West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

Lamenting land lines lost

Technology, The Online World

Recently, my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Yes, it is pretty impressive. Mostly because it’s hard to imagine that there’s someone on earth that’s been willing to put up with me for that long. All I can say is that he’s a saint.

Anyway, that also means that we are also celebrating the silver anniversary of our telephone number. We got it a few months after we moved into our first house, just a stone’s throw outside of Tosa.

I’ve always been attached to our home phone number. You see, the first three numbers just happen to be the same as those in my phone number while growing up on the north side of Chicago. To me, it seemed like fate and therefore, I will have a hard time letting go of what is now referred to as our “land line.”

And yet, that’s exactly what more and more people are doing – getting rid of their land lines. The days of the home phone are becoming extinct. In our house, we’ll probably hang on until they rip it out of our wall. But our kids, well, that’s another issue.

When our son went away to college, one of the first things that I noticed was that nobody in college has a dorm room phone. And when they move off-campus, they don’t have an apartment phone or a house phone. Everybody has a cell phone, which is great, because you can reach your kid anywhere and everywhere. The bad thing is, in four years of college, I have NEVER spoken to my son’s roommates on the phone. NEVER. I don’t really know those guys. They seem nice from what I’ve been told.

Why is this a problem? Well, when I went to college (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), my parents would call my dorm room phone and slowly build a relationship with my roommates. “Karen, Donna seems like such a nice girl. Where is she from again?” And so it would go. For me, although I like instant access to my son, I miss the idea of a backup plan. Just try reaching your college kid when they forget to charge their phone.

So although our land line seems to rarely ring anymore, I’m hanging on to it indefinitely. It’s one less set of numbers to memorize, which is a blessing for my aging brain. And I like the fact that until we move out of Tosa (a.k.a. never) we’ll always be reachable at that same old reliable number.

Now, my new quest is to figure out a way to make our home phone number work with this really cool thing. I may be attached to an old school phone number, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give it an upgrade.

I leave you with a video from Louis CK who has a great way of putting everything in perspective and making us old folks feel a little better:


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