It was traumatic, but it had to be done.
I moved to a seniors' complex and had to cut ties with my old “land phone.” I must console myself with the little cell phone hiding in my purse. What if I lose it? And that will happen. I lose everything else. Why should it be special?
We seniors all have memories of phones, from the very earliest. The old phones in our parents' house had to be “cranked.” You grabbed the handle and “one-long, two-short” to get through to your friend. Then there was the “party line,” meaning not gay old times, but that you shared the line with other parties up and down the country road.
When one phone rang, they all rang. The party phone gave many bored people something to do, namely “listening in,” while not giving yourself away. You guarded your conversation with this always in mind. There were the “phone hogs” who liked to have long chats on the phone. This was a problem in an emergency. Some used this excuse to get people off the line. In a real emergency, nobody believed this.
When I went to Telus to have them cut the service, I asked them to look up how long I'd had this phone. She said she found us 35 years ago, but “our record here doesn't go back any further.” I'm sure it was 50 or more years, but this is conjecture.
Naturally, after cutting the ties, memories come to the surface. A family history could be written in the procession of telephone calls. A call to tell my folks I was getting married. As time passed, it became my two sisters with the same news.
The first child rates a whole string of calls, back and forth.
“I've taken her to the hospital; baby should be here soon.”
Then “It's a boy” resounds amongst all the Maritime relatives. Later comes a call from my sister in New Brunswick, saying: “Mom is gone.” I take a plane to Fredericton; then I telephone back to tell my own family I arrived OK.
“Bob has moved to Ontario” certainly rates a call.
As the children grew up, there were many nights waiting for a call of the “Mom, I'll be about an hour late; don't worry” variety. Imagine if you had no phone for a teenager to call.
If phones had memories, and could talk, what gossip it could spread about us.
Yes, it's only an inanimate object, but we couldn't live without one, now.