Thursday 16 July 2009

Hello, who is that?

When I was a teenager, phoning a girl was a proper adventure. You never knew who was going to answer the call, her dad, her brother… there was real pressure!

We didn’t have cell phones back then. We couldn't just call someone up, any time of day, whenever we felt like it. There was a lot of thought and preparation when it came to the call.

Her side was less nerve wrecking than my side - I had to make sure the house was quiet, and that my brother was not around waiting to use the phone, or that my mother was shouting in the background "don't spend an hour on the phone". I would go "Mom, please be quiet for a while - she thinks I live on my own in my own pad". Yeah, right, at age 13 - but that was how it worked back then. It had imagination and creativity. Today it is all cold and instant and without thought or effort. Just like it is with all those digital cameras you see everywhere.

The worst actually, was that second line, where your mother would pick up and go “I need the phone … get off”.

There was always that anticpation before the call. That anxiety. Who was going to answer on her side? But there was no caller id back then - so you could just hang up then if you got cold feet. They never knew who was calling.

Seems like a lifetime ago, but it wasn’t. And the fundamental lessons we learnt from those days are still as important.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker