As i was just sitting here dealing with someone who seems to be very flakey, i started going into flashbacks of what it USED to be like to date or make plans with someone.
For those of you too young to remember, society did not always have very socially friendly ways of communicating. No cordless let alone cel phones, no answering machines or voice mail, Not even redial! Can you believe that redial was something that was invented SINCE i was born?!! Unbelievable!!
Technology is moving at such a fast pace that technology gets fully integrated into our lives now within a couple of months. Sometimes a couple of weeks. Keeping this in mind, and considering the fact that i am only 38, it just goes to show you how fast technology has become so much a part of our lives… well… lets just say, i would not like to see the younger generation deal with a massive power outage! They would not know where to go and what to do or even how to contact their friends because no phone numbers these days have to be memorized.
When i was in elementary school and Jr. high, my brain worked as a part time rolodex. I had to jumble my memorization for history and math and science and remember 86 phone numbers of friends and family members. Back then, if you wanted to get in contact with someone you did not know well or had not been introduced (basically if you did not get their phone number from them or a friend) you just needed to figure out what their last name was. Then you opened one of those big books (like the big yellow ones sitting at the entry of your building for eternity but white.) and found the last name. If you were looking for someone named Smith, or Jones or even Dominguez depending where you lived… you may have a page and a half of names that matched. You needed to narrow it down.
…Do you know either (if they were living at home of course…) their parents name or their address… If you do… you most likely can find it. If not, it was just a matter of plowing through the list calling each one until you found the one with someone named Josh or Bobbie who lived there. (note* it was very uncommon, but did occur, the rarity that more than one family had someone there with the name you were looking for… BUT i personally… never found someone else who also sounded like the person you were trying to contact. Usually you figured it out after a long awkward silence after you say your big “HI!!”).
Anyway, what i was thinking about was how many people in the 80’s (fully attractive and potential single adults) sat at home all friday night… simply because someone told them that they would call them. You tell your friends to go without you. Your excitement was palatable! So-and-so is going to be calling you! You had to RUN to the bathroom just to pee super fast… because, dont’cha know he is just totally going to call as soon as i step away from the phone for just one second!
Keep in mind at this time that there were no answering machines or even cordless phones. If you needed to reach someone, you (on average) let it ring between 8 and 15 times (incase they were in the garage, yard etc.) and if they did not answer, there was no evidence that you called at all, so, you just had to keep calling. …there must have been a lot of ringing going on in the background of society back then!
If you happened to had been dealing with someone either A. a jerk or 2. A manipulative jerk or 3. VERY overprotective parents (not usually the case but i couldnt just leave it with 2 jerks!) then, you just gave up your friday night to watch the depression creep in as the seconds tick past.
By 10pm or midnight or whatever was your household cutoff, you had been through the emotional gauntlet making a full rise to a hard fall. Elated when you were under the impression you were going to be receiving a call, to absolutely wanting to smother yourself with a pillow and or tears depression streaking down your face, by the end of the night, when you realized you had been made a schmuck of.
There is nothing that i hate more than a flake. In this day and age, there is very little excuse (except that your phone died and you are in a remote part of the world without a charger) for someone not calling if they are supposed to. You can go out and run your errands or play with your dog at the park without worrying about missing that call. No more staring blankly at your ceiling going “ring. Ring. RING!!” “AGHHHHH!!!”
I guess it is a win lose situation though. Now there is no where to hide. No real excuse for blowing off that call that you know you have to make. No uninterrupted quiet time in the car or waiting at the Dr.’s office. Nope. They can find you now anywhere you happen to go….
…Unless you happen to forget your phone of course!!
So ladies and gentleman, dont let that person sit around WHEREVER they are and wait for your call. These days, life will not put that person on hold for you while you go to that one more bar or party. People these days will say, …”well, it is 20 past, …lets go!” and you do. If they want to hang out with you, they can come find you, but you are not waiting around!
I guess i like some of the things that have changed, but i do miss being able to call someone 14 times to find out if they are back yet without looking and feeling like a stalker.
I may not get stuck home by the phone on a friday night anymore, however, the damage it created as a teen, made my patience for people who are flaky almost none and in fact, these are usually the people that make me lose my marbles and end up acting like a total nut. I am not proud of this, but at least i know why i do it.
It is the 80’s fault!
- BT launching phone that will block nuisance calls (metro.co.uk)
- My Phone and I (writelovelive.com)
- 3 addresses and 3 phone numbers (scrapbooklady.typepad.com)
- Attitudes to arts education giving me 1980s flashbacks (bromiskelly.typepad.com)
- How to stay connected in a power outage (seattlepi.com)
- Dementia and the Telephone. (twokitties.typepad.com)
- Should I hang on to my landline? (bestbuymobile.com)
- ever missed someone,your heart on lone mode like a cordless phone (semanare.wordpress.com)
- Who Has Seen One of These??? (lvarley.wordpress.com)
- India Ink: Lost and Found at the Kumbh Mela (india.blogs.nytimes.com)