Feeling old and dated, like the music I listen to. Some guy is talking to the telephone operator on a pay phone where a call only cost a dime. Talk about your dinosaurs. I'm older than that, remembering the big black telephone that sat on a table in the hallway when I was a child. It was heavy too; might have been used as a weapon, and though I can't remember it ever happening, if it fell off the table and landed on your foot, I'm sure bones would've been broken. We didn't have an area code, and dialing 0 or 411 would get you an actual person on the other end of the line, always a woman, always doing her best to help. Today's phones will show you the time, but we had a number to call: At the tone the time will be... When I was a teenager, I got an extension phone in my bedroom. The excitement was real, a pink princess phone with a long cord, light enough to hold in your hands and move around the room. Oh, the joy of hours spent talking to my best friend. When my parents would ask how much can you say to each other when you just spent the entire day together, I'd roll my eyes and keep talking. People use phones today for just about everything— except talking to each other. The idea of pay phones in public places is beyond their imagining; who needs that when everyone has a phone in their pocket? I've tried to move along with the times; I even have a smartphone, that I don't use for half of what it's capable of. It's smarter than I am and at times I think it mocks me. Another song with a prominent pay phone is playing on the radio; the operator wants 40¢ more for the next three minutes... You don't hear many songs today that tell a story like that. I miss the young woman I was when pay phones were still a thing.
~Elise Skidmore ©2021