Talking on the phone – now vs. when I was 15


In 1993, I had a best-friend.

I’d rush home from the bus stop (Yes, I rode the bus home in high school – that’s because we had busing back then and my parents worked.) and immediately run toward her.

I held her in my hand, sitting at the kitchen table and pure magic happened right there.

I’d punch in the phone number of my other best-friends, and from 3 until 4 p.m., I’d just sit there and talk, talk, talk.

I’d talk my life away – literally – seconds and minutes would tick by and I didn’t care. That was the one hour of ME time. My parents were still at work and my brother, still at school. I was the ONLY one home.

And then, oh, and then, when three-way calling was invented – Oh Lord – that was the best thing since Rave Hairspray at the time. No, of course, I didn’t have three-way calling (I didn’t even have a phone in my room, despite my constant begging and pleading) – but my friends did.

The kicker was … I had just seen my friends all day at high school, but there was something extraordinary about talking on the phone.

And I loved it.

I loved it so much that eventually even though I never had a phone in my room, my dad did buy a 10-foot phone cord that I stretched all the way into my room – choking anyone who walked in the hallway.

That three-way calling came in handy when my one friend called the boy I liked and had him on the other line, and I was there too – secretly listening in their conversation.

“So, would you go out with Melissa if she asked …?” “Do you LIKE anyone in your English class?” “What about a dance … would you dance with her IF she asked you?”

Girls these days have no flippin’ idea what it was like growing up in the 1990s. We didn’t have texting, or email for that matter. We were forced to talk to people either in person, on the phone or by way of a folded-up piece of paper that looked like a triangle.

And now, the world of communication is wide open.

Cell phones that text or even voice-text; email; and social media messages.

Gone are the days of me having to use a phone to actually converse with another human being.

Now that I am adult … when I can go into any room in my house and carry my phone with me to chat, I refuse to do it. The thrill of talking on the phone is gone. The excitement of “having the phone call be for ME” has vanished. I’d rather NOT have the phone call be for me.

Am I the only one who is openly admitting that “I hope you can’t hear me now?”


A day away from the Wi-Fi

My children served as guinea pigs to an in-house social experiment on their day off from school due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Today, they were rendered device-less and had no connection to the Wi-Fi.

No iPhones, no iPads. There were no video games. No one watched any “YouTube Sensations” trying to make millions by sharing their secrets to the world of Minecraft.

While they were puttering around the house (the twins) and sleeping (the soon-to-be 13-year-old), I swiped the devices from the kitchen countertop and nightstand. After turning them off, I hid them in the best place in the house. A place no pre-teen or school-aged child would even think to look for such a device – inside an empty tampon box within plain sight of everyone.

BOOM … that happened today; and it was amazing.

Rather than holding an electronic device in their hands, they used their hands and played actual board games – like Connect Four, SORRY and cards. They made up games using various balls they found in the house. They used Christmas gifts and made bracelets.

And the most amazing feat of all … they SURVIVED! They survived without being connected to the Internet. They managed to live under the same roof without going into fits of detox or rage. Sure, a decorative angle may have attempted to go on to her final resting place (I brought her back to life with superglue) after the boys were using my vaulted ceiling as a backboard, then, knocked her off a high shelf. But, it was a small sacrifice for a day spent sans electronics.

About the author:

Melissa Linebrink is a reporter/bi-monthly columnist for “The Mommy Wars” printed in The Chronicle-Telegram. She has been featured as a blogger on the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Conference site, She also writes, edits and manages her blog,