Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Call Me

Theodore George "Ted" Paraskevakos is my hero. Don't know who he is? I didn't either until tonight, when I googled him, because I wanted to thank him....for inventing Caller ID.

You see, I hate talking on the phone, and I hate talking on the phone to people I don't want to talk to even more. So if you call me and I answer the phone, that means you really rate in my book. If I spend more than 10 minutes talking to you, consider yourself a true blue, cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die friend.

Maybe it's an age thing. Maybe it goes back to the whole Mean-Ass Woman thing I've got going on. (See that new hyphen there? Learned that from my writing class. Yep, mean-ass is a compound modifier. Who knew?) Whatever the case, I'm really not sure why, but talking on the phone ranks right up there with running around the neighborhood trying to find the damn dog.

So, tonight when I was cursing the Big Ballerina's teacher helping the Big Ballerina study for her latest geography test and warming up some old mac-n-cheese preparing a nutritious dinner for the Little Ballerina, the phone rings.

The ballerinas both freeze. They know the drill. Nobody move a muscle. We don't want anybody to know we're home. Slowly, I creep towards the phone. Getting close enough only to read the Caller ID display. I don't dare touch it. God no, I might accidentally answer the thing if I do that.

I check the display and it reads, Marketing. I laugh a maniacal laugh, and say to the ringing phone, "Not in a million years!"

This got me to thinking. All callers need these explicit ID's. Displaying just a phone number is worthless. Displaying the city and state along with the number is pretty useless as well. Sometimes even the name and number does me no good if I've never heard of you, and maybe you're calling to tell me I won a radio contest, but only if I pick up the phone, or they'll move to the next person on the list.

So while Caller ID is an invention of most awesomeness, I really need my displays to be a little more specific. For example, it should read something like this... 

  • PTA president who wants you to chair the Silent Auction committee
  • Room Mom who wants you to bring in $50 worth of art supplies AND do the craft with the kids
  • Friend who wants to tell you every last detail about her month long trip to Italy 
  • "Friend" who wants you to keep her kid after ballet on Friday while she and her DH go to a wine tasting festival...until Sunday
  • Sister who wants to ask you questions about your friends that she doesn't know that she stalks on Facebook 
  • Mother-In-Law ('nuf said)
  • Good Samaritan who wants to return the dog
  • BSD
  • School Nurse 
  • Mommy
  • Friend calling to tell you she got you a babysitter because she needs a movie fix (yes, she really is that awesome)
  • Friend calling to tell you to turn off your lights and look out the window because the crazy neighbors across the street have called the cops on each other, again
  • An editor calling to tell you she wants to publish your essay and "what else have you got?"
So, thank you, Ted. Caller ID has been a real lifesaver. I think you deserve your own national holiday, or at least a wax figure at Madame Tussauds. Now, do you think you can do anything with this list of suggestions? 


storyqueen said...

My family does the same "freeze and pretend you're not home" thing, too!

I kind of hate the phone.


Kathy Nemec-Lucas Photography said...

I love your blog. I really do.

insteadofthedishes said...

I hate the phone too. In fact, we don't even have a home phone. Love that cell phones have built in caller id. If a call comes in and my phone doesn't know who it is, I'm not answering! So, I guess we'll not be chatting via phone anytime soon, eh?

Kim said...

Shelley - Glad I'm not alone on this one. :)

Kathy - *smoooooch* You so made my day!

Fawn - step home phone. Love it! If you call me, and leave a message, I'll call you back....but then you won't answer will you?