by Julia Buckley
We have gone through a lot of telephones in my family. Home phones tend to be expensive these days, but they are cheaply made (cell phones are a different category, and they're for another blog post). I'm talking about the landline--the good old house phone which, in our case, has always been mounted on the wall.
But the last few phones we had were so light and insubstantial that if we tried to travel while talking--travel,say, across the room--the phone got yanked out of its moorings and clattered onto the floor. Our most recent phone fell and clattered so often that I indulged in some insane moments, yelling at it while it lay in all its cheapness on our hard wood floor.
These events gave rise to a wave of nostalgia, and I indulged in memories of my 1960s and 70s era rotary-dial phones: big, heavy, substantial and ever reliable, these phones were soon phased out for the newer models, because lighter is better, right?
I was not convinced. I've blogged before about planned obsolescence, and my phone experience put me on that soapbox once again.
This time, though, I followed my nostalgia to Ebay, where I found the lovely rotary model in the photo. I purchased it for ten dollars, and it now sits regally on my desk. It works, by the way, and every time I dial it I thrill to the sound of the dialing disk as it slides back into place.
What if I'm on the phone, but I want to wheel my chair over to the other desk--the one where I pay the bills? No problem. This jumbo telephone isn't going anywhere--and it has nice little rubber feet that help to hold it in place.
So I say hurrah for Ebay and for the chance to reclaim some of the value that has been lost in the age of expediency. I highly recommend my rotary dial, and if you call me, you can bet I'll answer you on that one, and not the little cheapie on the wall.