I got an email a while back titled “Lang’s home phone is gone,” and I was surprisingly bummed out. My parents have had the same phone number for a good chunk of my life (though I still think I remember our first phone number from when I was little), and I had this theory about it–and land lines in general–that has now been confirmed in the months following its disconnection.
See, as much as I love technology, and as much as I love my smart phone, and as unlikely as it is that I will, myself, have a land line someday… I loved being able to call my parents on a joint number. I liked not having to decide which one I wanted to talk to–I need a parent, either one will do! And now I have to pick one when I want to call “home.”
Beyond my own phone calls to the ‘rents,’ I always liked what this kind of mutual phone did for other relationships, too. When my grandparents would call, especially before caller ID, they’d just get whoever answered the phone. So my mom’s parents got to talk to my dad, or to me, from time to time–even if they were probably calling to talk to Mom. And the same was true for my dad’s parents.
That we’ve moved so far away from that joint phone mentality kind of saddens me. I liked the potentially serendipitous crossover that can occur when you get to talk to someone you don’t get to talk to all that often, and it bummed me out that I probably would never really have that kind of setup. My parents would call my cell phone if they wanted to get ahold of me, and except in pretty rare situations, I’d be the one answering it. Sure, they could call my theoretical future husband directly, but… I just don’t see that happening a lot, because it’s not what we’re used to.
Anyway, I don’t have a solution (other than setting up a Google Voice number that rings both of my parents’ cell phones at once, but that seems like it would be a lot of effort and probably just confuse them both), and I don’t know that we need one–I just think it’s sort of sad.
I still love technology, and I love what it does for us… but this is probably the first time I’ve come close to agreeing with all those naysayers who think technology separates, rather than connects.
But oh well. Here’s to you, Lang’s Home Phone. RIP.
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