The Midults’ guide to...
The ringing, the ringing
RINGING. ALL THE RINGING. And pinging. And beeping. The noise pollution. Under constant attack. One of us is currently living with a kind of highpitched, whining ring in one of our ears. It’s presenting the illusion of deafness and ‘Whaat? Sorry? Speak up!’ is barked with increasing deg ees of irritability.
So here’s an incredibly unscientific theory: have our brains decided that we don’t need to hear everything? Are they selecting what our ears can process and what they should reject?
We reached peak ring some years ago. Now we spend all our time trying to switch ringing off. This was last week:
IT IS 10AM.
I am expecting a call. I am efficient. I have a cup of coffee and a pen. My computer is on and ready for me to take serious notes should the need arise. I am that person.
IT IS 10.03AM.
AndA I am still expecting a call. Why is everyone always late? Here I am, the very picture of competence and productivity. What a shame. I chew my pen and log on to Asos. I am a lone proficient in an inept world.
IT IS 10.06AM.
Still nothing. I pick up my phone to fiddle with Instagram and airbrush my holiday pictures on Facetune. There are three missed calls. How did that happen? It was on silent . It ’s always on silent. Except in the cinema or during a wedding speech, obviously.
IT IS 10.07AM.
I call the number back. ‘I am so sorry I was sitting here and I realised my phone was on silent and I don’t know why it didn’t vibrate, in fact I don’t know why it was on silent but it might have been because I’m on this Whatsapp group and when it gets going it really goes wild and can be maddening, so most of the time I just flick it on to silent…’
Ringing. It makes us feel out of control. Attacked. Cornered. What does the caller want from us? It’s so aggressive to call. So anxious-making. And, if you are single and you meet someone amusing and he calls you? Well, what manner of medieval throwback is this? Oh dear God, just when we’re coming to terms with Tinder and sexting and newgen romance, some men have decided to go all retro and post-modern and pick up the damn phone. What to say? Who has time? Is my voice OK? This is a nightmare.
It was recently brought to our attention that people under 30 do not ring or answer doorbells. They will only open the door if someone has texted, ‘I am outside.’ Imagine the missed delivery slips. So stressful. They don’t like ringing, the youth of today. Nor do children. One woman told us that her landline rang the other day and both her kids burst into tears and tried to hide under the sofa.
Which is exactly what we would like to do if we didn’t think people might wonder about us. More than they already do. The ringing, the ringing. Oh God.
Just when we’re coming to terms with Tinder and sexting and new-gen romance, men go retro and pick up the damn phone