Sometimes all it takes is a little retail therapy……
Most of us have that one “thing” that makes our heart pitter patter when we walk into a store and see it. We want it, need it, must have it. Sometimes we spend hours window shopping on ebay, just to lay our eyes on our beloved obsession. It may be diamonds, cars, furniture, clothing…..for me it’s dusty, old rotary phones.
If you were born beyond the 70’s you may not appreciate this trip down nostalgia lane. I’m afraid it may create great envy in you.
I remember holding that nice, heavy receiver in my tiny little hand in grade school. Today’s phones can’t compare to it! Ever try resting an iphone on your shoulder while making dinner and chatting with your pal?
My mother had it mastered. Not only could she do anything while talking on the phone, including shooting her children the evil eye at five minute intervals as we constantly interrupted, but also cooking, folding laundry, and whatever task could be reached within her cord’s length. Oh yes, the smart moms knew to buy the longest curly cord available to mankind, so as not to be stuck in the kitchen while discussing world peace on the phone. With the long cord you could cover the kitchen, half of the dining room, and possibly the powder room.
I longed to be as elegant as her as I watched her dial the phone with the eraser tip of a pencil, so as not to break a nail, her Salem cigarette hanging from her lips, which wore frosty pink.
That sound as the numbers went slowly swooshing by….The feeling of dialing those numbers can’t be recreated today. The number 1 was fun because it was quick….the 9 however – oh the nine was slow and sexy.
The rotary dial required a patience that would drive us insane today. Sad, right? We are used to quick and instant everything now!
My favorite was the one that sat in our dining room when I was in grade school. It was a hip robin’s egg blue, perched on an antique sewing machine, surrounded by a jungle of my mother’s meticulous spider plants hanging in macramed plant hangers. (but that’s another story)
I was sometimes allowed to call my young boyfriend after dinner. I’d shyly ask if I could call, and after an affirmed yes and a set time limit, my family would giggle as they left the table, leaving me alone to recite passionate thoughts to my 2nd grade love. Here’s where that slow dial made a difference. With each swoosh, I had to nervously anticipate the call. It wasn’t just ding, ding, ding and you’re done. It was swoosh – swooooosh – swooooooooosh….my heart racing as each tormenting number rolled by. He was so cute with those big blue eyes and blonde hair. Would I have to say hi to his mom or dad? He was expecting my call. I’m sure I told him in a note that my girlfriend gave him.
Finally he’d answer and we’d sit and listen to each other breathe for hours.
Yep, I can still feel it. Now I collect those precious phones that conjure up memories of my first love, my beautiful mother, and my childhood home. I’m on the search for robin’s egg blue. I could order one on ebay I’m sure. But it’s the thrill of the hunt. That moment I see it and my heart goes pitter patter.