Autism

Don’t call me, I’ll call you…maybe.

For as long as I’ve known how to use a telephone, I’ve pretty much avoided them.   

Phones–to me–have always been a disturbing interruption of my day.  Basically anyone can just call you anytime they want with no regard for what you might be doing, which I have always perceived as rude.  I suppose that makes me antisocial, but it’s just how I am.

I grew up with only having a house phone and, for a long time, no answering machine.  In those days, people had certain rules about calling and things were civilized. Everyone knew you didn’t call during the dinner hour or after 10pm unless it was an emergency.  

My aunts, who lived in different area codes, even developed a way to contact each other without incurring additional charges for a call, because in “those days” phone calls were always cheaper at different times.  If my aunt in Watertown wanted to speak with us in Peabody, she would call, let it ring once and hang up; that way we knew to call her later.  So, of course, we never picked up a call on the first ring.  

When the phone company–“Ma Bell”–changed your area code it messed you ALL up, because then you’d have to figure out if you needed the area code to make a call.  This was a real problem growing up, because you didn’t always need the area code like you do now.  Furthermore, in some places, like Amesbury, which was too small for more than one exchange, you only needed to call the last four numbers.  Yup, if my neighbor wanted to reach me, he’d  simply dial “6788” and *poof* we would be connected!  This was a real time saver, because most everyone had rotary phone then.  Remember rotary phones?  I loved the noises they made.  

Back in those days, we remembered phone numbers.  I’m pretty sure I could recite a list of numbers from thirty years ago today.  Of course, we memorized phone numbers, because no one had pre-set numbers in their phones.  And, if you forgot the number, you’d have to whip out the gigantic phone book and hope the number was “listed”…because being “unlisted” was a thing then.  Ah! Phone books! I miss them, truly I do.

Anyway, as I was saying, I have a weird relationship with phones.  It got worse when everyone started getting cell phones, because they seemed pointless and just another expense.  If you called me and I wasn’t home, you either tried later or you left a message.  What was so urgent that I needed to be available 24/7?  I’m not a doctor.  I’m not the President.  The world is not going to collapse if I go out for groceries, is it?  So, of course, I resisted getting one for the longest time and reluctantly jumped on the band wagon when I began traveling for work. 

After I decided to leave my professional life to raise my son, MO, I once again fell into the house phone routine, but maintained my cell phone for “just in case”.  So, basically, that meant I only ever used it if I was going out of the house, which was rarely. Naturally I didn’t carry that dumb cell phone around all the time when I was home.  Needless to say, this irritated many people!  

“Call my house phone!”, I would say, which usually led to an argument about why I didn’t have my cell with me.  I’d forget.  It needed to be charged.  Plus I needed both my hands.  And, besides, yoga pants, which was my daily uniform, don’t usually have pockets. 

But my attitude toward my cell phone has changed a lot in the past few years, which I can attribute to the iPhone.  I know some people don’t like them but I think the iPhone is the best invention in the world.  It does everything–takes pictures, plays music and videos, keeps track of my schedule and even stores all my telephone numbers.  Plus I can check all my social accounts with it, too! Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Quora, my blog, my website. Oh! And texting? Love it! 

Do I use the phone part though?  Um..not really.  I’d rather let my fingers do the talking.  Talking takes up too much energy.

I’m pretty sure the idea of talking on the phone will always be something I dislike.  It’s just a part of who I am.  People I talk with know this and have just adjusted.  Some people think it’s weird or I’m weird, but I don’t care.  

I’m weird. 

So what? 

Tell me something I DON’T know!   

Best,

Ritamarie

P.S. You know how to reach me now, so feel free to leave me a message.  Just don’t ask me to call you back.

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