The phone

The phone

I still have a landline. My family isn’t happy about it; Husband #1 certainly isn’t thrilled about paying monthly for it, but I insist. If someone breaks into my house in the middle of the night, I can pick up the phone and quietly dial 911. If the power goes out and every cell phone battery is dead and someone breaks into my house in the middle of the night, I can pick up the phone and quietly dial 911.

This is why I have a landline. There is something permanent about it, a sense of security. I have no idea why I feel this way.

If any of you recall (or care, for that matter), I have always been resistant to the whole smartphone thing. I cherished my Grandma Flippy flip phone until she no longer could keep up with the rest of the world. My dad was always keeping up with “phone technology” because he was an obstetrician and his patients and his office needed to be able to reach him no matter where he was (though, fun fact, he never wanted a smartphone, and he too cherished his flip phone). I still remember when he got a “car phone.” It was the most exciting thing. You could make a phone call from your car! While you were driving!

I also remember when we had left the car parked in front of a restaurant in the city, and when we got back to the car, someone had sliced the whole phone contraption off and stolen it. To this day, I cannot figure out the logic of that theft. There was no way the phone could have worked the way they stole it. Did they sell it for parts? No clue.

In any event, a few weeks ago, I tried to make a phone call from my landline, and it didn’t work. We were still getting calls, so I decided it was one of those things that if I ignored it, it would fix itself. Does that ever work? In this case, it did not.

Yes, I am making a relatively short story long. Have you ever had to call Verizon?  If you stay on hold long enough, they give you an option to make an appointment for someone to call you back. They also gave me a list of activities to try and fix the situation on my own. Good times.

Fast-forward to Christopher the Verizon technician coming to the house to try to find out why my beloved landline was not able to make outgoing phone calls. He was not happy with me because, ironically, I couldn’t hear the phone ringing because I had turned the ringer off, and he had to bang on my front door because I couldn’t hear the doorbell because it is hooked up to my phone and, yes, the ringer was off.

In any event, the end of the story is that the landline in my bedroom has very bad wiring and is ruining it for the other phones in the house. So we had to unplug that line because it wasn’t worth it for the hours of rewiring and the money, and so on and so on and what have you.

The thing is, the phone I have been using in my bedroom is the phone I used through high school and college. I am surprised that my ear hasn’t made a permanent indent in the receiver. I have spent  hours and hours on that phone. And now, it is over.

On Sunday at around 5 in the afternoon on erev Yom Kippur, I accidentally helped Strudel lock herself in her bedroom. Her amazing fine motor skills allowed her to lock the door from the inside, and none of the adults could figure out how to use that skinny key thing. So I went to my landline, to quietly call 911, to admit my failure as a Babka and I totally forgot that the phone was no longer hooked up. SEE!!! THAT IS WHY YOU NEED A LANDLINE!!!!!

I ended up using Husband #1’s cell phone. When the policeman showed up and also couldn’t figure out how to use that skinny key thing, we didn’t feel as bad. He ended up taking apart the doorknob and finally freed Strudel. Many tears were shed, and I was afraid that I was going to have to sleep in the backyard.

Poor Strudel started saying, “Man open my door. Strudel sad, but now Strudel happy.”  All’s well that ends well….

Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck does have a brand new pastry but probably will not be including her in the column. So much for middle child syndrome….

read more: