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I’m a bit of a gadget person: I’ll admit it. Not all that savvy with computers, but I’m still intrigued by technology, at least the sort that I’m able to understand without a brain cramp. Plus, I’m a phone person, which is to say, I like phones, if not TALKING on the phone (there is a difference, believe it or not). This is why yesterday, at Best Buy, I bought a new phone which I will probably end up returning. Let me explain.

We have one of those expandable Panasonic phone sets, where you buy the base unit and can then add phones without additional jacks. Which is very handy if you only have one jack per room, or no jack at all. Fun, right? (There’s that technology thing again.) Anyway, our downstairs phone, which was not part of this set, recently died. I had another phone that we’d never used (not even worth explaning) so I plugged it in, but it quickly became apparent that it just was not going to work. First, it got crappy reception. Second, the ringers were really odd sounding, very shrill, not what we were used to at all. Every time it rang we’d just sit there, thinking it was something on the TV, then look at each other like, “What IS that?” only to suddenly realize, jump up and run to the phone just as it was going to voicemail. Whoops! So anyway. I decided to go ahead and go buy another base phone, so off I went. As soon as I walked in, there was a display. Perfect, right?

Well, no. Apparently not. There were two models: one with an answering machine, which I didn’t need, and one with a speaker phone, which I did. The only problem is that with the speakerphone one, just about EVERY SINGLE box on display had already been returned and was marked as such. Which of course gives a person pause. Why are all these phones being returned? Must be…crap, right? Right. Still, it was what I wanted, and an additional phone to match the set I had was going to cost about the same amount, if you included the discount for the return. Which left me with a dilemma. Go with the sure thing (i.e. the phone that hadn’t been returned, and therefore was probably better) or take that big risk and go for broke with the other one.

Normally, I am not risk taker. I drive like your grandmother, I don’t like to gamble, I worry constantly. But yesterday, I thought, well…maybe I’ll just go for it. It’s a better phone, for the same price, maybe there’s some OTHER reason it’s been returned, something that has nothing to do with me. So I bought it. Brought it home, charged it up, plugged it in. Only when it finally rang did I realize why maybe all those folks had changed their mind: Talking Caller ID.

You heard me. It’s a voice, that comes on between rings, announcing who is calling. So eerie! “Call from STARR, REMY” for example, said in this flat computer monotone. Freaky! I’m not sure if we can handle it. But I believe we can turn it off. Maybe there’s something else annoying about this phone, something terrible? I guess I’ll find out. If I do, I’ll just take it back. A bit more of a pain in the butt, but at least I’ll have a story to tell. And that, in the end, is what really matters. To me, anyway. In the meantime, I’ll just be here, hitting an entire new level of laziness. Not only screening calls, but not even having to GET UP AND LOOK AT THE PHONE to do so. Oh, man. It’s only a quick jump from here to staying in my pajamas all day, eating cereal out of the box and watching Montel Williams. Uh-oh….

have a good day, everyone!