Phone Home

When I see pre-teen/teenage girls walking around today with their phones glued to their heads or see them texting in restaurants, movie theatres, concerts, busses, malls, grocery stores, wedding ceremonies, etc. I think to myself, wow, that is super annoying.

I also think to myself that would have toootally been me, and thank God cell phones did not exist during my teenage years.

I would have gotten in SO MUCH TROUBLE back in the day if all this technology would have been available. I can’t imagine my parents putting up with me constantly looking down, staring at a little screen, talking to my friends and with boys which again, I totally would have done.

Our form of texting was known as “passing notes” in class. This seems a much safer option, as you could tear up or very dramatically burn a note if need be. As bad at covering my tracks as I was I can see my parents picking up my phone and well, it kind of makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.

See, if someone back in the ninth grade said, “I’ll call you after school” you actually had to be home after to answer one of these:

"Pinky" Conair phone

I owned this pink phone by Conair and am shocked that it didn’t blow up or overheat from the insane amount of usage it got.

Here are a few things old “pinky” and I did together – and yes, I named my phone Pinky. You named your phone too…right?

Marathon Long Conversations With Friends, Boys, and Boyfriends

I can still hear my dad screaming “GET OFF THE PHONE” or my mom picking up the like in the kitchen and pressing the buttons to dial – God forbid she was able to make a call of her own. My girlfriends and I would watch television together on the phone, listen to the radio together on the phone and open up the yearbook to talk about each picture of each classmate on the phone. Keep in mind this was all done while tied by the curly pink phone cord to my bedroom, not wandering around the house willy-nilly. No wonder the pink wall across from my bed is burned into my memory along with this poster of Jon Bon Jovi that I memorized every single detail of.

Bon Jovi poster

Prank Calls

We would prank call people like crazy…these were the days before called ID or star 69 so it was all very safe. And when I say we would prank call people I mostly mean we would call boys we liked and hang up on them after they said hello. Then we would scream OH MY GOD and laugh our heads off. Like I said, CRAZY.


Lots of hours spent listening to the radio and lots of songs dedicated to old loves, new loves and current loves. Lots of conversations with local disc jockeys making me feel as if I was talking to Oscar winning celebrities. And needless to say, lots of “Hello” by Lionel Richie.

Diary entry

Emergency Break Through

Does anyone else remember the emergency break through call? I should have been arrested for using this little gem. Call waiting wasn’t invented yet so if you called someone and got a busy signal, you could call the operator and get them to break through on the line, saying it was an EMERGENCY – very dramatic. If you consider “my boyfriend is talking to a girl from algebra class” an emergency, then I sure had a lot of them.

Not to sound like an old lady but I’m pretty glad I didn’t own a cell phone as a teenager. Besides the trouble I would have gotten into by going well over my minutes or my parents finding text messages to boys they didn’t approve of, I don’t think any phone with a little glowing screen could ever have warranted a nickname, or be as memorable to me as old pinky was.

Author: Lori Ferraro

Lori is a writer and actor living in Portland, OR. Her website, Drawn to the 80s, is where her 5 year old draws the greatest music hits of the 1980s. She is a blogger for The Huffington Post and her own blog, Once Upon a Product, is where she writes about important things like beauty products, music, her obsession with Mick Jagger and of course...the 80s.

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