Friday, August 29, 2014

Another tech decision becomes very difficult


From page A16 | October 07, 2012 |

How can I consider giving up something that has had romantic connections for almost 40 years?

And yet, why keep a device that brings me disappointment every single day?

My home telephone used to be the source of my favorite phone calls: a long chat with a girlfriend, a catch-up call with my son or daughter, and evening discussions with my husband who works out of town.

The phone still rings several times a day, but the magic is gone. If I had a mirror next to my phone, I would regularly see myself go from cheerful anticipation to disgusted resignation. Caller ID tells me that I’m being contacted by “800 Service,” “Unknown” or “Out of Area.”

I don’t pick up. The next day, they all try again.

Meanwhile, friends and family are calling more often on my cell phone or sending emails or texts.

“That’s why we gave up our land line,” says one friend. “It got so most of our calls were sales, politics or charity appeals.”

Should I do the same? I like being on top of technotrends. Is it time to let go of the land line?


Two close friends did it this summer. One had her home phone number for 24 years, the other for 40.

When one woman told her daughter she’d canceled the phone, the young woman wailed, “It’s the only number I’ve got memorized.”

I almost wailed, too. I had both friends’ numbers memorized, along with those of a dozen other important people. I don’t learn new numbers as easily as I used to, but those old land-line numbers, like the heavy black phones they used to ring, stick with me.

How many cell phone numbers do I know by heart?

Meanwhile, as more and more people call me on my smart phone, instead of my land line, I have to keep the darn thing near me, even in my house. All day, I pick it up and move it. At meals, it sits across the table. When I practice my music, it interrupts. In the evening, it watches TV with me. Sometimes it comes to bed.

Since it blinks when I receive email, I end up inspecting the darn thing every few minutes for a message. Then I hit myself in the head when I realize how attached I am to technology.

Two phone numbers are too many. Should I let the land line go?


But how can I give up a device that sparks so many romantic memories? The phone number belonged to my husband when we first met. I could tell we were getting serious when I began to call it, instead of waiting for him to call me.

When we married, I was happy to keep his number. It’s a good, solid number from the era when everyone in Davis had either 756 or 758, except university people who got 752 and businesses, which tended toward 753.

As the years passed, alien numbers began appearing, combinations like 297 and 795. Cell phone use introduced an even broader palette.

Through it all, my husband and I kept our old number and 20 years after we married, romance carried into the next generation. Our daughter met her first boyfriend at Davis High. To our amazement, he had a home phone number that contained only one digit that was different from ours.

Can destiny come any closer to revealing itself?

She married that boyfriend, and now I share grandchildren with a Davis couple whose number is almost the same as mine.

“Keep the number,” I say to myself.


I like new things as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s the old worn out pair of shoes that feels just right.

I’m not nostalgic for the big black phone of yesteryear, but my 2000’s era land line, a base unit and three handsets, is mighty convenient. I can pick it up anywhere in the house or let it take messages.

The handset feels good in my hand, lighter than my cell phone, and big enough to hold comfortably for long stretches of time. I can put my ear where the sound comes out and my mouth where the sound goes in, instead of feeling as if my ear and mouth are too far apart, as I do with my cell phone.

Volume is good. Dropped calls are few.

Giving up the land line would modernize me and save money, but should those be the only factors in my decision?

Friends may not regard my phone number as tenderly as I do, but they remember it. And even if I’m disgruntled about some of the calls I receive, I like my phone.

For now, I’ll keep it.

— Marion Franck lives in Davis with her family. Reach her at



  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Saving Putah Creek: a quiet concert at sunset

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Winton to be feted for her many years of community work

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis Innovation Center team fields questions

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Researchers solve mystery of Death Valley’s moving rocks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    California extends review of $25B delta plan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Celebrate the Senior Center at Sept. 9 luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Equestrian eventing competition slated

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Forum explores local mental health services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Kids can sign up for a library card and get a free book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explorit Science Center: Volunteers supercharge summer camp

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

    Bodega Marine Laboratory hosts open house

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Local group charts a year’s worth of beauty in flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Name Droppers: UCD honors two of its own

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Books, conversation and poetry at Logos

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7



    Let’s sell the MRAP on eBay

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Seeing both sides of ‘tank’

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    What if we need MRAP?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    How could tank be helpful?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: C2

    Don’t sentence our police to death

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2, 1 Comment

    Will Davis see river water?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Travel buddy is getting too fat

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



    Forget the score; focus on the energy brought by Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Returning seniors, new faces lead promising DHS links squad

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil golfers return from Scotland with smiles on their faces

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils scrimmage with Sac

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD-Stanford: the clock is down to counting the minutes

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Wire briefs: Aces cruise past Cats at Raley

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B6

    Sports briefs: DHS girls fall by the slimmest of net margins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery





    ‘The November Man’: Who can be trusted?

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    B Street’s ‘The Ladies Foursome’ is aces

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery



    Technology makes a great car better

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: C1 | Gallery



    Elaine Dracia Greenberg

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Margarita Elizondo

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4