I’ve been spending a lot of time on the phone this week, mostly for business-related conversations in which I would like to appear poised and in control, a person to be reckoned with. However, my speaking voice is that of a 14-year-old girl (Is your mother home?) and I have the world’s worst timing. I talk at the wrong place, or stop talking at the wrong place, or ramble into a verbal ellipsis in which the question I was asked recedes into a gentle and faraway joke I can’t recall. Cue the nervous giggle.
Isn’t it possible, in this day and age, to do away with the phone conversation? Could I send an email, a letter, a smoke-ring missive? Could we talk face-to-face? Scrabble it out? Can I sign my answers from across the room, or fly a tiny airplane with a banner trailing behind: Dinner Tuesday, 7:00 Mimi’s. How about a text. A tweet. Graffiti on the wall. A crayoned Valentine cut from red construction paper with a glued-on doily and a sackful of candy hearts tied with a ribbon.
Anything. Anything but the phone.
Telephone. Friend or foe?