I'm not much of a telephone-talker.  I never have been.  I remember back in junior high and high school when my friends would call and could have talked all night long if I'd been receptive to the idea.  I wasn't.  Those were the days before the fine invention of call-waiting; those ancient times of rotary dials and busy signals. Depending on who I was trying to call, I knew that busy signal could potentially last for hours.  It wasn't only teenage girls who suffered this affliction, it was often their mothers, too - it's definitely a female predilection.  Frankly, I never understood it. Thankfully my mom wasn't one of those incessant, yammering yakkers; I don't think either of my sisters were, either.  I suppose there are some who might consider my phone aversion bordering on anti-social.  Maybe so.  I would counter that the diarrhea-of-the-mouth contigent are narcissistic and needy.  So there.

I know most people screen their calls these days.  I know most people don't answer when they don't feel like it.  But there's always that nagging feeling one gets when the phone rings; as if one is required to pick it up.  We had this discussion at a party the other night, and the consensus was that no one felt compelled to be held hostage to a ringing phone.  Many confessed they didn't even bother to check to see who was calling, and some revealed turning off the ringer altogether.  Wow!  What mavericks!

If someone leaves a message that requires a return call, then of course it would be rude to ignore it.  Otherwise, all bets are off.  Our informal poll indicated phone calls are now primarily placed when they serve an actual purpose - killing time doesn't count.  Well, what do you know - it turns out my family wasn't freakish after all.  (If I had been at all concerned about this, just imagine how relieved I'd be.)

While there are still some old-school phoneaholics out there who think it's perfectly normal to call several times a day and are incapable of gabbing for less than twenty minutes a pop, it now appears those mind-numbing, inane conversations about nothing-in-particular have evolved into being reserved for chatting with long lost acquaintances, seldom-heard-from relatives, and like-minded individuals who share the propensity to blather.  Thank goodness they have each other.  The problem lies with those clueless people who are completely oblivious to the cues being given by someone who is vainly trying to get off the phone.  Or maybe they aren't really oblivious at all and are so egotistical they've managed to convince themselves they're somehow entitled to our attention; that we owe it to them to listen.  Phone bullies.  Talk about being held hostage!

We all suffer from the delusion that we are infinitely more interesting than we really are, and that the world desperately wants to hear everything we have to say.  In fact, some people think they're so damn interesting they actually start their own blogs as an outlet to pontificate.  How pathetic can you get!  Oh well.  At least reading can be done at your leisure and if you find yourself bored out of your mind you can always disconnect at anyti

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