Welcome to Chickadee Junction

Welcome to Chickadee Junction

I have birdfeeders outside of my office window. My office is in my home, up on a hill, surrounded by trees. The most frequent avian visitors are the chickadees. When the feeders are empty, they come to the window and let me know. They seem to converge here, and draw my attention out...

I wrote a column about life with children for six years. Now I am the grandmother, and I would like to repost those stories. I will also be adding thoughts and reflections, and if inspired - stories from the now.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

AT&T is pushing pictophones - the newest gotta-have appliance.  They must be kidding.  The last thing I need or want is for everyone, or anyone, to see me at my most natural.

A pictophone would exposed me at 10 am, hair still uncombed.  Could any information exchange be enhanced by that?

When I'm using the telephone, the anonymity of all but voice allows me to glare at my children, snack, wash dishes, all while "Mm-hmmmmm-ming" at the appropriate time.  In good voice.

If you could see me, you'd catch the Mom-glare, that look which ices any child's heart.  I would not be able to do my frantic pointing dance as I silently order small people to practice Kung Fu elsewhere.

Not only would casual callers know we live in chaos, but any salesperson who chooses to call couldn't miss the chin high laundry pile I'm planning to fold.  The same salesperson would see my exasperated expressions elicited by their spiel.  Having to listen to them is bad enough.  Having to appear polite and interested - no way!

And what about that reliable dinner-interrupting call?  One must choose between eating cold food later, chewing casually or asking them to call back.  If it is a sales pitch (and we are talking dinner-time here) who wants to brush them off twice?  Since it is often impossible to get a word in edgewise, I attempt to eat inconspicuously.  I am suddenly aware of each crunch, slurp, swallow.  Try this on pictophone.

Now imagine that mid-shower call.  Or the, "Did I wake you?"  I can't see the pictophone catching on.  At least not in this house.

Mima's Notes:
I've always marched to a different drummer.  I was wrong.  Skype is the latest version of the pictophone, and is popular.  When I wrote this, almost 20 years ago, I had a phone on the kitchen wall.  It had a very long cord, so I could wander around the kitchen, or go sit in the living room.  My neighbor had the latest thing.  He had this big apparatus in the front seat of his truck.  It had a phone receiver hung on it.  He could get phone calls in the truck.  It was - weird.  Who wanted to get calls while they were out driving. 

I mentioned that I march to my own drummer, right?  Now we have cell phones.  Okay, you all have cell phones.  I am holding out.  I don't want to have a cell phone.  I don't want to be available 24/7.  Everyone worries - what if I have a problem with the car?  What happens is what has always happened.  Someone stops to ask if I am okay.  With cell phones, we are losing this personal connecton.  Some people have stopped worrying about strangers.  If we can call someone we know, we don't have to step into uncomfortable contact.

And Skype...it's great if I want to see my grandson, something we have not managed to organize yet, but I work on the phone.  I start at 5 am.  You know that puffy face, squinty eye look at 5 am?  No way! No one needs to see that!

I feel so old when I think about party lines when I was young compared to cell phones now.  I can easily fall into the grandma, "In my day..." speech.  But I wonder what the next 20 years will bring.  I am sure Skype will be outdated and so unbelievably elementary.

No comments:

Post a Comment