Why I love Toilet Phones

This afternoon I was photographing a house for a real estate listing.  Everything was pretty normal, standard, stuff.  It was a modest ranch style 3/2 in a middle class neighborhood.  I was wrapping up, heading to the master bedroom and bath. 

And there it was, a phone next to the toilet.  I call them toilet phones.  Not bathroom phones, because you don't see phones in bathrooms next to the sink or across from the shower.  You see them right next to the toilet.  And you and I both know why.

I love toilet phones.  For a few of my own reasons.

Reason #1:
The first time anyone called me by my married name, I was sitting on a toilet using a toilet phone.  

Jimmy and I had just arrived at our hotel room the day we were married.  We had embarrassingly made our way up to our super nice room with our super white trash luggage and grocery bags full of  stuff.  I headed into the bathroom to pee.  As I was, I was startled by a phone ringing next to my head.  Not knowing what else to do, I answered it. 
Me: "Hello?" 
Bellhop:  "Mrs. Alley?" 
Me:  (long pause...)  "Yes?" 
(He then proceeded to answer some question we'd asked when he dropped off our 25 pieces of random bags, pillows, cracker boxes, and loose items.)

I hung up in a fog.

I could not believe I was in fact, Mrs. Alley.  And that I'd had this epiphany on a toilet phone.

Reason #2:
Toilet phones have cords.

I actually remember phones with cords.  At our house growing up, after answering the phone in the kitchen you had to slip into the dining room and close the pocket door against the cord if you wanted privacy.

Some people had SUPER long cords on their phones, so that the mom of the house could stretch the entire space of the kitchen and thus accomplish her dinner-ly duties without sacrificing phone time.  I loved those cords.  We never had a long one.  But I liked other people's.  They were dirty and stretched out and stained with food and dirt.

It just says something about our need to be connected to other people.

Last month, when my friends Darcy and Jeremy were coming home after being overseas for over a week, their daughter Nena had been with me, and I asked her if she'd like to speak to her mommy on the phone before she went to bed.  I handed her my stationary phone that has an answering machine and a cord.  She talked to her mom.

As I was tucking her in I said, "Are you excited you got to talk to your Mom on the phone?"  And she said, "YES!  I've never talked on a REAL PHONE before!"

I'm sure the only kind of phone she has used has been cordless.  Phone cords are certainly part of our past.

Reason #3:
Right now, I could really use a toilet phone.

Because our cordless phone has died and all I have is the aforementioned phone with a cord.  I can only speak on the phone in about a nine foot radius (not really even that because it's against the wall) so I can't escape to the bathroom and talk in peace on the cordless phone like I usually do. 

Every time I talk on the phone these days I laugh inside about the whole situation.  I laugh because I feel so far removed from most people.  Most people use their phone for absolutely everything they do, absolutely all the time.  I use mine to talk to people.  Attached to a cord.  In a completely wireless world.

So if you call and I don't answer, I might be sitting on the toilet.  Because while my 50 year old ranch house has a lot of 1960's upgrades, it didn't come with a toilet phone.  But if it did, I sure wouldn't take it out.  Because in 50 more years I'm going to be pushing 85 and I just might need a toilet phone to keep me connected to the outside world.  Or to talk to one of my 57 grandchildren while I'm taking a crap.


Lori W said...

I love you. and I miss you. and you rock. you can talk to me on a toilet phone any day. xo

libbyg said...

Julie Alley! I know it's been over 10 years since we spent that summer doing camp together in Mobile, BUT I never miss your blog posts. They always make me laugh and remind me of the days you were pregnant with Jackson leading our staff in good times.

libbyg said...

Julie Alley! I realize it's been over 10 years since we shared a summer in Mobile doing camp, BUT I never miss reading your blog posts. They remind me of pregnant-with-Jackson Julie who lead us in fun times and kept us laughing all summer. Miss you!