Tag Archives: Facebook

“Hello! Who’s there?”

Much has been written regarding the sharp decline in the art of writing notes in this age of text messages, email, Facebook and Twitter. Recently, I realized another decline in the art of communication – telephone etiquette.

Obviously, I date myself by evening bringing up the subject.  When we were younger, we were taught how to properly make a telephone call, answer the phone, and so on. The parents of one of my friends were so strict about the proper way to answer the phone in their house that she persists with it today.

“Hello, Smith residence, this is Mary speaking.”

And she is single – the only person living there!

This came up when we recently received a phone call from one of our 11-year old relatives.


Silence….finally “Hi”

“Hello. Who is this?”

Silence…finally, in a baby-like voice “This is Mallory!”

“Hi, Mallory. What can I do for you today?”

More silence….finally, “Oh, nuthin.”

And so it went on. Like trying to dig a splinter out of my thumb.

When I mentioned this to Mrs. Poolman, she said, “Why are you surprised? Have you talked with her parents lately? Who do you think is supposed to teach her?”

I realized that Mrs. P was right. We have received frequent calls from relatives in their 20s who call and simply say, “Hey!” and apparently wait for the recipient of the call to guess who they are and why they are calling.

You would think someone of our generation (50s) would know better, but they don’t. We have several friends who almost never identify themselves when they call. And some of them show annoyance when I ask, “And who is calling, please?”

I would recognize the voices of Mrs. Poolman, my two children and my father. After that, it’s a crap shoot. Caller ID works some of the time. I only look at it part of the time anyway. And if just shows a number and not a name, it’s not much help.

That last part is courtesy of the contact list built into my cell phone. I don’t even know Mrs. P’s cell number without looking it up. All I know is that it’s in my cell phone contact list under “Mrs. Poolman.

Recently, I received a call from the middle of my three sisters,  Margaret. I recognized her voice, but I thought I’d “zing” here anway.”

Margaret: “Hi Poolman! This is your favorite sister.”

Me: “Oh, hi, Kathy! I’m glad you called. I really want to hear more about what you were saying about Margaret yesterday.”

As they say on “The Big Bang Theory”…Bazinga!

And Mrs. Poolman says I still don’t understand why people don’t call me.


Getting reacquainted

We are now into Christmas week, and things are looking good.

Mrs. Poolman and I had a good weekend. On Saturday night, we met up with an old friend of mine and her husband for dinner. They were passing through Savannah on their way to visit family in Florida. Ann and I dated for a few months right after I graduated from high school. We remained friends after we broke-up, but we have only seen one another once in the past 39 years. We reconnected about a year ago on Facebook. We picked Ann and Chuck up at their hotel and went to one of our favorite seafood restaurants. Sometimes “reunions” like that work, and sometimes they don’t. This was a good one. We had a very nice time. We hope they will come through again on one of their annual migrations and stay longer.

We finally put our tree up on Sunday. Mrs. P did most of the actual decorating, while I was busy taking care of other chores, but she did have a very involved helper.

Penny the Kitten thought a Christmas tree was about the best thing she has seen in her short, 14 week life. She climbed up in the middle of the tree and had a great time with the lights and ornaments.

Tree-cat helps with decorating.

After awhile she lost interest. Nothing was broken. All the same, I secured the tree to the wall with some fishing line, so hopefully, it will still be erect when we get home this evening.

A face from the past

I think it is interesting when someone from the past reaches out with a touch. With the amount of moving around we have done over the past several decades, we have left a lot of friendships behind.  Late last week I had a “face from the past” get in touch courtesy of Facebook.  Ann is a former high school friend with whom I’ve had but a single contact since the mid 1970s; we ran into each other at her (and my brother’s) HS class reunion in 1991.

I haven’t lived in my hometown of Pittsburgh since I was 18, so I never casually run into old high school classmates in the grocery store or the like. As I have written earlier, I have stayed in close touch with one old friend, and became reacquainted with another over the past few months. All of that is just a way of saying that a reconnect with someone from that time of my life is a rare treat.

Fortunately, Mrs. Poolman is not the jealous type, because Ann could be categorized as a “former girl friend.” We dated for about six months after I graduated from HS. She was the first girl I could actually describe as a “girl friend.” We had a fun time and when we broke up, we remained friends. No hard feelings on either side. She was quite smart with a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. She went on to become a tax attorney.


A "Snipe" sailboat

I also remember her parents fondly. Her dad had her same sarcastic wit, and while he didn’t spare me, he was generally pretty nice to me. They had a small sailboat, and he taught me how to sail. Her mom was a real sweetheart. I think I was nearly as fond of her as I was of Ann.

So in the course of six months of dating, I had some fun and received an introduction to both relationships and sailing. Ann also took up knitting during that time, and she made me two sweaters that I wore for several more years. All told – a very positive experience and a pleasant memory.

Thanks for reaching out, Ann!