I hate talking on the phone.
Those of you who know me are sitting there with a very puzzled look on your face. I know. I always have my phone in my hand. Picturing me without my phone would be like picturing my dad without coffee. Like Linus without his blanket. Like Harry Potter without his glasses. Like Cher without an inappropriate outfit. Like Britney Spears without a baby bump and bare feet. It just doesn’t work.
I’m completely and utterly addicted to my phone. But I hate TALKING on it.
I think the reason for this is because I’m so ADD. I have trouble focusing on a conversation with no visuals to go with it. For example, I don’t mind talking on Skype. (Although, to be fair, if I’m talking to you on Skype, I’m probably looking at MYSELF while talking to you. Because I’m just that vain. But you really can’t tell. So it’s okay.) But JUST the phone? I can’t do it for more than a minute or two.
So I go to extreme lengths to avoid having to talk on the phone. I don’t have a landline for this reason. A landline has NO purpose except for talking on the phone, therefore I won’t have one in my house. Plus, the only people who ever called me on that phone when I had one were solicitors and my grandma. Pass. (Sorry Grandma. But you have my cell number, so I don’t feel TOO bad.)
I also NEVER answer my cell phone except when my dad calls. And I only answer his calls because they last for less than 30 seconds and if I DON’T answer when he calls, he immediately assumes I died and keeps calling every ten seconds until I do answer. I’m not quite sure how that logic works. If I’m dead, I’m clearly not going to answer ten seconds later, and if I’m alive, clearly I’ll call him back when I see the missed call. But I try to answer on the first call just so he doesn’t tell Facebook that I died and cancel my account because I missed his call while I was in the shower or something. THAT would be tragic.
The next step to avoiding using the phone is to never listen to voicemail messages. My outgoing message used to say not to leave a message because I wasn’t going to listen to it, but then people started leaving long rambling messages just to piss me off. It worked. But my friends know at this point that I’m not going to listen to their messages, so if they want to talk to me, they should text or email me.
In general, this eliminates all need to talk on the phone unless I have a story to tell that’s too long to text (which is, I think, EXACTLY what this blog is for).
Unfortunately, sometimes this doesn’t work out the way I’d like it to.
Like with my Grandma. Who I love dearly, don’t get me wrong. But she and technology are mortal enemies, and cell phones are no exception. She has a cell phone (the most basic phone possible. She says she wants all the technology that mine has. But I just can’t deal with that, so she has the type of cell phone that existed in 1986, just smaller), and she decided at one point that she wanted to learn how to send text messages. I thought this was great, because it meant there was one less person I would have to talk to on the phone.
I should have known better.
After an entire afternoon devoted to teaching her how to send, receive, and read text messages, I thought she had a pretty firm grasp on how to do it. So I showed her picture messaging.
The next day, while I was at school, my phone kept vibrating. Finally I checked it during a planning period, assuming that there had to be some emergency because no one would so completely spam my phone while I was at school unless someone had died or at the very least was trapped down a well somewhere and I was the only number available to dial for help.
It was 47 picture messages from my grandma, all of my grandfather sleeping in his easy chair. Then 286 text messages asking if I got her picture.
When I called her to ask her to please stop blowing up my phone, she told me that when I didn’t respond, she figured it meant that none of the messages actually sent, so she just kept resending them.
Luckily, by the following day, she had forgotten how to text and I never re-taught her. I answer her calls now, just in case she suddenly remembers how texting works.
So if you call me, and I don’t answer, try not to be offended. It’s not you, it’s me.
Unless I don’t like you. Then it’s you.
So if you TEXT me and I don’t respond, then it’s definitely you.
And please don’t send me picture messages of my sleeping grandfather. It’s seriously creepy and weird. And old people, like dogs, look dead when they sleep sometimes. No one wants to see that.