I really miss the days when the phone rang and you had no idea who it was. It was a guessing game. Almost like a game show, you would pick up the phone, and have no clue whose voice would be on the other end. You could get your grandma asking to pick you up to go shopping (score!) or it could be your creepy Uncle Steve (yikes!) or it could be a telemarketer (cue the sad sound effects music: wah-wah!).
I didn’t live during many of those days, but as a child, I was trained to answer the phone, “Huxtable Residence,” in a happy, upbeat tone. You never answered the phone, “Hello.” Were you raised in a barn? No, then you let the caller know who they had called, just in case it was a wrong number. And it shows you have manners or a little bit of class. You don’t have class? Then answer it however you want! But not in my house and certainly not in my grandmother’s house.
She was a stickler for two things: etiquette and correct grammar. You would never, ever say, “This is him/her,” in front of my grandmother. Good grief. She would nag you that the correct way to say it is “This is he/she,” until it melted into your brain. Although she went to be with the Lord last November, when I hear someone say it incorrectly, I hear her say it correctly, almost as if she is telling me to correct it. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I genuinely enjoy my friends and family. I like having them around. I don’t think they would enjoy my company as much if I nagged them to death.
The days of answering a phone, “Huxtable Residence,” have all but vanished. Most people do not have home phones, and those who do have caller ID. Numbers always show up on your cell phone, so you know that it’s not your grandmother wanting to spoil you or your creepy Uncle calling. It’s an annoying acquaintance who just uses you because you’re a good listener and considers themselves to be your friend even though they are not. There’s no mystery or anticipation. Just the knowledge that you will be on the phone for at least thirty minutes half listening to your acquaintance complain about being single before you can think of a way to avoid further disaster.