This is the sixteenth post in the A-Z challenge (or it will be when I write some more…)
Israeli’s score high on the phone attachment scale. When I was working as a baby sitter, the father of the family had two mobile phones (in addition to the land line). For me, that was a new world. To be precise, I thought he was obsessed. He would answer one, get a call on the other and put the first one on hold while promising the second one to call back, while running to the land line to answer that one too. He would come home and check the caller ID’s on the land line, and get back to all of them, whether they left a message or not. I was amazed at his determination to never, ever, miss any call. True, his being self employed made it necessary to develop good phone skills, but his phone skills were – in my, Dutch, calvinistic, “if-they-really-need-me-they-will-call-again-or leave-a-message”, critical mind – a little over the top. I was wrong. He was just a typical Israeli. I, on the other hand, saw a phone as a necessary evil that I had a phobic relationship with. I used it only if I absolutely had to, or, if the loneliness got too oppressing, to phone the very few people I felt absolutely comfortable with calling. Needless to mention that I only had a land line, which made me blissfully – for me – or infuriatingly – for him – unreachable much of the time. Given that I was roaming the streets with his children, it was understandable that he offered to give me a mobile phone. I don’t think he expected me to decline the offer, but I did. After all, I was perfectly well able to take care of myself and his children and did not wish to possess the dreaded thing that would make me reachable by everybody all the time.
The second time he did not ask, he just gave me one, gave me a crash course on how to use it, and commanded me to always answer it.
I now have a smart phone, that I still have a love-hate relationship with. I don’t mind to answer it, but I hate the – “sorry, I could not hear you, a truck came by/the radio is on in my bus/the person in the next seat is talking so loud”. Not to mention the – “sorry, we got cut off” or “I can hear only half of your sentences, you’re breaking up”. But I love my phone as a gadget. I love to get on the internet with it, write on it, make pictures with it. I just still don’t like to use it to make phone calls… And I still like to be, sometimes, somewhat unreachable.