Isn't new technology great? Or in this case, old technology that we've finally gotten around to using. That's right, last weekend Monte and I finally dragged ourselves into the 21st century by subscribing to call waiting with caller ID.
We've been resisting the change due to the expense; $3.50 a month extra on our phone bill! (Call us cheap if you will; I prefer the term frugal.) It was a difficult decision, but ultimately necessary.
For months (nay, years) our families have complained that they can never get a hold of us--they either get our answering machine, or a busy signal because I'm online. My dad got so tired of trying to call us he now just walks over when he wants to talk. But then, my folks live only 2 houses away. That solution doesn't work so well for my in-laws in California. Which is maybe a good thing. (Shush, Lynne, they read this newsletter, too!)
Compounding the dilemma is that even when I am home and offline, I don't answer the phone. I stopped answering it soon after we married, due to the annoyingly frequent calls by Monte's friend "Joe". A guy who called us the day after our wedding to see if Monte could hang out. Uh, Joe, we're on our honeymoon?! Something that he couldn't have simply forgotten about; he was a groomsman, after all. Joe's the reason we went out and bought the answering machine. (He proceeded to leave half a dozen messages; one for each day we were on our honeymoon trip. Sigh.)
So unless the caller left a message on the answering machine, I didn't answer. If it was someone I wanted to talk to, (meaning it wasn't Joe) I picked up. Our friends & family knew this, so if the caller hung up without leaving a message, I figured it was just a telemarketer. Or Joe. Or--oops--Monte's 90 year old, favorite great-aunt, who refuses to talk to a machine. Not good...
Still, even though the system wasn't perfect, it worked fairly well. Until recently when I realized that if my mom, who isn't in good health, was home alone and needed to contact me, she wouldn't be able to if I was online. Which I am. A lot. So after adjusting our budget (yes, $3.50 a month) we subscribed to the extra services.
First we bought a cheap caller ID box. We got it set up and I tested it by calling us on my cell phone. It worked! Cool! Monte then said with anticipation, "Now if only someone would call us!" We weren't disappointed, for not 10 minutes later the phone rang. We both ran to the caller ID box like a couple of kids, shouting "Who is it?! Who is it?" Yep, it was Joe.
So now I've got this even cooler (and more expensive) caller ID box that works when I'm on the internet. If someone calls, a guy's voice immediately announces the phone number so I know someone's trying to call. I can either answer, ignore the call, or push a button to have the guy's voice say to the caller, "I'm on the internet, leave me alone." Er, um, okay, actually he says "I'm on the internet, I'll call you back later." And then he hangs up on the caller. Heh. Now I can't wait for that Joe to call...
Ain't technology great?