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Thank you Wikapedia

Thank you Wikapedia

When was the last time you got a busy signal calling someone on the phone?  I know people who’ve never heard one.   I recall one time my daughter handing me the phone asking, “What’s  wrong?”

“It’s just busy.”

Voice mail has made the busy signal obsolete.  Most business will give you the voice message “all of our lines are busy” rather than a busy signal and some cell phone providers do the same.My parents are hold-outs.  They refuse to put in call waiting.  If they are talking to someone they are busy and don’t want to be interrupted (especially not by solicitors).  They find it rude to put someone on hold to check another call.  I often get a busy signal.

I expect that at particular times.  My Mother makes weekly phone calls to some of her friends and relatives.   I know I won’t reach her during those times.  I also know that a birthday or special occasion (like Mother’s Day) will make it nearly impossible to get though.  “Just calling to say Happy Birthday.” takes most folks at least 20 minutes where my Mother is concerned.

Maybe that’s where I get it from.  As a teenager the phone was regularly attached to my ear.  I often ran the cord under the basement door and sat on the top step for some privacy.  Just the idea of a phone I could carry with me wherever I went made me giddy.  You’d think I would be at the top of the line for the next, newest, best.

You would  be wrong.  I went into Best Buy in the late 1990’s looking for a new “portable phone”.  Not a cell phone, but one that didn’t have a cord attached.  I said I was replacing an old phone and really needed to be able to take this one with me out into the garden.  The very young salesperson immediately assumed that the reason I needed to replace the phone was because I was gardening and not cleaning the phone properly.  He tried to up-sell me a wipe for the phone.  I said no, the phone I was replacing was a dial phone.  He looked at me like I’d stopped speaking English.

“Dial doesn’t make a phone.”

Senior Picture

Senior Picture

“No a phone with a dial.”

“You mean you press the buttons to dial?”

“No a rotary dial phone.”   I made the motion in the air.  Apparently I’d stepped out of a time machine.  His recovery?

“Yes, you really do need a new phone.”

I’ve learned to not jump up every time the phone rings.  I’ve learned to let it go to voice mail when I’m busy.  I’ve learned to send texts – although after an exchange of 3 or 4 I’m ready to just call you to complete the conversation.   I’ll even use the bluetooth built into the car.

None of that changes my capacity for a good conversation.   There are a few people, long distance relationships, that are bound to be a long call.  My Mother and I sometimes will get into a long conversation, especially if there is drama in the family.   Apparently I come by it honestly, but I can have that 5 hour conversation.  I don’t do it very often, but sometimes I just get to talking.

That’s why the blog is late.  I took a Monday morning phone call and , well, got to talking……….


There is something special about sharing a cup of coffee with a good friend.   I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to do this several times recently.  I got to meet a good friend in the coffee shop just to do some “catch up”.  We see each other plenty.  We talk on the phone regularly.  It just seems like one or the other of us is always distracted.  There isn’t enough time or there are people around who need our attention.  It was really nice to have a chance to feel like time was unlimited (which it wasn’t but it felt like it) and just talk.

I went to lunch with a friend that I see about once every 2-3 months.  We’re close, but not in daily contact.  She’s a friend on Facebook and I’ll occasionally shoot her a message or an email.  I think about her when I run into something I think she’d be interested in and she does the same for me.   She’s not a phone person so when we do talk on the phone it’s short and to the point.  After eating we sat and drank several small pots of coffee.  We got to talk about what’s going on in our lives, giving each other support and advice.  It felt really good to touch base.

This weekend I was running errands with Orion.  On the list was getting to the library before it closed.  Also on the list was dropping off some donations at ARC, right next to the movie theater/draft house.  It just seemed sensible to treat ourselves to dinner and a movie after a busy day of running around.  Unfortunately that left an empty hour in the schedule.

I gave Orion some options, including going to the coffee shop.  You have to understand that Orion doesn’t drink coffee.  When his sister was in high school he and his father used to sit in the coffee shop and wait for her during choir rehearsals.   Orion said it had been awhile since he’d been to the coffee shop, and I think he knew I needed a cup.  I did make him drink a steamed milk, and he almost liked it once I took of the cover which was making him spill.  I sat and read my library book and he eavesdropped on all the other conversations around us.  It may not have been the same kind of bonding as with my friends, but it was still a pleasant and cozy hour together with no pressure.

Of course there are also autumn days when the light is soft and there is a chill in the air when making a cup of coffee for just me is nice too.

When was the last time you got to sit with a friend and have a leisurely cup (or two, or a pot) of coffee?

COFFEE IN A CARDBOARD CUP From the musical 70, GIRLS, 70

The trouble with the world today, it seems to me,
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
The trouble with the affluent society
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
No one’s ever casual and nonchalant,
No one waits a minute in a restaurant,
No one wants a waitress passing pleasantries
Like “How’re you, Miss?”
“How’re you, Sir?”
“May I take your order please?”
The trouble with the world today is plain to see,
Is everything is hurry up.
It’s rush it through, and don’t be slow,
And BLT on rye to go,
With coffee (I think she said)
Coffee (I know she said)
Coffee in a cardboard cup.

The trouble with the helter-skelter life we lead
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
The trouble, the psychologists have all agreed,
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
Tell me, what could possibly be drearier
Than seafood from the Belnord cafeteria?
Seems to me a gentleman would much prefer
“How’ve you been?”
“Would you like the special, sir?”
The trouble with the world today is plain to see,
Is everything is hurry up.
There’s ready-wear, and instant tea,
And minute rice, and my oh me,
There’s coffee (I think she said)
Coffee (I know she said)
Coffee in a cardboard cup.

The trouble with the world today, beyond a doubt,
Is coffee in a cardboard cup.
The trouble is the way we like to take things out,
Like coffee in a cardboard cup.
No one knows the meaning of utopia
Is dining at the corner cornucopia,
Seems to me we wouldn’t be such nervous wrecks
With “Hello, there!”
“Be right back!”
“Would you care for separate checks?”
The trouble with the world today is plain to see,
Is everything is hurry up.
It’s all become looney tunes
With sugar packs and plastic spoons
And coffee (I think she said)
Coffee (I know she said)
Coffee (I’m sure she said)
Coffee (She must have said)
Coffee in a cardboard cup.

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