I hate the phone.

I used to think it was an amazing invention- talking to anyone, anywhere in the world after just punching a few buttons. When I was a kid, we had a party line. You youngins' probably don't even know what that is. It's a bit of a misnomer- it was not often a party at all, just an annoyance. Our entire neighborhood shared a single phone line. Each house had its own number, but if one household was on the phone you could not receive a call, or call out. You could, however, listen to other people's conversations. Unfortunately, our neighbors never seemed to be having sordid affairs or be selling state secrets or anything. Usually it was just a bunch of older women gossiping about each other.

My point is that when I was young, talking on the phone was something coveted- my sister even got her own phone jack in her room for her birthday one year. That's right- her very own jack with her very own see-through, light up phone. I was so jealous.When I did talk on the phone (mostly as a teenager) it was to gossip about boys. Those conversations were usually held as I curled up under the breakfast bar winding the cord around my hand absentmindedly. Those were long conversations where I had so much to talk about the day wasn't long enough.

These days, I would much rather talk to people face-to-face (even if it's via Skype). I communicate so much with my face that a lot of what I say over the phone or by text message is lost. Sure, over the phone I can still joke around and use my tone to convey a message, but sometimes people don't know I'm kidding because they can't see me smiling, or they mistakenly think I'm kidding, because they can't see that I am furrowing my brow or putting my head in my hands.

Another reason I don't like talking on the phone? You think I don't know, but I can totally tell when you are distracted watching Deep Space Nine or using the toilet while talking to me, or painting your toe nails and have the receiver sitting on the floor too far away to actually hear most of my side of the conversation. If I am talking to you face-to-face you aren't distracted by everything else, and if you are, you can't try to disguise it. So I can easily say,'It looks like you are really busy right now, why don't we talk later?' without sounding like I am pissed off because you don't know that I know that you aren't paying attention so my voice conveys my annoyance and sarcasm (passive aggressive much?).

I hate the phone.

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