‘Saying goodbye to old habits and the simpler things in life’

Dec 18, 2021
The old landline telephone didn't make it to Mary's new digs. Source: Getty Images

Life isn’t so simple anymore. Everything is moving at such an escalated pace. Trying to navigate my Tesla demands a PhD. Fumbling with my remote control always includes a tech-supported phone call. Sometimes I really yearn for the past.

I had to make some tough decisions when we unloaded our condo in Los Angeles, California to move to Florida. Lots of items had to be thrown away. Two decisions were difficult: forfeiting my landline, and tossing out my Rolodex. Reluctantly, I got rid of both.

The landline got expensive. It seemed like I was paying upwards of $100 a month to deal with robo calls, outages, excessive taxes and more. I put up with it for years, but now it’s gone, I do miss it from time to time.

The reception was so much better. In the condo, I could rarely make a phone call without problems. Sometimes there was static. Often, the calls would drop off. On the rare occasions when I was able to speak to someone from my mobile phone, both phones were cascading, trying to dominate one another. It doesn’t make for good communication.

I am now tethered to my mobile phone like everyone else, but I also use it voraciously for other things, like photo editing, making all types of comedic avatars, checking the weather in Antartica and searching online for people I’ve just met. It’s an expensive habit, but one that I greatly enjoy.

As for the Rolodex? I had a funeral for it a couple months ago when we moved. There it was, with all its history. While packing, I nostalgically perused all of those phone numbers that were so important at the time. I found doctors who had died, and restaurants that had gone out of business. I even discovered a few lover’s phone numbers from my wild single days.

Now, most of my phone numbers are stored on my iPhone, and if I don’t know a number, I can easily look it up online. It saves a lot of paper, and I have more space on my desk, for my laptop, lip gloss, a dying plant, and Kleenex tissues.

I miss these old items. They were like friends from grammar school. They’d seen you through thick and thin, and you knew you could rely on them when times were tough.

Yet I still have one secret item, my AOL email address from the 1800s. AOL and I have been good friends for many years, and although I feel ancient because most of my friends are now on Gmail, my creative projects are all tied to AOL. I’m just too lazy to make the change.

Will my email address may go the way of the Rolodex and the landline? I’m not quite sure. But I never say never anymore. The future keeps on coming and sometimes we just have to roll with it.

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