I live in a multi-level home, and up to two days ago, I had one telephone for the entire house. It was located in our kitchen on the upper level. A ringing phone meant covert glances between the kids and me, assessments of potential cooperation and rivalry. Who would make the sprint for it? Who was acting like they didn’t hear the shrill ring? Was anyone in the competitive spirit? Sometimes there was a stand-off, the phone ringing until the voicemail took over. Other times a race-tackle-brawl between the Harrison and Olivia broke out, culminating in one cry of pain, and one pleasant (albeit breathy) “Hello?”
It’s been three years of this.
“Why don’t you just get more phones?” Michael, my former husband, asked me with a shake of his head as he watched our daughter limp past him, followed by our son’s victory march close behind.
I sighed. ”I just can’t deal with calling the phone company, waiting around for a 6-hour time span for the technician, and figuring out where to put the jacks. And that’s after getting through all the prompts just to schedule the appointment.”
“Sally,” he chuckled. “You only need the one phone jack. The rest of the handsets are remote and wireless.”
Remote? Wireless? I had no idea. Yet, I still couldn’t bother going through the trouble to make the purchasing decision. That is, until I had my first remote radio interview. The Kathryn Zox Show called to talk to me about my book, and I was thrilled to conduct the interview from my home. It would have been even more fun if I didn’t hear an echo throughout the entire fifteen minute segment. Two hours after the interview, I walked through our front door with three new phones.
“Mom. I can’t believe it.” Harrison jabbed. “What took you so long to get these?” He stood in the kitchen, comparing the slender, thin new models to the chunky, paint-splattered phone I had been using for the last twelve years.
I explained my lack of technology savvy, that I thought each device needed a phone jack.
“You know,” I tugged on the kitchen cord. “This.”
“What is that?”
“That’s our phone line. It connects to our telephone cable outside.”
“A phone line? Cable? That’s crazy! I thought all phones were wireless.”
Seems technological difficulties run in the family.