Maybe I’m just a cranky old man, but I don’t like getting phone calls. I refuse to put in a land line, so I am left with my iPhone, which serves me more as a computer terminal than a two-way voice device. With the exception of FaceTime calls from my grandchildren, I really don’t like phone calls. Of course, there is the necessary call from the pharmacy to tell me my prescription needs picking up. But other than that, I just don’t like to hear the phone ring, or in my case begin vibrating somewhere in my clothing. The fact is I subconsciously associate phone calls with bad news.

Here is another thing that I just don’t get. You know the advertisements for the cell phone companies, especially the one that pushes low cost calls for seniors? In every one of them all the actors are yakking away on their phones. It doesn’t matter if it is a flip-phone or smart phone, they are talking to people on the phone while holding hands with their partner. Each of them on a separate conversation. Who has that many people to talk to? And why spoil a nice day at an outdoor restaurant talking to some knuckle head on the phone about the prices of the veggies in the outdoor market? How about enjoying the time you have making the most of your time with your partner before the great operator in the sky cuts you off for good?

I don’t have a special ringtone or some cutesy sound that announces an incoming call. Why should I? The less I personalize the inevitable, the better. Aside from the FaceTime visits with my grandkids, my own children don’t call anymore. We’ve gone beyond the “Dad, how are you? Great! Can I have a hundred bucks. I’ll pay you back.” Once the money is sent, the phone line goes back into hibernation, at least until the next self-inflicted emergency comes along.

Since I have been cast as the lead character in my own story called, Three Weddings and a Funeral, when the phone rings I expect the worst. The days of creditors demanding payment for something I never bought but seemed so necessary to one of my former mates have long passed. Still, the exes don’t need to call anymore–they have the houses and the money. 

I first purchased my cell phone in San Diego over twenty years ago. I moved to the east coast ten years ago and yet most of my unbidden calls come from San Ysidro, Chula Vista or Rancho San Diego. If I mistakenly answer I am greeted by an outpouring in Spanish. The nice thing about the iPhone is that it tells me the location of the caller. When this happens, I select the canned response, “I’m on my way.” I suspect that confuses the caller and they remain waiting in some dingy location waiting for the drug shipment. Well, that’s what they get for calling.

I did break down a month ago and get a new iPhone XR. Now, I call this an X as in x-ray, R as in Romeo. Oh no, I am told by the hip young thing at Best Buy, this is a 10 as in ten R, as in Romeo. How could I have been so unhip? Anyway, the downside of this purchase from a telephone point of view is that now my random callers speak Cantonese. 

So, please don’t call. I am saving up all my conversation for my new friends in Shanghai.