2012-04-26 / Lifestyles

Hold the phone


Lois A. Corcoran Lois A. Corcoran I saw a kid yakking on his cell phone the other day -- while skateboarding. This struck me as an unhealthy blend of activities. What a contrast to Yours Truly, who tries not to engage in either, let alone both simultaneously.

It amazes me how many folks spend huge chunks of time on their phones -- whether cell or land line. Their addiction sees them switch ears periodically to give the other a break as they glide from one topic to another, and they manage to get a fix regardless of their location.

I’m just the opposite. The less time I’m on the line, the better I like it. “Well, hey, thanks for calling,” I’ll say in an attempt to disengage myself from the conversation.

But few people take the hint. “Did I tell you what happened the other day?” they ask in a last ditch effort to stretch out the chat.

I’m not sure why I dislike phone time so much. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t know what to say or am given little chance to say it. Perhaps it’s that nagging feeling that I’m not getting anything productive done. Or maybe it’s because my hand gets tired of holding the receiver.

It wasn’t always this way. Once upon a time, I reacted to the stimulus more like Pavlov’s dog. The phone would ring and, without a moment’s hesitation, I raced to see who called.

Not that Pavlov’s dog answered the phone.

But somewhere along the line, I must have encountered one too many Chatty Pattys -- not to mention wrong numbers and those dreaded phone solicitors.

Whatever the reason, I screen my calls more often than not these days. In lieu of Caller ID, I listen to my archaic answering machine before responding. As the caller leaves his or her message, I ask myself, “Do I want to talk to this bozo or not?”

Meanwhile, my hand hovers over the receiver in suspended animation as I weigh the pros and cons, and nearly always regret the decision to pick it up.

For that matter, I don’t much care to place calls either. This may be because, traditionally, my timing stinks. Often, the callees are in the midst of some task like brain surgery.

That goes for short calls as well. So I visit in person to order that six-inch sub without the mayo, and hold the phone, too.

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