Our landline phone system died on Monday. Now, before you tell this homebody that you gave up landlines years ago and use your cell phones for any and all phone calls, let me tell you that most of the time, my cell phone is dead. Yes, dead. Battery depleted, zombie-ized, dead, buried, never to see the end of a charger again … or at least, not for a very long time. Should lightning strike twice and poltergeists happen to plug in my cell phone to charge it, then it will usually remain on the charger for several days. Why? A) I don’t get out much. B) Because my memory has holes in it larger than my worst pair of underpants. (Forget I said that. I do not – I repeat, do not – have holes in my underwear.)
But, wouldn’t it be nice if someone invented a super-charged cell phone just for me? Maybe one with a reserve charge on an extra battery, like an extra fuel tank? I’d even be okay with a solar panel so that as my phone is lying out on the counter, being blithely ignored by me, it can charge itself from the overhead lights. However, since it’s usually in the bottom of my purse, I suppose I would need the antithesis of a solar battery: one that runs on spare change, Tic Tacs, and tissue lint. The point is, I need a land line.
And our eight-year old landline phones died on Monday.
Our landline phone system came as a set with a base station, chargers and three portable handsets. One was for the kitchen, one was for the basement family room, and the other was for our bedroom and was basically useless since the charger had croaked long ago. Besides those two and our cell phones, our other phone was in the dining room and was an off-system, oddball, landline phone with caller ID that didn’t see much use.
On Monday morning, the kitchen phone rang.
Hmm, no caller ID. “Hello?”
Silence. I hung up.
Hmm, no caller ID again. “Hello?”
Silence. I hung up again.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat. You get the picture. I hate crank calls, and this was becoming annoying. After the fourth time, determined to solve this puzzle, I grabbed the oddball phone in the dining room, checked its call log, and discovered that, indeed, the phone phantoms were actually flesh and blood people trying to get ahold of me. Our old phone system had gone to the Great Call Waiting queue in the sky.
I called Hubs in the afternoon on this same off-system, oddball phone – being different can be a good thing – and we agreed to meet at the electronics store that I will call “Perfect Purchase” on his way home from work.
We often go there to browse on Sundays after church. Some people like sports bars and outdoor activities. We like electronic stores and book stores and enjoying our purchases together quietly at home. And that’s why we were voted “The Couple Most Likely to Hear at a Party, ‘Oh, When Did You Get Here?’” Anyway, we hadn’t gone this past Sunday because of the snowy weather, so going in the middle of the week was like a treat. (I told you I don’t get out much.)
We met up at Perfect Purchase and half an hour later, we were walking out of the store with our new phone system. It had to have been one of the quickest decisions we’ve ever made about anything. Usually, we research and review the best system, the best prices, the best place to buy it, the best alternative uses for it should it not be exactly what we were looking for…
“Well, it’s a four slice toaster and we really only need a two slicer. I bet we could funnel the heat from the other two slots into a hood that we can place over our bacons and eggs to keep them warm until the toast is done.” … Something like that … or not. And then we research again, just to make sure we haven’t overlooked anything.
But not this time. Half an hour tops. In, out, flip it about, and boom. We now have a new phone system with four handsets and a base with Blue Tooth, which I had always thought referred to the movies with a blue band at the top. I don’t think we can watch movies on the phone system, so there must be another use for it. I suppose if I read the instructions, I would know, although I’m pretty sure we can’t use it with bacon and eggs.
As for the oddball phone, it’s been retired with honors and replaced with one of the new in-system phones. It remains to be seen if that’s a good idea or not. So far, I don’t regret this spur of the moment decision, although I do miss Doug, the voice from the old answering machine. He is now a Donna, and she will inform me in a pleasant voice that so-and-so is calling. It’s kind of nice to hear another voice when I’m home alone. On the other hand, I can’t exactly engage her in conversation. I really do need to get out more … although I should probably have my cell phone with me. Anyone seen my charger? Or my cell phone?