Call someone. Just do it. Is that weird?

ericophoneThis week my phone rang–an odd thing these days, if not from an increasingly small group of family members and work colleagues in a crisis. It was my Aunt, the email-hating, Internet-eschewing technophobe.

My first reaction, awfully, was that something was wrong. I get a phone call from a family member and I hold my breath and my chest tightens, and I wait to read the tone of the “hello” on the other end of the phone. And yet, it turns out no one died, no one was in the hospital, nothing was wrong.

She was simply wishing me a happy holiday. The old school way.

Weird, right?

Right away I thought, I have to do this more.

Last night I sent or answered about 10 Happy New Year texts after midnight, far outweighing the one phone call we made to Nate, who was stuck at his restaurant job, tending to the very needy revelers of New York’s East Village. I thought he’d want to hear the girls’ voices, even if at that very moment, he couldn’t hear a thing.

In this day and age, we email. We text. We forward e-cards. We write on Facebook walls. We send DMs and Gmail chats. We even send holiday cards, if we get around to it in time (ahem). I love them all for all kinds of reasons.

Reason number one for sending ecards: pictures like this. Thanks Anna.

But you know, not one of these high-techy 21st century options replaces the retro thrill of hearing the sound of that voice from the long-lost friend or the distant relative; or the college roommate who you’ve been swearing to get in touch with for the last four years only the time keeps flying and the calendar keeps changing over and you feel like oof, now I’ll need more than ten minutes and I don’t have the time but I’ll get to it later maybe next weekend, or wait, I’m busy then…but how about…wham. Four years.

Four years and you still miss the sound of her voice terribly.

Old-fashioned phone calls: New Year’s Resolution #1.

Do it now. Pick a person. You don’t even have to brush your hair. Just say hi, and Happy New Year, then resume your regular life. Only it won’t feel so regular. It will feel…richer. Happier.

Thanks, Aunt Marsha. I’m paying it forward.

Happy 2013 everyone.



22 thoughts on “Call someone. Just do it. Is that weird?”

  1. I do a lot of email but I think I’m the last person in the world who doesn’t text. I love a good phone call, and you’re right, they don’t happen often enough.

    After I had my first baby I used to call my grandmother every day. I knew she’d be home and was the one person happy to listen to me prattle on about my daughter and my home as long as I wanted. She was wonderful long distance company for a new stay at home parent. After she died a couple of years ago it took a long time to get over the itch to just pick up the phone and tell her about my day. Nothing quite like the voice of someone who loves you right there when you need it.

    1. I still think so much about wanting to call my Grandmother when something big happens. I miss it a lot. I know exactly what you’re talking about. Thanks Korinthia.

  2. Thanks Liz,
    Because of you, I called Rob Cohen… love to you, Nate and the girls…Happy New Year FB style.

  3. Rana called me after reading this. And now I know why. Love. I’m going to go call someone right now, too.

  4. My father has a cell phone now but outside of that? You have to call his home to talk to him. I love it. We can (and do) talk for hours. Sometimes I have my girls mail him letters (snail mail whooo) when they just saw him yesterday. Just because. (Also, I called my sister since my father is kinda canceled out.)

  5. What a great sentiment. I often find myself cringing when my phone rings and I have to talk, but there is something so nice about a simple telephone call. It really slows things down and forces (or attempts to) us into the moment and to push aside the 1,345 things we NEED to do right now.

    I’m going to try to make more phone calls to those I don’t speak to enough.

  6. I call my mother in the morning, and I have one of my 3 kids call her at night. She counts on those daily phone calls, I know it–because when she picks up it’s like she’s hearing from Publisher’s Clearing House.

    A phone call to the elderly, the infirm, is beyond priceless in their world, and as good as any medicine from the Dr

    Happy New Year, Liz. Thanks for all the food for thought in 2013. You always deliver.

  7. Excellent suggestion, although for those with the capability Skype/Facetime are nice to actually see the person, but hearing someone is much nicer than seeing their typing.

    1. I love Skype and iChat and Facetime too. Huge fan! But there’s something about curling up on the couch with unbrushed hair in my pjs to just…talk. You spend more time hearing when you’re not looking at yourself too.

  8. LOVE IT!

    I got two phone call from two far-flung friends leading up to New Year’s. I thought my heart would burst. Then, as I was driving to my own NYE plans, I decided to phone some friends whom I rarely speak to. Of course, I got a buncha voicemail messages in return, but I left them all messages letting them know that I loved them and I was thinking about them.

    Happy New Year, Liz! I waaaaaaay behind on my blog reading (too busy for good reasons) but I look forward to reading yours and catching up on what I’ve missed.

  9. I have a small number of people that I talk on the phone to every day. It’s like I need to be in contact with people at all times. Facebook is one thing, but I’m interested in what’s REALLY going on beyond those public updates. Also, there’s something strangely satisfying about listening to my friends list off the mundane things they’re doing with their kids chattering in the background. Big fan of The Phone Call over here. 🙂

  10. I need to call my grandparents. I’ve been avoiding it because each time I call, they are harder and harder to talk to. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. Maybe… phone calls do serve a purpose. But I despise vmail. I’ve always been a writer, not a talker. Even when I had to put pen to paper, I preferred it to the phone. So… I think I’ll stick to texting and emailing. 🙂

    1. I’m glad they exist for you then! You would have spent a crapload in ink and quills in Victorian times.

  12. I hadn’t thought about calling as something strange to do until I gave my friend Roxana a ring a few months ago, and after a minute of chatting, she said, “Awwwwwww! You called just to talk!”

    Before then I thought it was only stereotypical dudes who didn’t talk on the phone.

    I’m a stegosaurus.

  13. Good post. Though I’m not a phone person. There’s been phone around all my life but to me it looks as if I switched from letters to e-mails directly.

    And sometimes a nostalgia hits me for those old times when I was waiting for a letter to come into my real mailbox, read it and answer it

    Or for writing holiday greeting cards on behalf of my family to each of our hundred+ friends, relatives, ex-neighbours, holiday neighbours, you name it…

    A bit of a rant here – I hate e-mail greeting cards… especially those cc-d and bcc-d to a gazillion contacts, all geting the same card. Meh. I’d rather get an e-mail wishing ME happy holidays in 3 simple words. No need for a downloaded greeting card downloaded.

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