04 Apr
The Phone! The Phone Is Ringing!

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I hate talking on the phone. It’s awkward and old-fashioned and boring. Even when I order pizza, I use an online form.

But the other day, I got a call from a college friend who I haven’t seen in 10-ish years. She saw me on Facebook and wanted to catch up. I’d like to find out how she’s doing, but I do NOT want to return her phone call.

Would it be rude to email her on Facebook instead, admitting that I’m better at that mode of conversation? Or do I have to suck it up and talk on the phone like a grown-up (albeit one from the 20th century).


Phone Phobic Pfriend

Dear Phone Phobic,

OMG, I’m the exact same way with the phone hating! We’re obviously destined to be best friends! Call me!


In this day and age, where there are so many methods of communication available to us, there is simply no reason to settle for the one that makes you feel uncomfortable. So if you hate the phone, and we’re talking about your non-working life, liberate yourself from feeling that you have to use it.

Simply Facebook your friend back and let her know that you’d love to catch up, by Facebook, email, or carrier pigeon. If you’re up to it, throw in Skype for good measure. I’d like to add telepathy to the mix, but some people get upset by that. I know because I can read their minds.

I’ve even heard that some people even meet in person to catch up with each other, but that sounds like crazy talk to me.

But beware! Once you’ve dodged the telephonic bullet, you may still be in danger of email errors or Facebook faux pas. Fortunately, we will be here every step along the way to guide you through these minefields.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH


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19 Responses to “The Phone! The Phone Is Ringing!”


Comment by shea.

I’m almost ashamed to admit that I’m now singing the damn Wonder Pets theme song. Thanks a lot.

melanie Reply:

oh thank Christ I’m not the only one. and yeah, thanks a lot for that.


Comment by Sally.

What is it with all these phone haters?! It seems that everyone under 30 avoids the phone (aka personal contact) like it’s the plague! Personally, I’d rather hear a voice with the inflections that are absent in text messages and e-mail. There are far fewer misunderstandings that way.

Marinka, TMH Reply:

I am a rabid phone hater and I’m over 30! Over 40, even!

And I don’t miss the voice inflection. Or the shrillness, for that matter.

I prefer email because it allows for reflection.


Comment by Desperate Dietwives.

Wow, do you mean to say I’m not the only phone-phobic in the World? This is great news!!! Why don’t we start our own group on FaceBook? 😀

Marinka, TMH Reply:

Yes! There are at least three of us!


Comment by Jen.

I’m sooooooo glad to hear there are others in the world who think more electronically than telephonically. I cringe at the thought of getting on the phone with someone, other than my mother. I don’t have much time in my day so, if I can whip off an email at 12:00am to someone or read one they sent me while waiting in the drive-thru line, I can be an awesome friend. As a matter of fact, one of my best friends is someone I met on a board and have only emailed/pen-paled with for 10 years.

Marinka, TMH Reply:

The convenience is another great point. Plus, how often do moms get interrupted on the phone?


Comment by By Word of Mouth.

The phone, the phone is ringing, that is my ringtone!!!
Its long, I cannot mistake it for anything else, it gets my attention every time … and it also drives my 13yr old bat shit crazy – oh well 🙂


Comment by StephanieG.

I’m with Sally. I have an odd sense of humor that sometimes causes an electronic misunderstanding. I try to crack some stupid joke, and my friend thinks I’m trying to pick a fight. (If you are a frequent flyer with TMH, I don’t have to tell you that, because I often comment and sound like a total beyotch unless you “get” me.)

I have caught up with several old friends through Facebook, and I always feel a little empty inside, no matter how long our conversation has been.

Some of us are just old fashioned. My goodness, I’m all of 43! Maybe your friend just got old before her time.

If you are going to reconnect and maintain this relationship, either she’s going to have to go digital, which may leave her wanting for more, or you’re going to have to suck it up and give her a call, which may leave you feeling old and crusty.

We didn’t become friends through text and facebook. We became friends because we saw our friends faces and heard their laughter and picked up on the inflection in their voices.

My advice my be geriatric, but I would say to treat yourself to a nice stiff drink, push that redial button on your phone, and enjoy a real talk with an old friend. (If you don’t know how to redial, just ask an older coworker to show you how).

As with many recconnection, a simple phone call will tell you whether this is a relationship that will continue, or a simple check-in after a few years apart. If you want to continue to communicate, then you can go digital.

I hope you do reconnect with your friend, in whatever medium….


Comment by Lynn MacDonald (All Fooked Up).

the thing is, you can’t really catch up any other way that on the phone…you can try by email but it’s a pain in the ass.

you young people don’t know how to use phones at all…my kids are useless

in more ways that just the phone stuff though


Comment by dusty earth mother.

I’m with Lynn on this one, I think you gotta bite the bullet and make the phone call. Start with “I hate the phone so I must really like you”, which will hopefully limit the time and open the door to more online possibilities.

Oh, and I’m going insane with The Wonder Pets in my head, too. Thanks. Thanks a lot.


Comment by N and Em's mom.

As a facebook slut with 74 friends, my advice is to avoid calling her at all costs. Friending her on Facebook should be sufficient. You’ll know if she has kids, what her favorites are, and you’ll get to look at her friends list to see if she is still in contact with her hot college boyfriend or the creepy guy down the hall. Who wants to know more than that. And whatever you do, do not agree to meet in public. Some people get really bent out of shape when you text constantly. Sheesh- people are sooooo needy. Gotta go. I need to hit ‘like’ on a comment made by my 3rd grade teacher’s, neighbor’s second cousin.


Comment by HellTygr.

I keep in contact with most of my friends via email or FB inbox… but it’s because I’m chattiest at 2AM. My brain actually functions better at the things I “wanted to remember to tell you but forgot” at that hour, plus, I’m usually wittier. Or maybe that’s the insomnia talking.

But truth be told, I’m old fashioned, I miss being 15 and spending up to 3 hours in a single shot on the phone with my friends. Every night. EVERY night. Sigh. And my parents wondered why I never got homework done….


Comment by Elle.

I absolutely hate using the phone, and I hate even worse when people call “just to talk” and then don’t have anything to say. Why would you call me if you don’t have anything to say? It’s wasting our time. I even decide where I’ll order takeout from based on if they have online ordering or not.

Texting or emailing is so much easier. If I see something that reminds me of a friend, I can quickly tell her. If I just want to know how someone is, but don’t have anything to tell them, I can simply ask them and leave it at that. There’s no pressure to say more than you have to. No pressure to make sure your voice sounds alright instead of horribly awful like it sometimes does. No pressure to commit to doing something that you don’t want to (it’s much easier to decline an invitation in writing). Plus there’s no “Huh? What did you say?” Having to repeat myself kills me. If you didn’t want to listen to what I have to say, why did you call in the first place?

That said, I also REALLY hate the “text lingo” that stupid teenagers are using. They really don’t have an extra half of a second to type “you” instead of “u?” What is their problem?


Comment by mixpisha.

I feel the same way about talking on the phone (HATE it), but I agree that it’s really hard to actually “connect” via email. There’s no back-and-forth in the conversation, which means it’s not so much a conversation as it is taking turns to talk about yourself. Which is fine, but not exactly relationship-building.

I do feel better about my dislike of phone conversations after hearing a radio piece on how cell phones have a time lag that makes the pace of conversation very uncomfortable (land lines don’t suffer from the same issue). I thought the stuttering, unintentional interruptions and awkward pauses were just me. I’ve often thought, “I used to know how to talk on the phone…why is it so hard for me to do now?” It’s not ME! It’s the phone!


Comment by Robin K.

Never hesitate to make the call, however, these days? I prefer following people to liking them (being all trendy). Or maybe I should say I like people I follow? No, I only follow people that I also like. Ummmm

Seriously, I am awesome on the phone.

Or maybe we should all take some time and hand-write a caring note.


Robin K Reply:

Perhaps you should make the call.


Comment by Poker Chick.

Is it sad that I saw the title of your post and thought you were going to write about the Wonder Pets? Hilarious though, as always.

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