Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ten Minutes!

It still resounds in my ears. My mother's voice, kind and yet firm:  Ten Minutes!  Nothing more needed to be said.  I understood, loud and clear.  Whenever I would get a phone call from a boy, it would always be accompanied by this undeniable directive. Ten Minutes!

It wasn't that one shouldn't talk to a boy longer than ten minutes (maybe).  It was about courtesy to the rest of the family.  This was back in the day before "caller waiting";  This was back in the day of the busy signal.  And I completely understood that one shouldn't tie up the only phone line in the house.

Remember when the whole family relied upon just one phone line, which was perhaps tied to just one phone? And we couldn't even comprehend the idea of cordless.  Are you kidding me?  I remember the days of stretching that cord as far as it would go so that I could take a personal call.

And imagine trying to talk to someone whose family had to share a "Party line" with several of their neighbors.  Believe me.  NO party!

At the risk of dating myself with this disclosure, I think it brings up a viable conversation about phones today, and particularly, phones in the hands of young people. I wouldn't have known what to do if I had had my own phone.  I couldn't have imagined talking (or texting!) endlessly.  I learned what it was like to "miss" someone, to not be able to communicate with the boy I liked at all hours of the day and night.  When we went on family trips, there was absolutely NO communication. I had to be "present" with those that I was with.

I am thankful that the era of personal phones in everyone's hands with unlimited minutes and unlimited texting came after my own children were teenagers.  I cannot imagine the difficulty that parents have today in regulating and having any control over these abused devices. 

I am the first to admit the peace of mind that comes in having direct communication with a child.  Gone are the days of wondering where they are and what time they will be home and who they are with. Are they having car trouble, are they lost, have they run out of gas? 

I am also the first to admit that I frequently used the phone longer than my allotted ten minutes.  But as the time was brief, and such a rare and sweet treat, sometimes it was difficult to say goodbye and hang up.

"You say it first."

"No. I'm not going to say it."

"Okay, then let's say it together."


Repeat again.



Spot on! I laughed as I read this, feeling somewhat dated. Recalling several months in my younger years spending in excess of 350.00 talking on the phone. Progress.....;-)

LeAnn said...

Wow, this one brought back some memories. I am grateful for cell phones; but unless you text the younger generation; most of them won't call back anymore. I think that is kind of sad. I don't text; but we are thinking about it. I don't know if I could learn to do it fast enough. Anyway, I enjoyed your post very much today.