Sunday, November 9, 2008

an obsolete question

Today I phoned Kristen, our youth pastor's wife, to coordinate a food drop-off for youth group tonight. When she answered, I asked, "are you home?"

Thirty years ago, when I was Kristen's age, that question would have been ludicrous. If I called someone, of COURSE they were home ... otherwise they couldn't have answered their phone. And they'd have to be IN the house, not out in the yard.

I am trying to remember when I first got a cell phone. Mid-90's, maybe? It seemed a crazy notion, to carry a phone around with you. For decades, phones were attached to a base in your home or office.

All my phone conversations as a teenager were on our kitchen phone, hanging on the wall between the oven and the dishwasher. I'd lean on the counter, gabbing, with dishwasher steam rising around me. Not exactly private, either, since someone else was usually in the kitchen.

It goes without saying that these days, we make and receive calls in all places, at any time of the day or night. It just about drives me crazy because I don't particularly like talking on the phone and, well, I'm just not going to give people access to me 24/7.

As E.T. said, "phone home." Sometimes I long for those days.

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