About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

My Pretty Pink Princess Phone

While more people are jettisoning their landlines and going cellular, I'm bucking the trend. As a freelance writer, I am responsible for finding my own clients. Like many people, I'm not entirely comfortable making cold calls, especially on our portable landline. There's an annoying time lapse between when one person stops speaking and the other person begins, as if the call is originating from Belarus rather than Bruno.

And cell phones alone won't do. The reception is too sketchy. Some women melt when their partners say, "Let's do something special tonight." My heart raced when my husband Mike said, "I hear they'll be building a cell phone tower near Duquette."

Until that glorious day, a landline is mandatory. For making calls, I wanted a phone that I would love. Something weighty, substantial, one with heft. One with a receiver I could cradle under my neck as I took notes.

Operators are standing by at 218 496 5634.
Enter the Crosley reproduction of the Princess phone. Granted, "heft" wasn't one of the phone's selling points when it was introduced in 1959. But compared to today's cell phones it's the rock of Gibraltar. The "dial" of numbers is a circle of touch-tone buttons. The phone announces calls with a brisk cheery ring rather than a computerized burble. You can't help but feel upbeat and rarin' to go. Maybe that's the idea behind the color pink and Mary Kay's success.

Besides being a necessity out here, a landline provides a feeling of community. We're all in the phone book, accessible to one other. There's also a sense of history, as my mother was a telephone operator in 1940s Detroit. It was a romantic time to be a single working woman, when phone numbers began with romantic name exchanges like Dunkirk and Plaza and Tuxedo. Mom's job made it possible for her parents to acquire a phone despite wartime shortages. Grandma and Grandpa kept the same number for over 50 years, a permanence you simply don't see anymore.

Since my family is tethered to the expense of a landline, our cell phones are inexpensive prepaid models. I use mine as an insurance policy if I need roadside assistance, if I'm running late to a client meeting, if my son Wyatt's team bus got a late start from McDonald's. Despite their dubious cachet, prepaid phones have their advantages. Wyatt was the first in his school to save up his allowance for a Nintendo DSi-XL. His friends' allowances go towards paying off cell phone and texting bills.

Retro phone reproductions like the Princess can be found at big-box retailers and specialty sellers. Even the iPhone has an app that simulates a rotary dial. There's one thing cell phones can't do, though. Allow the caller, in a moment of vexation, to punctuate the end of a dissatisfying call by slamming down the receiver. Not that I would, of course. But knowing that I can is delicious indeed.

I am available for copywriting consultations at 218-496-5634.
Operators are standing by. 

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