How Not to Phone Old

For starters, don’t yell into your cell.

By Pamela Redmond Satran • Guest Writer
Photograph: Photo by iStock.

How Not to Act Old On Valentine's Day

How Not to Act Old: Greatest Hits

To buy the book, How Not to Act Old.

Pam’s blog


First Published December 29, 2010

Share Your Thoughts!


Amy Pagnozzi03.21.2012

Dearie me. I am so into brring brrings (tip #5) that pre-loaded brring-tones didn't have enough r's for me so I created my own from the brrrrrrg of an old Western Electric 302b -- the exact model used by Lucille Ball on 'I Love Lucy.'
Worse, I printed out a cardboard circle bearing Lucy's number -- Murray Hill 5-9099 -- to slip beneath the celluloid cover in the center of the dial. (except mine's not celluloid; too hard to find [htf?], so I cut a piece of plastic from a frisee box).
Currently, I'm looking for a 'gossip bench' to set the phone on -- those little tables that have a shelf beneath for your White and Yellow pages, and a seat to one side so you can relax while you talking ... but who wouldn't want one of those?
Am I so hopeless? It's not as if I actually 'love Lucy' -- her character's too retrograde a female stereotype, even for a nostalgia slut like me -- I just love her phone. And I do text, even if I tend to go on a bit so they end up serialized and I use my index finger to do it.
Btw (ha! A shortcut!) -- how does one use a different finger at this age? Mine are too fat. Middle-finger spread.

Karin 03.27.2011

Blonderichmond: for only 50 that sounds OLD. I am almost 70 and really embrace technology. I no longer have a land line Who needs it? I guess lecturing you would be a really old thing for me to do. But really, girlfriend. Answering machine? Really. Who does that? Peaceful life? Good for you. Guess that's just not me.
I love this book and try to embrace the advice. I just can't get the hang of texting with my thumbs. Mr daughter tells me using index fingers is so dorky. I guess I'll ditch the Sex and the City ringtone.

I am 50 years old, I received a cell phone in 1995 from my family for Christmas. I never used it. To this day, I choose not to own one. I have always worked, and the lack of a cell phone has never hindered me, in fact, I have a peaceful life. Nothing that I do is so important, (and I think that the majority of us are in the same boat)that the need for me to be available 24/7 is necessary. I have an answering machine, so leave a message, otherwise, I feel sorry for you people that believe that every thought should be conveyed via phone, text, e-mail, twitter, whatever.You talk about crazy crap, just eliminate it. Simplify, get back to basics. Anyway, that is my thought.

Barbara Torris02.08.2011

And for goodness sakes know your number even if you have automatic dial...our memory does not go that fast! Please carry a cell phone even if you don't actually use it...just say the battery is dead! Old=no cellphone!

Post new comment

Click to add a comment