Something I Often Miss

NOPE, this isn’t one of “those” posts – a recent break-up notwithstanding, this is not a missive about what I miss about someone, followed by the inevitable clarion call about how I’m going to do things different, will stop living in the past, etc.. There’s been more than enough of those often pathetic, yet mostly cathartic posts the lasts several years here.

No, I often miss this:


Yes, the good old-fashioned rotary phone, just like that sweet Bell System telephone you see above. And it’s not just because I’m older (ahem, a rocking 51-years old has to be the new…40-something?) but because I miss the tactile feel of those phones.

First, you pick up that handset and there’s some purpose there – it’s got a little bit of a solid heft to it – you pick that up from the cradle and you’re going to talk to someone, damn it! you’re doing something. Then, you start dialing, and this is where the fun really starts. I always preferred calling telephone numbers that had several 1’s, 2’s and 3’s in them – you took the tip of your finger and could dial really fast – you just pushed down and the return was short and fast: bam, bam, bam. When you were mad or in a hurry it just felt good to get that fingertip moving fast. Conversely, if you had a phone number with several higher numbers – say, 7, 8, 9 and a zero – your finger  had to take that full arc from the bottom, all the way over to the right. And then that slow return…you couldn’t really dial a number fast with zeros and high numbers.  I know, I know, you didn’t really have to wait for that full return – or did you? I always thought you should, to make sure the number was fully dialed.

Those old phones were solid. Before the old Bell Telephone got broken up and they got competition, those rotary phones just felt like they were quality pieces of equipment. They lasted for years! Usually the cord would be the thing that went – especially if they were long – it became a slightly mobile phone as those cords got longer and we used to go as far we could down the hall, with that cord stretched to the limit.

And compared to today – despite it being 2018 connections can still suck, calls get dropped – didn’t the signal seem stronger? I’m not a Luddite, I love technology, I embrace most advances, love my phone, apps, etc. but sometimes, there’s just things you miss.

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