hello?

I can never find the phone.  Ever.  I spend about half my day circling the house, looking for a ringing cordless. But it’s not there. It’s buried under something. But I don’t know what.

I don’t know why I can’t remember to put it back on the base when I’m done talking.  But I can’t.

So I just bought a wall phone from the ’70s.

Just found it online.  It’s exactly like the phone that hung in my kitchen for my entire childhood and beyond.  When my mother sold my childhood home, she took the phone with her.

We keep improving things so frantically.  That’s our economy, right?  Everything gets new ‘n’ improved over and over again.  Phonographs to eight tracks to cassettes to CDs to iPods.  I like new and shiny as much as anybody else, but it does make it harder to reach back to the past.  I’d love to listen to some of the mix tapes I saved from high school.  But I don’t have a cassette player anymore.

And some old things really were better.  Like 1970s phones.  Like holding that big receiver between your shoulder and your ear while you made a sandwich at the kitchen counter.  Like twisting around in the 50-foot cord.  Like flipping that cord around like a jump rope while your cat tried to catch it.  Like the weight of the receiver in your hand,and the satisfaction of clunking it back onto the hook when you’ve said what you had to say.

I’ve been missing these things for a while, the way you sort of quietly miss your childhood.  But as of this week, I have a ’70s phone up on my kitchen wall.  And I can’t believe how much it makes the home we live in now feel like my first one.

14 Comments

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14 responses to “hello?

  1. I am quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) missing my childhood.

  2. Know what? That. Phone. Rocks. I kinda wanna go old school, too. Do you think I could find a pink Hello Kitty corded phone for my bedroom? No, seriously! Oh wait, we don’t even use phone lines anymore so I wouldn’t get a ring tone. Damn!

  3. Michelle Glickman

    Love those phones! I love how each of the keys made a different tone when you pressed it, not the monotone of today’s phones. We used to compose music by pressing random numbers. Jingle Bells was a favorite….

  4. If the one from my parent’s house wasn’t mustard yellow, I would so want to have it now. Our old house still has the big ole square on the wall you used to hang those beasts on. Love your find! 🙂

  5. That is awesome… you described how it feels to hold a phone like that so well… I was right there with you. I also think having a phone hooked to the wall would change how I handle my conversations. I’m so used to walking all over the place with my phone, from one end of the house to the other… I think a wall phone would make me wrap up the conversation sooner. Or have a seat and really pay attention to what the person on the other end is saying.

  6. I grew up in Italy, and our phones weren’t like that in the 70s and 80s. They were these big clunky grey things you’d see on desks or console tables. So. Friggin. Ugly.

    And I watched American TV shoes and wish for one of those phones. I never had one. Now I really want it.

    We just moved back to Europe 4 months ago and we are renting now, but when I find a home I like enough to buy, I’m definitely going to hunt one of those phones down for my kitchen!

  7. Glad to see you got a long cord on that baby. 😉

  8. i love this! So true about holding it between your ear and your shoulder…I hate that I can’t do that with an iphone. Great post!

  9. I LOVE YOUR POSTS!! Love this blog, love your writing, love it all!! That phone is so classic and such a great idea! Just like all the rest, I’m so tempted to get my own too!!

  10. i can completely relate!!
    i love this… “Like twisting around in the 50-foot cord. Like flipping that cord around like a jump rope while your cat tried to catch it. ”
    we had one very similar in our kitchen except it was yellow…i think of many a night i sat on the floor, in the dark, against the kitchen cabinets…whispering quietly to my friends since it was past the time i was supposed to be on the phone! oh the good ol’ days!!! : )

  11. detes

    Mine has died and I miss it already. That cordless thing just does not do the trick. Goood to know that they are still avalilable.

  12. stacybuckeye

    I still have my red phone that is similar to this in my bedroom. My parents bought it for me when I was a teen as the first phone just for my bedroom. It’s the most reliable phone in the house!

  13. I would totally buy a phone like this if we had a home phone number. I think we’ve held off on getting one because we’re still living in apartments which are so temporary. This isn’t really “home” its just a stop on the way.

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