I Do Not Want to Talk on the Phone

I am a bad person with a massive guilt complex, but I rarely return phone calls. I do not like them. They require too much real-time presence, and the only time I have any real-time presence to give is, generally, at night after bed time, a time I devote to a) recovering and b) novel writing.
I am so protective of my time. I feel like it’s a slippery eel, always swimming away from me as I grab after it with both hands. When it comes to phone calls, I’m not good at multi-tasking, unless I’m cleaning. That I can do. But I really can’t talk on the phone and tend a child–not because I necessarily give said child that much attention, but because, I think, it’s the same attention. I only have so much to offer another sentient being in my space at any one time. For the some reason, I have begun to fail at the kind of shared playdates where the mom comes too, which are usually the best kind–I just can’t talk to all these people at once.
So what this boils down to is that I don’t return calls. Not to my best friend, not to my own mother, not to my mother-in-law, who I think is the only one who takes it personally. I just hope that these people will continue to put up with me even though I only call them when there are dishes to wash and I can find the head set.
I’m sorry.
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725 Responses to “I Do Not Want to Talk on the Phone”

  1. Caryn says:

    I totally understand. For me, the problem is e-mails. Then I decide to catch up on all of them at once, and I send huge numbers of massively long e-mails my friends find too daunting to reply to. You know you have a problem when every phone call or e-mail begins with, “Sorry it took me so long to get back to you…”

  2. bex says:

    I’m the same way. At home, at least. At work, I’m on the phone ALL THE TIME. So when I get home, the last thing I want to do is talk on the phone. I rarely call people back during the week, and never on the weekends. I usually just reply via e-mail. So much easier that way.