Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Post In Which I Delve Deeper into #75 of The 100 Things About Me

In a recent post, I stated "I am thankful for the conveniences of our times but I wish we lived simply like Half-Pint and Pa Ingalls." I realize building your own two room lean-to out of timber that you have harvested from the land which you farm in between shoeing your mules, smoking your pork after slaughtering said pig, making your own candles from said pig's fat, washing your dress (your one dress) on a rock in the river in which you bathe, all the while trying to serpentine through the moral turpitude that is Nellie Olsen is not a cake walk. We have it easy by that comparison.

But lately, many of the benefits of our time are truly overwhelming to me. 300+ television channels. The infinite possibilities of how I can order my coffee. Sudoku. And most recently, the ability to almost simultaneously read email, post on Facebook, listen to a podcast, check the weather in Soddy Daisy and constantly triangulate with satellites hovering miles above our planet is almost more than my brain can process. I got a Droid and my life will never be the same. I thought I multitasked before! Now I simultitask. You won't find that one in your dictionary. I checked my Free Dictionary app (on my Droid right now as I typed this) and it doesn't exist. Until now. I'll define it for you. Multitasking is to execute two or more processes concurrently. I know that concurrently means simultaneous. Simulitask just takes it to the next are reeaeaalllly completing many things at the same time, not just working on them at once. The closest Half-Pint got to simultitasking was making eyes at Almanzo when she should have been making sure Baby Carrie didn't fall down the well.

Anyway, back to me being overwhelmed. Out of prudence and shear limitation of cash inflow, upon obtaining our Droids (hubby got one too) we decided to pare down the amenities on our land line phone service. We don't need all those bells and whistles now that we have a communications Cadillac positioned on our hip. So I told the nice people of Verizon to give me the basic,local, no-frills service package. That equates to incoming calls that ring and the ability to dial out locally only. Okay. Fine with me. I can do so much more with my little rectangular psychic friend that I don't need their fancy service bundle.

Half-Pint and Pa didn't have a phone even though they were to have lived around the time Mr. Bell's tinny voice first traveled across space to Watson so I am still way ahead of them, limited land line abilities and all. But in giving up my land line extras, I actually stepped back in time. I didn't realize that along with cutting off my automated voicemail, my long distance carrier and call waiting, my caller_id habit was cutoff completely. I didn't know I had a caller_id habit until now. When my home phone rings now the little display says, "no data". I have no idea who is calling me! It is downright scary! Think about it. It could be anyone on the other end of the line! And now I just have to answer it without the foreknowledge of who it is or what they might want. It could be the school, a solicitor, the lottery commission, a friend, that person I don't want to talk to that I would normally let roll right into voicemail. In a world where everyone has telephonic clairvoyance, I am disabled. It's akin to losing one of your senses. Or worse, it's like living in the 70's all over again.

Now I know I am mixing my prime time TV references, but I think Andy Taylor actually had a more advanced phone system than I have in my home right now. When Andy picked up the phone and said, "Sarah, give me Aunt Bee", that was just caller_id in reverse. Everybody in Mayberry knew when their phone rang, it was Sarah calling to patch in somebody they knew to their line. Shoot, Sarah would probably have even screened your calls for you if you'd asked.

I just don't know how we did it before caller_id. I guess you just answered your phone and dealt with the consequences. But that's no way to live. So, let me amend my earlier statement to correctly reflect my thoughts on the matter: I am thankful for the conveniences of our times but wish we lived simply like Half-Pint and Pa Ingalls and I will be calling Verizon tomorrow to reinstate my caller_id.

1 comment:

  1. Simplify...I love what you had to say. We love that series. I just went two weeks without internet thanks to Verizon. My life was much simpler for a bit. I felt out of touch and had 300 emails when I got back online. The goal is to find that happy middle ground. Sometimes I find that place on Saturday.


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