Saturday, February 13, 2010

My love/hate relationship with the phone

When I was growing up and my sisters were all teenagers, my dad would time their phone calls. Especially my oldest sister, K. There was a 3-minute limit, timed using a small egg timer in the shape of an hourglass. K. would pace back and forth around the phone and talk-talk-talk-talk-talk. I don't ever recall my other sisters talking as much as K. did on that phone.By the time I was in high school, all my sisters were out of the house and the phone restrictions relaxed. I guess there were times that I spent hours on the phone, but nothing memorable comes to mind.

I moved out on my own when I was 24. Of course, that means you have your own phone. I just don't remember much about it. I know that when I moved to Northern California, I must have spent time on the phone with my mom, but really the only thing that comes to mind is that I would spend hours on the phone with my sister K and we would "shop" by watching QVC together. Weird, huh? In the meantime, my job was in "client services", which is a fancier way of saying customer service. It was before the days of email, so much of time every day was spent on the phone. I even had a headset so that I didn't have to cradle the handset against my shoulder and get a daily neck ache. I was on the phone for hours every day with clients, sales reps, vendors ... the list and the calls were never ending. I think that was the beginning of my dislike of the phone.

Nowadays, I rarely talk on the phone. I'd much rather "talk" via email. I can gather my thoughts, I can do it on my time and if my mind wanders ... which it does, frequently, when I'm on the phone ... no one knows. I have sort of ADD thing going on when I'm on the phone. I instantly multi-task. It's horrid, I know, and so unfair to the person on the other end of the call, but I can't seem to help it. Thus, I'd rather email. Sometimes I do try and call people, usually when I'm in the car (no worries, I use hands-free in the car), but I think I do that so that I have a definite ending to the call. When I get to my destination, it's over. But face it, I rarely call.

This is my communication hell, I think. I don't communicate well. I overshare on certain issues, but I rarely share on what goes on in my head and heart. Maybe I don't like to think about what goes on in my head too much. Hmmm ... I guess my therapist knows that, too. She pushes to get me to communicate better, but it's an uphill battle. Well, that's what I pay her for. Sometimes I think I'm really fucked up, but then I just tuck that thought away and go on. I don't like to do the introspection thing too much. Guess I'm afraid of what I'll find.

Hmmm ... from phone calls to therapy. Interesting segue.

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