One of the biggest ongoing fights in my house growing up was the Fight Over The Phone Curfew. My father decided that I needed to be off the phone by 10PM every night- something about needing my sleep, studying, etc. I had a phone in my room, and my room was on the third floor while my parents’ room was on the second floor. In theory, I had the perfect set up. Remember that I operate on Julia’s Math, which states that my life will not go according to plan, and theories are worthless.
Growing up, my father started companies the way most people collect baseball cards. As a result, we often had random office supplies boxed up in the basement. I use the word supplies rather loosely, as things like phone systems and credit card processing units could be found next to post it notes and spare pencils. As I mentioned, I lived on the third floor. Despite her best efforts, my mother could not scream loudly enough that dinner was ready for me to hear her two stories below in the kitchen . Daddy raided the trusty ‘office supplies’, and installed a commercial phone system, complete with paging, an intercom, and musical hold. (Wireless carriers now offer a ‘ring back feature ‘, which allows callers to hear music instead of the phone ringing. While this is a cool, hip thing now, in the mid 1990s it was The Most Embarrassing Ever.) The phone system had a red light that was illuminated when the line was in use, so my parents could tell when I was on the phone. I was not going to let a red light stop me from
talking fighting to my boyfriend!
Another ‘selling point’ of the phone system was that we had to use the designated phone system phones. I was heartbroken, as we had recently acquired a cordless phone. Once I had experienced the freedom of going cordless, I was determined to never be tethered again. I staged a Protest, as only teenage girls can stage, and my father figured out a way to restore peace and sanity (and possibly a Glenn Beck conference) to our home by integrating the cordless into the phone system.
This is the second post in a series of three post about the Terrible Phone Curfew… The first, details our ‘advanced technology’ of the 1990s.