Wrong Number

Last night over dinner in Seattle a friend floated the phrase, “Urban Amish.” That’s me when I think of my relationship with the phone. Then this morning on Facebook another friend described attending an event at USC where all the students’ heads were down, and how she wanted to stand on the quad and shout, Look UP!

“I felt like I was in a zombie apocalypse,” she said.

I feel like that every day.

There was a time, I suppose, when I waited for the phone to ring. It might be a boy. Most likely it was a girlfriend. It could be for my mother, and that would tie her up for awhile. The phone hung on the kitchen wall then, and in my way I seem to have left it there.

I’ve upset everyone around me by not bonding with the cell phone.

“What, go for a walk without your phone?” exclaims my husband like I’ve forgotten my pants. At best I’ve left my phone at home charging. But it’s never with me. That is not the way I want to walk. I have a different purpose in walking in this world. I want to notice things. And to think my own thoughts. Call me crazy.

My sister in Boston jumps into her bright red Prius every day and drives it like a phone booth on wheels. All wired up with Blue Tooth, whatever that is, she conducts her calls with both hands on the wheel. She talks with her daughter in NYC, her son in NYC, her husband in the attic—he has recently moved his office into their remodeled attic—our mother, our father, our other sister, it’s magnificent really. And me if she could reach me. Probably not. Her entire drive is a chain of calls. Sometimes she’s got to go from one call because another call is coming in.

I know because I’ve flown out to be with her in Boston and ridden in her car. Sitting in the passenger seat and listening to her calls, I have to wonder, whatever happened to personal conversation? Or listening to the radio.

Silence doesn’t bother me either.

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11 Comments

Filed under cell phone

11 responses to “Wrong Number

  1. doug brown

    Kim, you are so spot on. Hope all is well…..Thanks, Doug

  2. John Coleman

    Amen and amen! Let us fogies unite! John

  3. lynn@griffesadvertising.com

    Kim,You need an iphone, not a geeky android that none of your friendsknow how to use–nor do you–except perhaps, to plug into the wall.Get Paul to upgrade and give you his iphone.Lynn (ex urban amish)

  4. I have to consciously step away from my phone. It’s my lifeline to the rest of the world. Whenever I’m not with the kids I sneak and see who’s texted me. Usually, it’s other stay-at-home moms texting, “kids are asleep, what’re you doing?”
    Lol.
    But seriously, I do miss just letting my thoughts wander. My best scenes have been scripted when waiting for the bus without my phone in palm!

  5. Elizabeth Yourgrau

    You nailed this sister’s phone booth on wheels way of life. In between phone calls, I also listen NPR – which is most of the time. Frankly, the bluetooth method works so well for me because I rarely want to talk on the phone when I’m home and don’t have time at work.

  6. jlcrowell@gmail.com

    Love this!! Very true. Hard balance. Hope you’re well.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  7. Seriously! I had some technical issues with my phone recently and went about without it for weeks. I had forgotten what actual privacy felt like.

  8. sophiewitman

    Just got back from 3 weeks without a chat. Blessed, really. I hope I can keep it more in balance. Thanks, Kim.

  9. Ah, Tuscany! Lack of cell phone usage is one of the many reasons I feel so at home there.

  10. Tug Yourgrau

    You really captured Beth in her moving phone booth. And also the real benefits of NOT having a cellphone on one’s person 24-7. Twenty years ago, we would all most likely have considered being reachable everywhere by phone to be an invasion of privacy. No longer.

  11. So she’s taken you for a ride too?! I find it hilarious. I’m afraid I am still twenty years back, but I’m working on it.

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