Friday, August 15, 2008


Today I've had to make lots of phone calls. Guess what? I can't stand making phone calls! Really. I have this thing about making phone calls.

It's not that I don't like talking to people. I love talking to people. But I much prefer talking with people face to face. In fact, if you want to get right down to it, I especially like talking face to faces. In other words, I like talking to large groups of people even more than I like talking to one or two people. I guess, in my thinking, there's safety in numbers. Often, when I'm talking to just one or two people, I stammer and stumble over my words. But when I'm talking to a group of people, I feel relaxed and happy. No better way to say it - relaxed and happy!

But back to the phone thing. Some people, like my parents and husband and kids, would probably have a hard time believing that I don't really like talking on the phone. According to them I am on the phone all the time. But that's because it is true that I do enjoy talking on the phone to a few people that I feel very comfortable with, like a few girl friends and family members. But other than that, talking on the phone makes me very nervous. I'm always afraid that the person on the other end of the line is smirking at me, rolling their eyes, yawning, or putting me on the speaker phone while they clean out their purse. When I dial the number and listen to the other person's phone ring, I'm imagining them looking at their caller id and thinking, "Oh it's Kay. What does she want?" (By this point you're probably thinking I've got major self-esteem issues! But hang with me!) The whole time I'm hoping they won't answer and I can just leave a message. I do about as well with message machines as I do with large groups of people, so I guess face to faces works for me and voice to machine works pretty well for me too.

I've had this phone phobia most of my life. Once again, as my parents remember how much I dominated the phone as a teenager they're probably laughing out loud, but if they'll think a little harder they'll remember how hard it has always been for me to call and ask a simple question to a completely non-threatening person. I don't like to call and make my six month appointments for the dentist, my yearly check up with the doctor, or even a hair appointment with my very friendly hairdresser. I don't like to call the women on my Women's Ministry Team to schedule a meeting or my child's school to report an absence. I don't like to call to RSVP for a party, to make reservations for dinner, to buy an airline ticket, to get directions to a friend's house, or to find out what time a movie starts. I am especially thrilled when I make such a call and I get a machine or an automated service instead. I know. I'm a freak.

For those of you out there who consider yourselves my friends and family (I hope I still have a few left at this point!), please don't be offended and don't stop calling me! I actually love for people to call me! I just don't like doing the dialing myself. And don't stop answering when you see my number on your caller id. Instead, please consider how hard it was for me to dial that number to begin with and answer quickly! Seriously, this is a phobia that I acknowledge, but I try not to let it rule my life. I still make phone calls every day and every time I survive. Because of course if people are rolling their eyes at me, yawning or even cleaning out their purses while I talk with them, at least I never know it. In fact, I find most of my telephone calls go just fine. And so I try to remember that each time I have to pick up the phone and make an appointment or cancel an appointment or place an order or ask a question. Still, when I get off the phone I feel a major sense of accomplishment. Phone calls are big deals on my to-do list, you see. They get like double credit. Writing magazine queries, buying groceries, doing my income taxes - those are small potatoes. But calling the vet to schedule shots for my dog - that's a major accomplishment and I check that baby off my list and treat myself to a Diet Coke!

Ok. I've confessed my quirky eccentricity. I bet you have a few too. Fortunately, mine isn't debilitating or harmful to others and hopefully yours aren't either. If you have a chance, tell me about yours in a comment. It'd make me feel so much better. Meanwhile, I've got to find my to-do list so I can check off those phone calls I made today. They were doozies and I deserve a nap now!

No comments: