Thursday, February 4, 2010


Maybe it's a guy-thing, I don't know. Mrs. Porcupine gets concerned when her friends haven't called in a few days. If we didn't hear from her mother and sisters every day I don't know how she'd react. I don't know because it's never happened. That's just the way it is.

I have friends I haven't talked to in a year or more. Ok, so I'm bad. On the other hand, they haven't exactly been beating down my door either. The way I see it, if nothing has happened to change things, we still like each other and we're still friends. We'll catch up later. Maybe much later, but we'll get there. We'll pretty much pick up where we left off, too. I don't know. Maybe it's a guy-thing.

Or maybe it's just me. Here's the opening line from an article I came across: "Unless you're living a seriously alternative lifestyle, you've probably been communicating via text for a while now." Wow. All this time I thought I was just old-fashioned, reclusive, and crabby. "Alternative" sounds so much better. That's what I'm going with now. I'm not a misanthrope. I'm alternative, seriously alternative.

Really though, I've never sent or received a text message in my life. Probably because (brace yourself) I don't have a cell-phone or any other gadget to do it. Honestly, I don't even pick up my land-line too often. What? Just because you can push a few buttons I'm supposed to drop everything and come running? I don't think so. Or maybe I just don't feel like talking. I'll admit it: maybe I'm standing right there. Maybe I know who it is from the caller ID already. Maybe I just want to see what you want. Leave a message. If it's that important, I'll pick up or call back.


All right, I am a misanthrope. So? I reserve the right to be out. That's what it boils down to. Sorry, I can't take your call. I'm out. Maybe I'm physically out, maybe just mentally, but I'm out. When will I be back? Later. Right now, I'm out.

Not so long ago, this was the rule. No answering machines, no caller ID, no call waiting, and certainly no cell-phones: remember? Phones rang and were either answered or not. Or maybe the line was busy. Somehow we all managed. I may be in the minority, but I seem to be doing just fine still.

Mrs. Porcupine was with me on this for a long time. Then, when she was pregnant with our youngest, my mother-in-law slipped her a cell-phone "just for emergencies." She may as well have given her a vial of crack. Now she's hooked. Now she's one of them. Actually, I have wonderful in-laws, but when telephones become available as implants, I bet they'll be first in line.

I don't see any advantage to being instantly available. There's almost no reason for it. I admit, if a loved one were in hospital I might pick up a prepaid, just in case, but that's about all. What if I break down and need a tow? I'll manage. I managed before cell-phones; I'll manage now. It might be a pain, but it would be a pain anyway. I'll live. Really.

I imagine someday I might have to get one. Technology has a way of ooching into our lives, welcome or not. I'll deal with that later. Until then, I'm going to enjoy my gadget-free, seriously alternative life. Most times, when people call me from their cells, the news is either bad or trivial. Both can wait. Call me if you like, but be sure to leave a message.

I'm probably out.

Very Truly Yours,




Elaine Denning said...

I get you, I really do.


I received a call a few years back on my cell phone. I was out shopping and my stepdad had just had a heart attack.

Having one, for me, is worth all the other crap that having it brings : just to be able to get that very important call.

lime said...

i'm just giggling here.

Teri said...

Love it! I've told people my phones (land line and cell) are for MY convenience and no one elses. I am the one paying the bill... I make the rules. The only ones with my cell # is my family. The only one who ever calls it just to chat is Dad. Ya know Dads... ;-D

And caller ID is one of the best inventions out there! LOL

Linda said...

Well, I guess I'm alternative as well- no cell phones in this home, although my husband wants one, just for the games and pictures that my kids have shown him!

The kids gave us an answering machine a few years ago, and we mostly remember to check it. We also received hand-me-down phones with caller ID and I do love that. Certain (relatives') calls either get answered by my husband or get a callback from him later.

Michelle H. said...

I'm not a phone person either. I finally got a cell because of my work hours (riding the bus at midnight) in case anything should happen. Otherwise, I can do without them, even a landline. But I admit I have a "crack" problem when it comes to emailing. Have to keep in touch with people that way.

Suldog said...

Well, as you know, this is one of the reasons we get along so famously. You and I are both semi-Luddites. We're not full-fledged, obviously, since we're here in cyberspace, but...

I have never owned a cell. I expect I never will. I have never texted. I expect I never will. I don't even have an internet connection at home. That may change, someday, but for now I'm fine with my world as is. Being able to do a few things on the computer at work gives me a pleasant reason to GO to work. If I had a hook-up at home, that would be one less reason to enjoy my job :-)

Pamela said...

You are on a permanent vacation! Although, these days, people don't even do that on vacation.

Cricket said...

Elaine - I get you, too.

Teri - Welcome to Cricket and Porcupine.

Teri and Linda - Hooray for Caller ID!

Michelle - Yep. Me too. Email is so much less intrusive, though. I can send email at 2 am if I want. You can email back when you're good and ready. Email doesn't nag like a ringing telephone does.

Pamela - Strangely, one of the few times I'm grateful for my wife's cell is on vacation. Saves us having to get in touch with anyone who needs to know, not to mention the exorbitant charges to use hotel or vacation-rental phones, sometimes even just to order a pizza. Oy.

I still don't love it, but at least it balances out the nuisance factor somewhat. and, after all, it's hers. no one calls me on it. Yay.

Land of shimp said...

It's not just you, Cricket, but I am decidedly not a misanthrope. I frequently leave me cell phone at home, and don't actually bother to answer it when I'm out and about. The only reason I even have one is because my son is a type 1 diabetic and I do need to be reachable.

A lot of folks might like to gossip, talk about work, decorating, what-have-you, but I like to talk about subjects for the most part. Like you, I talk to my friends on a more occasional than regular basis, although not being fond of chit-chat is considered odd in a woman, they all put up with this trait in me. Hopefully I've got some redeeming characteristics.

Mostly, I'm just very comfortable being alone with my own thoughts. That or I'm a hermit in training ;-)

And I'm here to tell you something. I tagged you with a Kreativ Blogger Award, and if you're anything like Sol, I'm in deep trouble for doing so, but I decided to take the risk. Turns out there is a whole process with that, but please know I won't be hurt, offended, or feel slighted if you don't wish to do it.

I just was given one, and it gave me an opportunity to point other people to blogs I think are neat, which included.

Yes, you in all your curmudgeonly, misanthropic, but fun, glory.

Hilary said...

I've never had a cell phone either.. wouldn't have a clue how to text and am happy enough to let the machine get the call if the number is unfamiliar. I can reach or be reached by most people with whom I care to connect by email if it's deemed urgent enough. And like you said in one of your comment replies, it can be sent out at any hour and not wake someone up. I get it. :)

Cheryl Kohan said...

This is just so sensible. It's like you're living in the "good old days"!

I actually do have a cell phone but it's because I travel constantly and pay phones are extinct, so to speak :-) I agree with Hilary that emailing is the best.

Ananda girl said...

I have a small group of friends that I have known and kept for 40+ years! The secret? We can vanish out of each other's lives for decades... and we still pick up as if it was yesterday when we do connect. "Space" can be a good thing.

My favorite sister will not answer a phone. Her husband screens all calls... and fortunately, she will still talk to me. Ha.

Ananda girl said...

My comment verification word was "tubabales". I think that's another term for children... right?

Unknown said...

I'm so with you on this, but I admit to having a cell phone, for emergencies only, and that's the only thing for which I use it. And no, I've never used the text part!

Pauline said...

A seriously alternative porcupine - new and rare species are showing up all the time.

My grown children can text with the best of them. Me? I don't want to learn to type with my thumbs now that I've finally mastered the ten fingers method.