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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)

TITLE: Texting Queen
By Joy Bach


I don’t enjoy talking on the telephone.

Maybe it’s because we didn’t have one until I was in grade school. Or perhaps I had no need for one. No friends. Besides, I’m sure the religious culture I grew up in had talking on the phone labeled as some kind of a sin. Then when I married, I was still not allowed to have friends. Same religion. Probably same sin.

I just wasn’t used to talking on the phone.

New marriage. New Christian perspective. I was allowed to use a telephone whenever I wanted. But a land line worked just fine for me. If someone called while I was gone, they left a message on the answering machine. Most of the time that did not entail a return call.

As my children moved away, talking on the phone became a necessity. Only because I love them dearly, will I stay on the phone past 15 minutes. One hour is pretty much my absolute max, no matter how much love there is.

A computer was purchased for me, and my new favorite way of communicating became email. I said what I wanted to say and then I was through.

Then cell phones came along. Why would I want a phone to go every where with me? When my husband, John, took me to the “phone” store, I told them I just wanted a basic phone. No gadgets. My “new gadget lover” husband wanted all the bells and whistles.

When it was time to renew our phone contract, they no longer carried just basic phones. You had to have the extras. We worked out a deal. For a credit on our contract, they gave me the phone that you buy the minutes for as you go.

Now that we each carried our phones with us, did we really need a land line? After much discussion, we cancelled our home phone. That meant I really did need to carry a phone with me. But that didn’t mean I had to like it.

So imagine my surprise, January 2nd, 2008, when John came home with two boxes…each containing an iPhone. He ripped his box open and was immediately consumed with the “new gadget”. I eyed the other box suspiciously.

“Don’t open that box unless I say so”, I told him. We could always return it. Why would I need an iPhone?

For over a week, I pondered that little box. I watched John as he used his. I did some research online. I knew enough about computers to know that there would be a huge learning curve to use that little gadget. Did I really want to go to all that trouble?

Late one Friday afternoon, I said, “Ok, open the box.” We sat on the couch…side by side…learning together. This phone had a “text” option. That was new to me. John explained it was kind of like “instant messaging”. The shrug of my shoulders told him he was talking a foreign language.

The plan he had purchased allowed 200 texts per month. No problem.

Sitting side by side, we texted each other. I was getting the hang of it. So I sent a text to a daughter. A few minutes later, the phone made a little “ding” and I had an answer from her. Maybe this could work.

We were still “learning” at 1:30 a.m. Finally, we called a halt to the whole thing and went to bed.

As the days progressed, instead of a quick phone call to tell a member of my family something, I just typed out a few little words and hit “send”.


One of the most hilarious moments in these past few months was when we received our first phone bill.

I had gone over the limit in “texting”.

But I was hooked. I took myself down to the “phone” store and signed up for the next level of texting, 1,500 texts per month, instead of only 200.

At age 65, I had become the “texting queen”.

In June, I took a car trip, driving over 1,400 miles. When I would stop to buy gas, eat, or take a picture, a little text to John kept him posted of my progress. Other texts went out to the daughters I was traveling to meet. And I didn’t have to talk on the phone to keep them informed of my progress.

So far I haven’t gone over 1,500 texts in one month.

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This article has been read 650 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/24/08
Your story depicts you as, not only a loving wife and mother, but a delightful lady who can keep up with the times. The progression was good from no phone--to some phone--to cell phone--to text messages. You're ahead of me with the texting. I laughed at how many you could run up.
Linda Grigg07/24/08
Lovely story about the way technology can change our lives.
Joy Faire Stewart07/24/08
Oh, I can relate! Delightful approach to the topic and just the right touch of humor.
Ellen Dodson07/25/08
I hate phone calls too. I roll my eyes when the phone rings and still haven't warmed to the cell phone. This piece is so lifelike. The humor is wonderfully dry and convincing. I love this!!!
Dolores Stohler07/28/08
Greatly enjoyed reading this. Your personality shines through. I have never been a telephone addict either, the reason being that I prefer to look at the person I'm talking to so I can read their body language--love personal contact. So I mainly use the phone for business.
Marita Thelander 08/07/09
You can't be queen until you de-throne me. I generally text about 3,000 a month.

Great story and welcome to the texting club.