Gen Z is missing out on landline fun
How my brother messed up my love connection
Writer’s note: This post was first published on Medium’s “Tickled” on September 21, 2020 and will now be permanently housed on Substack’s new “Tickled” column.
My friend and I had it all planned out. I was supposed to sit quietly on the phone, making sure not to breathe on the other end. Then she would call the guy I liked and ask him how he felt about me. It was a magical plan that would lead to him gushing over me, and then I’d have a new boyfriend. My Cupid homegirl and I knew each other since our Girl Scouts days (and well into college, long after this plan was devised) and came up with plenty of these plots to entertain our elementary school brains.
She dialed the number, shushed me immediately on the three-way call and then we heard his phone ring. I smiled on the other end of the line, just waiting to hear whether he thought I was cute or not. We couldn’t just rush into the conversation, so we’d already planned a few meaningless topics to talk about before we got to the main point of this call. By the time she mentioned my name, I could hear him perk up on the other end. The next question was planned, “So do you like-her-like-her or just like-her?”
But before he could get ready to answer the question, I heard the unsexiest baritone voice known to man.
“Monnie, [insert name here] can’t have phone calls after 10 p.m. Are you going to be off the phone soon?”
I scowled at that second guy’s voice, knowing it was my older brother, who was too lazy to walk out of his room, into the kitchen and into my bedroom. I don’t believe it was even a 30-foot walk, but the kitchen phone was right outside of his bedroom phone. So he just picked it up at the worst possible moment of this three-way call. There was no way to play this off. On the other end of the phone, this guy knew who “Monnie” was. I mumbled an “OK” and quickly hung up. I was boiling hot when I got off the phone, and my brother happily called his girlfriend (now wife of 21 years) to talk to her before her phone curfew. He had no clue that he was a snitch. I still planned my revenge.