Walkin Into Spiderwebs

“Why don’t you call me no more?

It was every night you was callin me before

Given half a chance, you’d be knocking at my door

So tell me whats changed?”

Remember back in the days of Optus Freetime? I was 15, and all I ever did from 7pm onwards was talk on the phone for free. Back then only about 20% of the school had a mobile, so there was a little clique of us who got each others phone numbers and would call each other up to talk about well, basically nothing. I’d talk to people who I’d never really spoken to at school on the phone just because they were also in the mobile club.

Back then I was the best conversationalist. I knew all the popular topics, if I wanted I could wax lyrical about practically anything, for hours on end. But that wasn’t my style and it never has been. What I used to do was ask questions, coerce their opinions and subtly change topics into the direction I wanted the convo to go in. Talking too much has always exhausted me, but getting others to open up was fun. I think I have a trustworthy voice, or an honest face or something, because I am the master at getting people to spill their secrets. Maybe it’s because I’m kind of quiet in demeanour, or because I don’t gossip. Whatever it was, I always knew who liked who, and who hated who, and where the next party was at.

Now I think maybe I’m getting anti-social in my old age. I used to love sms, every mes was like a little letter waiting to be opened. I knew the secret phone codes to get free messages and I could reply in 20 seconds flat. Now whenever my phone vibrates I inwardly groan and wonder who’s bothering me this time. I used to have my phone on vibrate so that other people didn’t notice how often it went off (every 5 or 10 mins – I had a very attentive ex) but now its so I don’t hear it. I can’t be bothered with communication.

“You make me wanna throw my pager out the window

Tell MCI to cut the phone calls

Break my lease so I can move

Coz you a bug-a-boo, a bug-a-boo

I wanna put your number on the call block

Have AOL make my emails stop

Coz you a bug-a-boo

You buggin what? You buggin who? You buggin me!

And don’t you see it ain’t cool..”

I’m so crap with keeping phones too, they’re always getting stolen or lost. I get drunk and its all over for phone safety. But I really don’t care to lose them anymore, I welcome the break. I love the mystery of not being able to be reached 24/7, people not constantly knowing what I’m up to or where I can be found. How can I be an enigma when I’m only two steps away from you on Facebook or a phone call?

My friends know I screen their calls. I do it in front of them. You know when you’re sitting there having a drink with someone, and their phone rings and they look at it like ‘Pffft, no. Denied.’ and put it back on the table after silencing it? That’s me. I’ll get back to you in an hour or three. Maybe tomorrow. I have friends who know I won’t get back to them within an entire week because they’re used to it, you know, they’re the demanding ones. The ones who want you to visit them every night after work, and expect ten text message replies back to back. I just don’t roll like that. I need my space, yo!

“Its not hot that you be callin me

Stressin me, pagin my beeper, you’re just non-stop

And its not hot that you be leavin me messages

Every ten minutes and then you stop by

When I first met you, you were cool

But in this game you had me fooled

Coz twenty minutes after I gave you my number

You already had my mailbox full!”

So, what’s changed between Year 10 and now? I don’t even know. Maybe too many dickheads have my number. Or I’m more independent now. I could probably benefit from a new set of digits, a clean slate. You know when you’ve had your number for just a bit too long, and guys you used to date start to randomly message you out of nowhere, making the world awkward again? I’m pretty much there.

It wouldn’t do a lot though, because the most persistent ‘friends’ have Facebook, they could just ask me for my number again. Sometimes I want to delete FB so bad. Why make life easier for everyone? It was better when it was coffee shop catch ups and five minute phone calls to organise them. I liked that life. I was 16, playing grown ups with my older out-of-high-school chick friends, in heels and sipping lattes, flicking my hair and batting my eyelashes at cute guys who walked past. We’d sit there swapping tactics for playing mind games on our latest crushes and back then our advice seemed to work. I owned that world and everything made sense.

So anyway, I was going to change my number but I really like the digits I have. Theres a triple zero in there and its so easy to remember. Good numbers are hard to find these days. You know you can buy awesome numbers like 0404 333 888 off ebay? They’re pretty expensive though, some sell for $10k. Thats what reminded me of all this, my first phone number had ‘576 570’ in it, and it was the pinnacle of numbers in my group of friends. I would have kept it forever, only someone stole my phone, beginning the cycle of the love-hate relationship I still endure with my personal tracking device. Ahh, life.

“Sorry I’m not home right now

I’m walkin into spiderwebs

But leave a message and I’ll call you back

A likely story, but leave a message and I’ll call you back

And its all your fault, I screen my phone calls

No matter who calls, I gotta screen my phone calls..”

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17 Responses to “Walkin Into Spiderwebs”

  1. Andy Says:

    Oh, man. Believe me, I know EXACTLY what you are saying. I’ve had a mobile of some description since 1995, and I’ve grown to hate the thing with a passion. I can’t help but think that it’s nothing more than an electronic leash around my neck.

    And trust me on this- if screening calls is antisocial, it is but the first stage. I’m at the brink of laying down rolls of barbed wire along the fenceline in an attempt to keep the yokels away. The only part about having kids that I’m actually dreading is the fact that I’ll have to do the playgroup thing, and I’ll have to make nice with people.

  2. LuLi Says:

    Get in and get out, is my advice. Some of those mums are the kind to keep you back an hour with their jabbering, I see it whenever I accompany my mother somewhere around town and she runs into one. I stand there rolling my eyes and sighing, and she does her best to be polite but we end up talking to some boring mofo for 20mins. You know how annoying that is? Talking about Jimmy’s tennis lessons and where he got his haircut? Yawn.

  3. raydixon Says:

    The other good thing about not letting too many people have your mobile number, LuLi, is avoiding those ‘hey, have a look at my privates’ photos people are sending nowadays.

    That’s T.M.I. although there are some we wouldn’t mind getting, I guess.

    Btw, where did Jimmy get his haircut? Just so I can avoid it.

  4. LuLi Says:

    Its hard to say no when someone asks for your number though, and especially hard when its someone who considers you a friend but you don’t really like them. I get rid of those people during stolen/missing phone stages and avoid them like the plague.

    I think it was Vesna’s salon actually!

  5. This Devil's Workday Says:

    I know what you mean. One of the best things about Thailand was not having a phone in my pocket 24/7.

    I used to consider myself somewhat “accessible”. By that, I meant I would always reply to peoples messages straight away, and anyone could call me anytime and get me. The problem with that is, it’s not good for your rep. People won’t miss you. You need to be hard to reach, hard to grab a hold of. People miss you more and wonder what you’re doing that is so much more important than them.

    Now I reply to messages whenever I feel like it, and if it’s not convenient for me to answer a call, I don’t. I hate people who run out of lectures to answer their phone as if its some sort of emergency. They seem to have a lot of emergencies because its always the same people.

    And yeah, I deleted MySpace for similar reasons. Just don’t want so many people to be able to contact me with no excuse for me not to respond.

  6. raydixon Says:

    I think it was Vesna’s salon actually!

    Oh, I won’t be crossing that one off my list.

  7. LuLi Says:

    TDW – Its much better to be inaccessible isn’t it? And you don’t feel that pressure of having to get back to someone, you can take your time because they know thats your style.

    You know what this girl behind me did in a lecture the other the day? She answered her phone and sat there talking OVER the lecturer, who is too nice to ever tell someone to shut up. I wanted to turn around, snatch her phone and slap her in the face with it!

    Ray – Just once in my life, I’m going to get her to do my hair. I bet she’s good.

  8. raydixon Says:

    Well in that case LuLi, we’d HAVE to see the photos!

  9. This Devil's Workday Says:

    One guy in my lecture once actually answered the phone also. Another guy about two rows ahead turned around and had a go at him, it was hilarious.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a lecturer nice enough not to say anything like that! They usually single people out or go crazy or something. I have a lecturer at the moment who locks the door when the class starts so late ppl can’t enter!

  10. LuLi Says:

    She’s a newbie, from overseas, and I think she just wants us all to like her. I felt so bad for her. But yeah, usually lecturers are rude and full of themselves, its annoying. I’m one of those people that are always late, but I’m really skilled at sneaking in with stealth.

  11. Domino Says:

    my phone number is easy to remember..but I wish it would spell something cool like Turk’s of Scrubs..but the stupid thing has 1’s and 0’s in it…

  12. LuLi Says:

    What does Turks spell?

  13. This Devil's Workday Says:

    It was a bunch of numbers, then the last three letters spelt TUR. He couldn’t get the k, lol.

  14. This Devil's Workday Says:

    I think…

  15. LuLi Says:

    lol oh.. thats cool as.

  16. Bron Says:

    I used to have a friend at uni who drove me nuts cos if I didn’t reply to her sms within the hour, I’d get a follow up one saying “Did you get my message???????” as if it was expected I answer IMMEDIATELY.

    Fuck that. I’ll answer when I’m not driving or studying or in lectures or whatever.

  17. LuLi Says:

    Those messagers are the worst, they mes constantly and then try to make you feel guilty for not replying. Who does that? If you were her boyfriend, receiving such harassment I’d tell you to dump her.

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