One of the ways in which you start to realize you are entering the great and terrible box canyon that is middle age is that you start to find yourself rejecting new technologies. Or, at the very least, new designs on old technologies.
Take, for instance, the phone. In the Shooter House, we have one corded phone that's bolted to the wall in the kitchen, and three wireless handsets stationed throughout the house. The Shooter Wife also has a cell phone, and I can get calls on my work Crackberry.
Now, which phone gets used the most? Show of hands?
Correct. The corded one that's bolted to the wall.
Why? Because it's the only one that you know with absolute certainty, where it should be. (We have children.) It's also the only one that can give you any kind of satisfying sound when you slam it down to hang it up, which is how something like 9 out of 10 calls that we get wind up.
Here are the list of things that I want the phone to do: send and receive calls. Maybe, if I'm feeling really techie, I want it to have call waiting. I also want it to take messages if I don't pick it up.
I don't want it to take pictures that I will, in all likelihood, never look at again. I don't want it to have a peppy little ringtone that no one else has. (As a matter of fact, if it's a cell phone, I don't want it to have a ring tone at all. If I can't feel it vibrating, so be it.) I don't want it to double as my MP3 player, because then I've got way too much invested in a single piece of technology that, by dint of its size and portability, is in constant danger of being damaged and/or stolen. I don't want it to have bitchin' wallpaper, play freaky games, or be used as a substitute for cash at vending machines.
This makes me old, one suspects, as does the following attitude: I don't care.
If I could replace every phone in the house with corded ones, I would -- big, heavy, industrial age things that make you realize that talking to people is time spent not doing something useful, so you might as well be doing dumbbell curls. Besides, that big long cup of an earpiece... actually lets you hear the person who is calling you. What a concept!
They'd also allow me the single greatest joy left for anyone taking phone calls -- the ability to engage in primal scream-level rudeness by hanging up with extreme prejudice, without having the phone collapse into a tangled heap of dead circuits.
(Oh, and for everyone who loves the wireless because it lets you take a dump while on the phone? Get a corded phone in your bathroom, and try slamming it down there. The acoustics are outstanding. If I had this, I'd keep telemarketers on the phone long enough just to transfer to the other room, just so I could set up the moment. I'd be like a kid at Christmas. A mean kid. With a gun.)
Tune in next week for our loving paean to the joys of typing angrily on a manual typewriter. It's a blogpost and good exercise!