phone – right?
I’ve had a home phone before, of course, as a child.
Plus, I’ve already got my own phone – a mobile one, constantly glued to my hand (more on that shortly).
And to complete the equation, I’ve had my own home before also.
But up until now, I’ve never had my own home with my own home phone in it. It all feels very grown up and proper. I feel accountable, more responsible.
However, thinking so much about phones in one go has also reminded me of the rage that I normally try and ignore – does anyone else not buy into this total reliance on devices?
Devices – ugh. Makes me think of surgery. And aliens.
Lately my hand always seems to have a phone in it. Especially so since my introduction to Twitter. It’s genuinely frightening. Will I wake up one morning to find I no longer have hands, but phones?
Remember the old days? When having a landline was essential – literally. Short of posting you a letter, coming round to your house (God forbid) or pinning you down in your local pub, if you didn’t have a phone you didn’t get contacted. Remember how you answered the home phone? With the last four digits of your number?
It’s not like that at all now, is it? Just ‘Hello’ if you’re lucky. ‘Yeah?” if you’re not.
But look – I am aware that I’m doing a lot of romanticising here.
The reality of the landline – well, I hated it as a child and still do now. I just hate speaking on the phone. Full stop.
There are the awkward silences, the extra protracted explanations you have to throw around because the listener can’t see what you see, and can’t read emotional cues from your face. It’s painful. Worse than making conversation at the hairdressers.
Writing this blog post I am experiencing massive flashbacks to when I was a teenager. My best friends, two of them in particular, would phone me – pointlessly – almost every weekday evening, despite the fact we spent the daylight hours of every weekday in each other’s company. And we would be on the phone for hours. I mean HOURS. I wouldn’t even be saying anything.
I was essentially forced to listen to them going about their family activities, grunting every now and again to show I was still awake for this torture.
All I wanted to do was watch Home Front and Changing Rooms.
You’d think then, considering my adverse reaction to the general concept of telephony, that I’d quite appreciate the control offered by the mobile. You can see who’s calling, and choose not to answer. You can just bloody text.
But no – I hate it. It all feels back door and shady. Criminals use mobiles don’t they? It’s a bit too anonymous for this fussy phone user.
To boot, mobiles just encourage people take advantage of you, imposing on your life in new ways. They expect you at the drop of a hat, make pulls on your time any hour they see fit. It’s just not on. There’s no hiding from people when you have a mobile.
I just hate all phones.
Unless they are used as a means for watching the internet on the TV. (The only reason we got said landline in the first place.)
Then phones are great.
So on the one phone-clad hand I do feel more like a proper grown up since this landline.
But, on the other hand, if you decide to take the risk and call*** me on it…I’ll panic and run away.
*Disclaimer: Ok, well technically I’m not the owner. Technically my boyfriend is. Strange, half-existence demonstrated through living arrangement… perhaps rendering this whole blog post void. Sorry.
**Neither phone actually works
***No-one can actually contact us should the phones eventually work – we haven’t given our number out