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Who’s Not Calling, Please?

After one look at the bill from Frontier Communications, which recently took over for Verizon in our area, David called and canceled our landline and TV service. We had one of those “bundled” packages, the cost of which had soared. Grimly resolute, David waited on hold for more than an hour, but finally got through to break the deal. One second after the call, the phone was dead and the TV blank and inoperative.


I won’t miss the TV because I never watched it, something I say cautiously because that statement can have a ring of snobbery.  It’s not as if I’m reading Proust in the original or writing a novel  instead of tuning in to Game of Thrones; it just never occurs to me to turn the TV on. And now I can’t.

I pity all those telemarketers and robocallers who won’t be able to reach us today on the home phone. No more home security pitches, threats of a warrant for my arrest from fake IRS agents, or chirpy recorded voices promising lower credit card interest rates.

I’m also nostalgic for those old, heavy Bakelite telephones, and calls that might bring an invitation or a connection with a relative or friend who’d been out of touch.  I’m remembering having to ration and keep long distance calls short, always made on Sundays after 5 p.m. when rates were lowest. And running to answer the phone, wondering who was calling. I also wouldn’t mind a day with a slow enough pace that I could actually take the seeming infinity to call someone by dialing a number on a rotary phone.

And while I’m at it pining for things that are no more, I wish I had the brain and memory I once did, with the long-gone ability to store and rattle off phone numbers at will.

What phone call from the past are you remembering today?





About treacycolbert

I make my living by writing about health care. I've always written about life's chastening effect, but just as a way of sorting it out for myself. After years of doing this and keeping these essays quiet, I decided to put some of these impressions out there on this blog. Thanks for reading, and let me know what you think.

3 responses »

  1. I miss all of them. I loved chatting on the phone for hours with friends (who lived short distance, of course – sometimes on the street one-over). I am relieved to know that we weren’t the only one getting the IRS threat, however, we were being “sued.” 🙂

  2. Hi PIO, I was on my way to jail, according to the “IRS” calls I received. Hope you’re well. xoxo

  3. Remembering calls to my best friend late at night when we were teens. We’d let it ring once and hang up, knowing the other would return the call. One ring each wouldn’t wake our parents. Usually to discuss something we’d seen on TV…on SNL or Tomorrow. Our phone hung on the wall.


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