Saturday, November 26, 2016

Hodgepodge 28/365 - Telephone

We have both a landline and two cell phones. We need the landline because cell reception at our house, which sits at the bottom of a little canyon, is terrible. At home, if a call comes in to my cell phone, I usually just let it go to voicemail, because I know that if I answer, we'll be disconnected in short order. But then I may have to wait until I go to higher ground to hear the voicemail. It's that bad.

But it's okay, because I don't really like telephones. And the very few friends who call me should know to call the landline.

If the landline rings, I check caller ID and pick up only (and I mean only) if I recognize the caller or number. Sometimes I can't be bothered to check, but just let it ring. They can leave a message, whoever they are. Usually they don't. There are so many soliciters out there. Though very occasionally, the caller is someone I actually want to talk to. And then, when I hear their voice, I do pick up. I'm not phone phobic. I just don't care for the contraption.

As for my cell phone, when I'm out where there is reception, I still very often let it go to voicemail, particularly if I'm with a friend, already being social. I don't understand people who think that if the phone rings they must answer. That's what voicemail is for!

I am old enough to remember, fondly, the old days when we had dial phones and no answering machines. If the phone rang and you weren't home, whoever it was just knew to call back. Communication was so much less fraught back then. Eventually, you'd link up. Patience was the watchword.

We still have a dial phone: it's black and white, cobbled together long ago from two phones, one black, one white. I never use the dial phone, but I like having it. It reminds me that I'm not a slave.

A final note, thanks to Merriam-Webster: The word solicitous (manifesting interest, care, or concern) doesn't come from solicit (ask for or try to obtain something from someone), but the two words are related. They both have their roots in the Latin word sollicitus, meaning "anxious." Solicitous itself came directly from this Latin word, whereas solicit made its way into English with a few more steps. From sollicitus came the Latin verb sollicitare, meaning "to disturb, agitate, move, or entreat." Forms of this verb were borrowed into Anglo-French, and then Middle English, and have survived in Modern English as solicit.

Soliciters, in other words, are not solicitous callers.

1 comment:

  1. "Soliciters, in other words, are not solicitous callers." I'll remember that the next time one calls!