Posts Tagged ‘telephone’

Oh My, I’m Old!

May 19, 2010

After last night’s fiasco at the grocery store, my 16-year-old daughter was flabbergasted at the thought of not having a cell phone… like in the “olden days” when I was a teen. 

She asked incredulously, “What would you have done in this situation when you were 16???” 

Wise Old Mom (me) replied, “I would have used the store’s phone at customer service.”  (no big deal!)

16yo:  “What would you have done if you ran out of gas??????”  (wide eyes at the thought of the stranded situation)

WOM:  “Walked to a gas station and used the pay phone.”

16yo:  “What if there wasn’t a pay phone?”

WOM: “When I was a teen EVERY gas station had a pay phone, as well as all shopping malls and even some street corners.”

16yo:  “What if you didn’t have any money to use the pay phone?”

WOM: “I would call home collect.”

16yo:  “What is collect?”  (Oh, the generation gap was widening in my mind….)

WOM: “It’s when you call the operator and ask for a collect call to be placed.  They ask for your name and then call the number you gave.  When someone answered they would say, “Do you accept a collect call from Linda?”  And when they said yes, we would talk.”

16yo: “Are there still operators?”

WOM: “I think there are.”

Following that unimaginable conversation, I told her about my college dorm that had one pay phone for 36 girls to share.  She couldn’t believe it!  She asked who would answer it, what we did when we had to use it and it was busy, how our parents left messages, how much it cost to call from Canada to California, and was basically in a state of shock that I lived such an archaic life.

I didn’t feel like she was quite ready to handle stories of her dad’s teen years with party lines…. I’m saving that for another day.