Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Phoning it in

*Call Me*, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

I started this post with the lie: I've never really been a phone person. As I was staring at the words, however, I had to admit my mother would probably disagree (and would likely be able to produce the 1980s-era phone bills to prove the contrary).

So, I backspaced a coupla-four times trying to get to my point, which is that I've never been as comfortable with the spoken word as I have been with the written word.

It's not uncommon. Rare is the person that doesn't stay up late into the night on occasion wondering what it was they said and how they sounded. Recriminating themselves for talking too much or laughing too hard. Wondering if we've asked the right questions of shown enough interest. Worried, perhaps, we've shown too much.

I'm accustomed to the idea that if you have nothing to say you should say nothing. Even if you HAVE something to say, you might be better off not saying it anyway ... better people think you smart in silence than made wiser to your stupidity ... or something.

Whatever it IS that makes it difficult to pick up the phone and just TALK -- express interest ... show solidarity .... see what's going on -- becomes more intrenched in my psyche with each passing year.

I'm sure it all started out the moment I realized I really had no reason for calling in the first place. There's was no pressing information to relay.

As your lives continue to be filled with things other than parties and pub crawls, you become more cognizant of the potential for bother. The baby is crying. Dinner is on the table. Time is divided by focus ... or the inablilty to focus, as the case may be. In my own mind I think I'd just be adding to the noise.

The phone gathers dust.

I'm sure I will eventually get to the point where I make my husband dial the phone and address the person who answers on my behalf just to avoid the awkward starts and stops in the conveying of intent.

"Hello. This is Siobhan's secretary, Jed? Hi. Yes. She would like to know if you have any plans next Thursday evening? No? Well, the reason I (I mean SHE) asks is that she had a crazy idea that you and she and perhaps four other people (I will be phoning next) might meet at the movies for a girls' night out?"

In social situations silence is hard to maintain.

It's uncomfortable.

And the reciting of unwritten transcripts will haunt you for nights to come.

How often I'd like to tell people, "just read my blog. I make more sense there than here."


Binky said...

I've seen this sentiment conveyed in the comment section of many blog posts before: "I could've written this exact post myself." Until now, I've never been able to say that.

But damn, I seriously could have written this exact post myself (with obvious name substitutions).

Petra said...

I am also not a phone person (but used to be). I understand. I think it was more acceptable back then to say stupid things or not have anything to say at all but just stay on the phone for the sake of being on the phone. Now I feel the need to fill the silence with something witty and interesting, or at least not STUPID.

Duff said...

I used to have that phone. =) (But I never had a football or hamburger phone.)