Friday, March 16, 2012


When I was a kid, if I wanted privacy on the phone, I had a couple of choices: First, I could go to one of the three spots in the house that had a phone jack and hope that no one else was around. My parents' room was a pretty save bet, but the level of intimacy engendered by sitting on your mom and dad's bed was not always the right choice. I could hike downstairs and lounge about in the overstuffed chair that sat just below the phone down there. That one had the added benefit of having a cord that would allow a certain amount of pacing about if the situation warranted it. Finally, there was the kitchen phone. It was in the middle of the busiest thoroughfare of the the entire house, and so the chances of having a moment alone on this line were extremely limited. Unless you availed yourself of the extra long cord, the one that allowed my mother to prepare dinner and bake cookies and maintain the cooking facilities while carrying on a lengthy conversation. If you opened the door to the garage, you could stretch that cord out into the chill and sit on the concrete steps that separated the motor works from the scullery with the door closed, save for the crack that allowed the cord to snake through.
Now, if my son wants some privacy, he walks away with the phone. The one without the cord. He doesn't fret about anything but the strength of the signal. As long as he keeps moving, there's really no way to keep up with what he's going on about. And that's just the home phone. With a cell phone and texting, he could be conducting all sorts of illicit behavior on his way to and from school. Since he's pretty relaxed about sharing the contents of his interpersonal conversations, I'm not worried. Not until he starts hanging out in the garage.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You said "jack."