As has been mentioned numerous times before in this forum, Dr. Darling has phone issues. She HATES to answer the phone if she doesn’t know who’s calling, and even if she knows and likes the person on the line, she will keep the conversation to a minimum.
She’s even less inclined to make phone calls herself…business or personal. In fact I’m fairly sure she would rather have a root canal than call a restaurant, retail store, or heaven forbid, a government agency of any sort. And if any of our mutual friends leave messages for both of us, *I* am the one who calls them back…because waiting for her to do it would be social suicide.
This came as something of a shock to me when I first moved to Sweden, primarily because so much of our year and a-half long “courtship” (if you can call it that) was conducted by phone. (We’re talking hours and hours of long distance calls here…many of them actually initiated by HER.) And quite frankly, it was a real problem in the beginning when I didn’t speak or understand enough Swedish to take care of even the simplest tasks by telephone. There was more than one occasion when dealing with the Swedish healthcare system that I very nearly had to use the “I gave up a very big life in the U.S. to be here with you!” card just to get her set up a doctor’s appointment for me.
Nowadays her phone phobia is more of an annoyance than anything else. But because the phone plays such a limited role in her own life, she has a hard time understanding it’s value and importance to me…especially if doing so involves spending money. This is why it took me over two years to get her to carry her own mobile phone. It’s also why I’ve been on an even longer campaign to get a cordless phone for home. I had one in the U.S. and loved the freedom it gave me to do other things while on the phone (especially when I used the headset that came with it.)
But Dr. Darling, being the practical and thrifty Swede that she is, could see not point in buying a cordless phone when we already had the corded variety in three of the four rooms of our old apartment. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about being in a successful, healthy relationship…it’s the importance of picking my battles. So even though I was the one who spent the most time on the phone (long distance to family in the U.S., club business for an ex-pat organization I’m very active in, and talking to freelance editing and proof-reading clients), I didn’t push my cordless phone argument.
And then we moved into The Penthouse – Nordic, which is not only nearly twice the size of our previous place, but also has the most inconveniently placed collection of phone jacks I’ve ever seen. There are four total…all of them are located within about 10 of feet of each other (the exception being the one in Malmö‘s Ugliest Kitchen)…and none of them in the livingroom or the bedroom we are using as an office.
Needless to say, this was an ideal time to revisit the cordless phone debate…especially after a week of having to stand in the hallway or sit in the dining room (the most central of the 4 oddly placed jacks) while talking on the phone. So on Sunday we marched up to a local electronics store and bought not one but TWO cordless phones with the possibility of adding up to two more handsets in the future.
I guess good things really do come to those who wait!