One time a good friend of mine asked me if I had ever been raped by a telephone. This question, (which was answered with a no, in case you were also wondering), was sort of the death rattle of just one of many friendships that I pretty much lost, or left out to rot by the trash like some kid’s soggy teddy bear, because I will never, ever call anyone on the phone. Well, I will call someone on the phone if it’s for money (not sex money, although I do have a lovely speaking voice), or for pretty much any article in general. So basically, I’ll talk to you on the phone if you’re a stranger, but if we’re friends, you can just text me. Oddly, that’s NOT okay with a lot of people.
I remember one time in high school, I got suspended for smoking cigarettes behind the gymnasium and when my Dad found out he was so pissed and told me that because of it, I would no longer be getting the princess phone and private line that he had been planning on having hooked up in my bedroom. As he was laying all of this out for me, these heavy punishments, he had this face like I should be killing myself over it or something. I just sort of looked at him with a blank, semi-confused expression and was like, “big deal.” Flash forward to now when I could really give two shits about keeping up with all this iPhone crap because, what, I’m gonna really spend $300 to be able to text you without buttons? That’s the only difference I see. No buttons. Oh, and apps, but I already know where I’m going, I don’t like video games, and I looked up the weather before I left the house, so what the hell kind of apps do I need? The iPhone is like the 2010 + forevs version of the princess phone, and I still don’t give a shit.
If I had to think of “a root” for why I hate talking on the phone, I’d have to say that it probably has something to do with this one time (also in high school) a guy from Ireland tried to have phone sex with me. My friend Kila (who’s now a minister and works mostly with prostitutes) somehow met this guy who lived in Ireland and thought he would be perfect for me, although I was totally already a big homo at the age of 14. The house that I grew up in (it was in Riverside, California, in case you need, like, a mental picture or something) had two options for talking on the phone. I could either go into my parent’s master bedroom and shut the double doors and talk in there, or sit at the little island thing that we had in the kitchen and talk there. I’d usually go into my parent’s room, but me shutting those double doors always triggered my Dad’s inner Nancy Drew and he would constantly be coming in and out trying to catch me being “up to something.” I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to talk to this stranger from Ireland on the kitchen phone while my parents were 20 feet away watching The Simpsons, but that’s what happened. So I had just finished my dinner (probs Hamburger Helper) and I call this guy in Ireland and within five minutes I knew that he was a big perv because he started telling me that I have a sexy voice and asking me about sleeping with women and stuff. I could hear my Dad turn down the TV around the point where Ireland was coaxing me to go into detail about just WHY I found Sherilyn Fenn to be so attractive. He eventually got up and made me end the call when he heard me whispering. Whispering for sure means you’re up to something. The Ireland guy became obsessed with me and, because of the time difference, would call and call and call at like 5am. I remember laying in bed and hearing the answering machine clicking on and off and thinking, “this is so effed.”
Not liking to talk on the phone makes friendships and romantic relationships sort of hard. Friends are easier to get around I guess, but the person you’re sleeping with is for sure gonna want to “hear your sweet voice” from time to time. There are certain things you can tell people you’re intimate with and “I just can’t sit here anymore” isn’t one of them. I’ve tried to compromise by asking people if, instead of sitting in near silence on the phone for three hours (why do girlfriends love to do this? Seriously, why?) I could maybe just talk on and off for thirty minute increments throughout the day. But that’s not good enough either. A lot of my relationships start via text and end via text because of this. Maybe it’s the masochist (or obsessive re-reader) in me that just prefers to have someone’s true feelings, you know, in writing.