It’s not that I’m avoiding you, or uninterested in whatever you are calling to discuss. It’s just that I loathe and abhor talking on the phone.
I’m not sure when this started, or what it’s all about. When I was little, it was a thrill to answer the phone, even when doing so required getting up and walking to where the phone was installed. When it rang, we girls would scramble to get to the kitchen wall unit with it’s long, tangly cord. We had to answer: “Hello, this is Jacquie! Who’s calling, please?!”
Despite that nerdy script, it was fun to answer the phone, fun to find out the identity and purpose of the caller.
Now there’s no excitement, no intrigue, no fun. When someone calls my home, the caller ID actually flashes on the tv screen! When my cell phone rings, I can distinguish between a work and a personal call by the song that plays a ringtone.
Unless you are calling to ask me for money, I do not screen your calls. I promise. I try to be cordial and get quickly to the reason for the call, then wrap it up and disconnect as soon as possible. I just don’t chat well anymore, at least by phone.
In person, I’ll chat with you till you are forced to hide in the bathroom or feign unconsciousness just to make it stop. I’m even good with strangers, I can always find something to talk about if necessary. But just as often, I do not think it IS necessary! I am comfortable with silence. Seems like I’m in the minority on this, though.
I was thinking about it yesterday during my marathon cut and color session. There’s a situation when it seems it would be easy to enjoy a little silence, or better yet – a chance to read the massive hardcover library book I’ve been dragging around town for the last couple of weeks, the one I am desperate to finish before my trip on Tuesday because I don’t want to pay for an extra suitcase to haul it. But it seemed rude to read while the chatty stylist worked his magic, so chat we did. Ask me anything about that guy, I know it all.
I think the simple explanation for my phone aversion is that I just don’t have time to stop and chat, especially at home. Our days are full and life doesn’t really slow down until certain short family members start to pass out in their beds. I can multitask with the best of them, but I do like to focus when taking phone calls, because it’s just embarrassing to have to admit that you weren’t listening to someone who is speaking directly into your ear hole.
Driving used to be a great time to make and take phone calls, I’d be sitting down, the kids physically restrained a whole foot away from me, and the caller would have my undivided attention. Well, divided of course by the maneuvering of the tons of steel at high speeds, but you know what I mean.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just that I communicate better in writing. Text me, e-mail me, IM me, tweet me, friend me – you’ll be amazed and possibly a wee bit frightened by the speed and accuracy of my response. And I’ll blog for you, baby, every third day like clockwork. But if we’re going to chat, I’d much rather do it face to face, preferably over drinks.
Who’s with me?