Ring, ring, ring, ring, hello?
This is what we did when we answered the phone for at least 50 years of my life. Then about 20 years ago the whole world went crazy with cell phones.
At first only drug lords or their wives had them. At least that is what we thought when mothers of suspicious students came to school and took out cell phones in the middle of teacher’s conferences. (I kid you not, we were sure they were communicating with their drop-off points for drugs.) Then more and more students had them; surely, they weren’t all dealing. We got this idea from television mostly.
And then the teachers started having phones. I remember the first time after I had gotten one. A student was going ballistic in a journalism class. I pulled out my phone like a sub machine gun and said, “I am going to call your Mom right now!” What a great scare tactic. “No, no, I have my homework, or I will have it by lunch. Don’t call my Mom.” All of a sudden, this item I had used to speak to my Mom or Grandmother became a weapon of mass destruction. What a great deal.
Right after my discovery of the ultimate enforcer, our oldest son, Will got married to Kirsten Meyer. They both had phones and as far as I know, were not dealing drugs. Will took a position at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor (Go Blue) to work on his doctorate in physics. We had not been to Michigan before, but we helped them move up there and it took three days driving.
On the way back to Edgewood, I picked up my trusty cell phone and called to make sure my little boy and his new bride were doing fine. I spoke to them all three days back home and every night—until I got my bill and discovered the wonderful world of roaming charges. Four hundred bucks later I had a new vision of the phone company being in control of the earth. Long distance charges were always a worry when we had land lines, but this was an entirely new ballgame. I paid my roaming and looked to find a company that had reduced rates and, sure enough, new phone companies like Verizon and T-Mobile were in competition for business. It looked like we all could afford local and long-distance service.
There were flip phones and then a new phone, A SMART PHONE. It came with a caveat, it was smarter than any of us except for the very young. I had a regular flip phone and my then 10-year-old grandson, Robert saw it, picked it up and said, “Grandma, you don’t have any games. What does this do?”
“It goes ring, ring and I answer, ‘Hello.’”
He walked away from me without a word. How can you fail at grandmother? I did. After a visit to the store, I got a SMART PHONE. I brought it home and gave it to Robert. He looked at it a while and remarked again about the games. “I will go to the store and buy some, Robert.”
“Grandma, there is a store in your phone.” I walked away.
Then he said, “How many games can I download?”
“Whatever you need,” was the reply.
Robert smiled, “Do you have a credit card I can use? And Grandma, don’t forget the three numbers on the back.”
I was a broken grandma. But on the upside, my new phone takes great pictures!
Roaring Mouse still trying to dial… out.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.