star 69

How to feel old:

Have a conversation with your almost-thirteen year old daughter about phone etiquette (in sort of an anthropological context), discuss the etymology of Hello. Daughter decides she will stop using a simple Hello. Will instead answer phones with “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.” Tell your daughter that it’s a good thing she only answers calls when she knows they are for her. Mention that you wouldn’t have had the same experience when you were young. Daughter is confused, “what do you mean?”. Tell her when you were her age, there was no Caller ID. Daughter is still confused, “but you could just remember whose number was whose, if it didn’t tell you the name.” No, daughter, you explain. There was no number. The phone rang. The phone was answered. You would say Hello. You never knew who it was going to be. Daughter laughs, deeply. Come on, mom, are you serious? Serious. But wait, you tell her. You tell her how exciting it was when you were a teenager, you had to have been sixteen maybe, and this new service became available. You could simply press *69 and -just like that!- your phone would magically call back whoever last called you. Putting a regretful, but probably necessary, end to the era of prank calls and other telephone hijinks. Daughter thinks you are making this up. “But you still wouldn’t know who it was!” she insists, still confused. Yes, but they would answer! And then you would know from their voice! Daughter laughs and laughs and laughs. “I can’t believe how weird everything was back then,” she says.


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7 thoughts on “star 69

  1. LOL! It’s TRUE!! Hey, tell her about POPCORN!! Did you ever do that? Or what about that number you could call and it would tell you the time.

    Wow….that is strange how old I feel just writing that. ~Deb

  2. Ok…and before the handsets that let you walk around anywhere the phone was in one spot and if you were lucky you had an extra long cord to wind long enough to comfortable seating or around the corner for a lil privacy.

    • yes, we did go on to talk about that, too! i would like to have an old school curly-cord receiver headset for my iphone.

  3. We had a 12 and then a 7 party line when we first moved to our house in the forest in Colorado when my dad retired from the AF. You had to recognize rings and answer when it was yours and you could pick up to make a call, some other family might of been talking, but you could listen. My little sister caused an uproar when she asked Mrs. Weber to clear the line because we had an emergency. She proceeded to call her friend for a play date. You must understand however that Mrs. Weber was on the phone all the time chatting and gossiping. We thought we were so cool when we had our own line. You also used to be able to call the operator and she would make a call for you. Maybe they still do.

  4. Love this! Yes, our kids will never know the joy (and terror) of prank calls….

    • it wasn’t all THAT long ago, but the level of anonymity we had then was so different than it is today. for better or for worse, i don’t know. . .

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