I still remember the time aunts shouted into telephones while talking to people far away, as if they needed to magnify their voices to be heard. It is often the other way around – you need raised voices while addressing someone right next to you because they are busy with their laptops, notebooks, phones, tablets or ipods. But for as long as I can remember, the telephone signalled two way communication. All that changed for me last week.
I could savagely bray the Kolaveri song without fear of retribution the same way that monstrosity was dumped on the unsuspecting public. The song has poets either turning in their graves or else yearning to rush into one as soon as possible. When one does something, it is only basic human courtesy to see the effect it would have on people, is it not? I digress, but really? Kolaveri?!
Anyway…I had been for a walk stopping to gaze at parrots and dogs when the phone rang. The tendency to talk has been a congenital disorder: I realised somewhere around the 22nd sentence of the phone call that I could not hear the other person. I hallo-hallo-hallo-ed for a bit and seeing a parrot look down with disdain at me shelved the attempt at parroting. I hung up and tried calling another friend. Same thing: I could talk, they could hear, but could not respond. Ha!
The husband suggested that maybe I was married to the phone. (“The wife could say what she wanted and assumed the husband listened, and not expect any nonsense by way of back-talk”) I gave him a frosty look that the comment was totally unappreciated, but it was wasted on the man who was thumping himself on the brilliance of his own joke (I know!)
But even I can’t deny the possibilities this opened up. I could call telemarketeers and give them a sample of their own medicine. I could call the husband and pile on chores that he wouldn’t touch with a barge-pole otherwise. Then I could accost him for not doing it, squashing the argument that he never agreed to do it, because guess who did not hear that he refused?
I did none of that. I am a loving wife and I also needed him to take my dear phone to the store near his office.
Anyway, the long and short of it was that I was able to go my way telling people what I thought, and my communication felt like living in the age of fancy telegrams. I was never much of an SMS person, but the phone had me spilling my guts on SMS. A number of intentions were miscommunicated with the helpful hand of auto-correct. (Auto-correct is begging a separate post from me – shall get to it one day)
I am sorry to say my phone no longer does that. It has been fixed. Two way communication has been established, but I can’t deny that I enjoyed the one-sided deal for a while.