lifestyle

BEC: Why I hate talking on the phone.

I’m scared of answering the phone.

by REBECCA SPARROW

It was a punishment straight out of The Brady Bunch.

When I was fifteen, I ran up such a toilet-roll long phone bill (including an eye-wateringly long call to a cousin in the UK) that my parents punished me by handing me a egg-timer.  Oh I could keep talking on the phone alright, but I was limited to 2 minutes.

To say I loved talking on the phone back then is an understatement.

Our landline was an extension of who I was. An accessory to my life as important as my New Kids On The Block t-shirt and my banana hairclip. I came home from school, ate a chocolate Yogo while I watched The Henderson Kids and then rang my best friend Lara or Brooke or Jo.

That’s what we did.  We talked on the phone for hoooooooours. And what did we discuss? God knows. Mostly we brainstormed ways to make different year 12 boys fall madly in love with us. *ahem*

But somewhere between 1987 and 2012, something happened.  I stopped wearing stonewash denim. And I now inwardly groan and think “Now what?” when my phone rings.

Yep. Answering the phone is like a chore.

I’m not entirely sure why this is but I have become anti-phone in a big way.

And I know I’m not alone. Just this week Miranda Kerr admitted in an interview that she hates taking phone calls … even from Orlando Bloom. When asked how she and the British actor manage to keep their relationship going despite their global schedules, Kerr said:

“Lots of Skype. Especially now that we have our son. I’m not much of a talking on the phone person. I prefer to text. It’s always very hard to get me on the phone.”

Good to know I have something in common with Miranda Kerr (other than the fact she weighs the same as my left thigh).

Now I can’t speak for Kerr. Clearly.

Rebecca Sparrow, reformed phone call addict.

But the easy assumption to make is that my phone-avoidance is 100% because I have kids.  Little kids are like phone kryptonite. The moment they see you talking, they’ve suddenly decided they need to, oh, I don’t know, say drop their daks and do an enormous POO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CARPET.  Or hurl themselves off the couch.

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And then there’s my 4 year old’s preferred method of distraction … she dances around me singing La La La La really, really, loudly. I think it’s a hostage torture technique she picked up from Homeland.

And of course, kids do play a part.

It is hard to have a conversation longer than 5 minutes. Plus there’s the fact that talking all day long to small children – Don’t touch that. I don’t know how many leaves are on trees.  Yes, Teo is wearing a nice shirt on Play School today.  No I don’t think Chewie wants you to teach him how to skip— means that by the end of the day the last thing I want to do is talk. Well, more specifically, hear my own voice.

All I want to do is sit on the couch, eat dinner and be fed martinis through an IV drip.

So there’s that.

…Guilty as charged.

But the truth is I was a phone-hermit long before Ava came along.

Maybe it’s that I always feel like I have such a long to-do list that I don’t have the luxury to spend 45 minutes chatting to girlfriends anymore? (And of course, the longer you avoid talking to an old friend, the longer the eventual catch-up phone call has to be … ).

With email, I can take my time.  I can write long, chatty emails at 5am or 10pm when I have time to fill my friends in on what’s happening in my life.  To enquire properly – sincerely – about where they’re at.

And if I drill down further, there’s the fact that on the phone I find myself agreeing to things I often don’t want to agree to. I throw ‘Yes!’ around like it’s confetti and I’m at a wedding because I hate to disppoint people. Let’s call a spade a spade: I’m shit at saying no.  Email gives me the chance to catch my breath, think about my response, decline offers and invitations and requests LIKE A GROWN UP instead of agreeing to things I later have to Houdini my way out of.

So that’s me.  I’m either an in-person girl. Or an emailer.  But the phone?  Don’t call us, we’ll call you. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ll send you an email.

What’s your relationship like with the phone?  Do you love chatting on the phone? Or do you avoid it at all costs? 

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