Telephone chronicles

telephoneThis week I was reflecting back on our long-ago days of active parenting.   It’s amazing, really, how quickly  we forget the daily stresses of living with three adolescents!

Many of my own memories are now tinged with the soft glow that time can airbrush on the past, and it takes reading some of my more ironic pieces of writing to bring to mind those interesting periods  (in the sense of that so-called Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times!)

This little piece is an excerpt from a long-ago letter to my mother, written  with tongue firmly in cheek:

Number One Son has fallen in love and now spends most of his spare time on the telephone talking to his girlfriend, initiating huge fights over whose turn it is to use the phone, and how long the other two have been hogging it.

noise meter 2As tempers fray, the noise level escalates.  Invariably, when the din reaches a level roughly comparable to that of the takeoff of a 747, my DB rears to his feet and hurls threats, the most effective of which is that if they don’t work out a user schedule immediately – and quietly – we will have the phone disconnected.

Now, to most threats they casually turn a deaf ear, but they don’t dare take the chance that we might actually carry through on this one.  They are acutely aware that of the 1,563 phone calls a day that come into our house, only .025 percent are actually for DB and me.

A false peace immediately ensues, during which we can hear furious whispering going on in the general area of their rooms.  Eventually calm is restored to our little home, broken only by–what else?–the ringing of the telephone.

We turn up the t.v.



  1. I remember being that age and ACHING for the phone to ring because I was NOT allowed to call boys. In later years I came to appreciate my mothers (then to me irrational) edict. She was right. 🙂 But maybe she was just trying to keep the phone free!


    1. In our case, with three teenagers hovering around the phone at any hour of the night or day (possibly I exaggerate a bit here ), it was to keep the arguing down to a dull roar. And because I’ve never been a phone aficionada myself, I more than likely lacked any empathy whatsoever. 🙂

      I DO remember that a hundred years ago when I was an adolescent, it wasn’t considered proper for the girl to call the boy. And now that I think about it, I remember hanging over our one solitary phone every now and again during my angst-filled teenage years, praying for it to ring. Those were the days, all right. Thank God they’re well behind me. (Well, actually, they’re so far off in the distance now that they’re nothing but a little blur on my lifeline, but I like that just fine.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I think back in the time we were teenagers it was a common rule that girls didn’t call boys. I knew some girls who could, but not me. The result is that though I reached the point of being able to call men on the phone, I was never comfortable and never knew what to say.


      2. Hah! You and me both! I never even had brothers around, so I had no idea what to say to guys in any situation. It’s a miracle I ever learned how to talk to the other half of the world.


        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great entry Sue, it actually reminded me on my long phone conversations with Alec when we were dating. Here I am sitting near him, both on our iPads. Love you, hugs Deany

    Sent from my iPad



    1. Life’s funny, isn’t it? I was never much of a telephone person, even as a teenager (although I did have my moments, for sure). And it’s only gotten worse as I’ve grown older. I really dislike talking on the phone and only use it when I absolutely have to. I feel the exact opposite about my computer and ipad – email’s a medium that I took to right from the start. It’s unobstrusive, and I like to write. Perfect marriage.

      In spite of all that, the very best thing of all, hands down, is being with the person you’re talking to. Even Skype doesn’t do it for me. However, I’ve been given an ultimatum by my daughter: she has to be in Winnipeg this winter for seven weeks on a gig, and I’ve been told that we’re going to Skype every day whether I like it or not. She may be little, but she’s fierce! 🙂


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