Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mom On Line

We now share a "party line" with Mom. Those of you over 60 know what I'm talking about.

When Mom moved in nine years ago, we had two phone lines. We had a dial-up modem, so "Mom's line" was also the modem line. She never understood why "her" phone also rang on the two-line phone in our kitchen, while "our" phone never rang on the one-line phone in her room. She always assumed that all calls were for us, even when the incoming call was on her line. She'd say to her friends, "I always let THEM answer the phone."

Last summer we changed internet service providers. We no longer needed that second line, although we kept it for awhile out of inertia. When our answer machine recently died, I decided to get "Home Voice Mail" from Verizon. However, Home Voice Mail was not available if you had two phone lines. Something about "rollover" and "hunting." So we got rid of the second line.

Mom was pretty mad at first. Her line was dead for four or five days until a helpful neighbor rewired her phone jack, putting her on our line. "My phone hasn't rung for two weeks, " she complained, peevishly. Now the woman who never used to answer the phone answers it constantly. "What? Who do you want? Who? Sorry, you must have the wrong number." Mom gets just one regular phone call a week, from her old neighbor, Barbara, who calls on Tuesday afternoons. I've told Mom to just let the phone ring, unless she was expecting a call, so that Home Voice Mail would record the message if I could not answer the phone. Such knowledge is too wonderful for her.

During the days of Arlo, our beagle, we had an expression: "You might as well talk to the beagle." When it comes to Mom and these new-fangled telephone services, you might as well.


CJM-R said...

Is Arlo named after Arlo Guthrie?
Just curious. That is a funny expression about the Beagle.

Hope you get to answer your phone sometime soon.

forsythia said...

Yes, Arlo was named after Arlo Guthrie. At first we called him Rollo, but then my husband decided he'd rather not call him Rollo, because he had an uncle named Rollo. So we settled on Arlo. Arlo was a stray, who was about 6 months old the summer he came to live with us. We counted backwards from Guthrie's birthday on July 10 to fix the date for Arlo's birthday, Dec 10, 1995.

Tory said...

Too funny! I wonder you and your hubby will ever recieve a phone call again?