My relationship with my answering machine has changed quite a bit during my adulthood.
When I first got my own place, I was delighted, of course. For the first few years of mine and Lea’s marriage, I was ambivalent about it.
Now I hate it.
Anyone contacting me for any fun reason will have done so another way. No, if the answering machine light’s blinking, it’s generally something that’s at least mildly irritating, and might even be a big pain in the ass. Only about a quarter of the time, it’s a push.
I’m not generally in favor of dropping the land line completely. I think the events of April 2011 underscore why keeping it is a good thing. Cellular service was essentially nonexistent for two days, and dicey for a good ten more.
But I would love to turn the ringer off, stop giving the number to people, and check the answering machine once a week for folks we’d forgotten to inform of our new approach.
There was a time during which Lea and I seemed to be the only members of our various circles who had married, but hadn’t yet had children. So we got called less. So we had fewer answering machine messages. Our inside joke catchphrase for a messageless state was, and is, “universally hated and detested.” It’s a question, roughly translating to “no messages?” To wit:
Lea: “Universally hated and detested?”
I never thought I’d feel that way about the machine itself. Funny world sometimes.
Have a good weekend.