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Hi, Nancy! Hi, Helen!

Friday, 18 June 2010

“Mommy, why does that say phone?” asked Poppyseed.
“It’s one of those old-fashioned phones,” added Beernut.
“Oh, that’s a pay phone,” said the amused mother.
“A pay phone! You mean you have to pay to call someone?”

And for the next twenty minutes, I regaled them with stories about life before cell phones. The Princess phone of my teen years. The frustration of having to stay in one place to conduct a telephone conversation. Carrying change for a pay phone. Even what life was like for families, like their great-grandfather’s, who didn’t have a private telephone line in their apartment.

“What happened if your time was up and you didn’t have any more coins for the phone?” asked Poppyseed.
“The operator would disconnect the telephone call,” I said.

To which she proclaimed,

That is very rude.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Friday, 18 June 2010 9:12 am

    I remember when I turned 16 my folks bought me an ORANGE, “SlimLine” phone for my room. I was basically just an extension (I didn’t have my own line or number0 but it was a HUGE deal! I was only allowed to talk an hour a night and when my time was up, my Dad would stick his head in the door and say, “TIME.”
    Times have SURE changed! Cell phones used to be these futuristic, only-had-them-in-limos kind of things and now they’ve become a necessitiy! I wonder what kinds of phones will be available when Beernut and Poppyseed are ready to get theirs?!

    PS – LOVE the Princess Phone!!

  2. Kerstin permalink
    Friday, 18 June 2010 9:48 am

    I remember our family’s first “car phone”. It was the size of a brick and the plan was something hilarious like 60 minutes of airtime. Times sure have changed – I wonder what my daughter’s teenage communication device of choice will be. By the time she’s 15 (in 15 years!), it’ll probably a belly button dialler with in-retina caller ID.

    Thanks for the time warp – Princess phones rocked big time!

  3. Friday, 18 June 2010 10:57 am

    I remember going to the 1964 World’s Fair in NY and using their prototype “touch tone” pay phones. What excitement! How futuristic! I loved the musical tones and loved using the phones there.

    Now, a personal phone is a commonplace thing–it’s a rare bird who doesn’t have one– and society continues to look for new “bells and whistles” to invent and use.

    Shabbat shalom.

    • Saturday, 19 June 2010 8:51 pm

      The Worlds Fair!? We may have stood side-by-side at some of the attractions. That’s spooky. I was there so many times and even danced with a band, but that’s another story.

  4. Friday, 18 June 2010 2:04 pm

    lol very rude indeed! i remember trying to explain to kayli about non-digital cameras. too. funny! 🙂

  5. Saturday, 19 June 2010 8:52 pm

    Phone calls used to be so expensive. I’d think more than twice before dialing.

    We also had to plan better, since once out of the house we couldn’t be reached.

  6. Sunday, 20 June 2010 8:27 pm

    Next time try explaining TV that you had to watch WHEN it was ON and constantly available on the DVR. And not being able to “pause” live TV.

    Who knew we grew up in the Dark Ages? The Olden Days? The Ancient Times?

    AND we walked uphill to school, both ways.

    🙂

  7. Monday, 21 June 2010 6:53 am

    On September 11, 2001, all of the cell phone lines were jammed about fifteen minutes after the second crash. The house line wasn’t working either – too many calls in and out. The ONLY phones working were the pay phones on the street.

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