I have a constant, low-grade fear of the telephone. I often call people with the intention of getting their answering machines. There is something about a real voice that has become startling, unnervingly organic, as volatile as live television.*
I said goodbye today to a dear friend who was visiting Washington DC with her family. As we hugged one final time I felt sad at her departure. And then I realized: I can call her. She can call me. We both live in the US. We're in the same freakin' time zone.
There are so many times when I receive an email or read a post and I think, I should call. But I don't. I don't know why. I can partially blame the years overseas where phone calls were expensive and hard to arrange, due to limited technology (calls bouncing to and from French satellites) or time zones, like when I lived in Australia. I have no problems making calls for work or talking with colleagues or ordering pizza. Or phoning MoBob several times a day. But social calls, whether it's the painfully awkward weekly chat with my mom or just catching up with distant friends, defeats me.
*"On the Fringe of the Physical World" by Meghan Daum
I'm the same way with phones, though I also hate (and fear) calling fellow minions. Email or in person I'm fine with, but a phone call... a stressful proposition. Actually, I don't even like calling stores or whatever and rehearse it for several minutes before dialing.