Vintage Wall Phone

My dad liked to collect things… well… sort of acquire things he suddenly took a fancy to. This old telephone was one of those things and it ended up following me around from house to house for many years before finally disappearing. I always liked this old phone (it looks like it has a face!), but never had a place to display it nor knew how to hang it properly.

So, it just sat on the floor laying against various walls in various houses. This doodlewash is an ode to that old phone. And since I now rarely use the “phone app” on my smartphone, preferring to text, this always reminds me of nearly the only person I talk to on the telephone – my mother.

My mother lives in Texas now and we only see each other a couple times a year. Neither of us are particularly good about using a telephone so it’s not uncommon to go weeks without talking to each other. Our running joke is that whoever finally decides to break the silence and actually call says, “Hi, it’s me. I’m returning your call.”

Not sure why I wouldn’t call more, because conversations with my mother are always entertaining as I’m never sure what will pop out of her mouth. You’re likely to hear bits of wisdom like these: “It’s kind of like a porno… people say there’s a story to it, but there’s no story to it,” or, “I’m kinda glad I grew up in the 50’s. We didn’t have to wear slingshots for underwear in the 50’s,” or “Well, apparently, having sex with a dead woman is only a misdemeanor.”

I remember when I was talking to her about first meeting Philippe. I was excited to be traveling to Paris to spend time with him for a few weeks, but worried that my ability to speak Spanish was not going to be very helpful there. I was visiting my mother for Christmas and had just ordered a new in-depth French language course. This was the conversation:

Charlie: So I’m trying to learn some French before I visit Philippe in Paris.
Mom: That’s good! Have you seen those commercials for Rosetta Stone?
Charlie: No, I don’t have cable, why?
Mom: There’s this one with a 30 year old man on there and he says, “Now I can speak to my parents in Japanese.” I was like… if your parents wanted you to speak to them in Japanese, why the hell didn’t they teach you?!”

This is the wonderful logic I grew up with and I have to admit that it’s served me well in life. I really love hearing about the world through my mother’s eyes and ears. You usually feel like you’re starting in the middle of the story, but that’s all part of the fun. The conversation will take a whiplash turn from a political tirade to the inexplicable discovery that “their neighbor’s cows were coming over and licking the siding on the house. I mean, what’s wrong with those cows?!”

Everyone has a different relationship with their families as well as with their phones, but I’m just fine with mine. Sometimes it’s the things you do the least that you remember the most. And out of all the crazy things I’ve done in life, the most cherished memories will always be the simpler ones. Those rare times when I remembered to press the phone app, and found myself calling mom.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

40 replies on “Calling Mom

    1. Thanks Jill!! ❤️😃 I KNEW you’d see the face too!! Hehe…it’s what made me like it! And yes…I do have a good relationship, but she she “hates” it when I blog about her. 😉😊 But it’s only the idea of it as she doesn’t have a computer and won’t be reading this.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s no wonder you are such a riot; your mom is, too! I try to never call anyone if I can help it either. I used to call my mom once a month, but now that she’s gone, I call my dad even less often. I love old phones and I love your painting of the old phone!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful illustration, I like the texture! Nice to know about your mom🙂 I do call my dad everyday except weekend, after all I am daddies girl! Generally daughters have good connection with dads 😎😆

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful sketch of a vintage phone…love those older phones, they had character, like your sketch, you and your mother apparently ;D. Thank you for such a delightful story, loving, tender and with a good amount of laughter. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A friend told me that the millennials in his office don’t even know how to use a phone. They don’t have the least idea of phone etiquette either. Another lost art, like telling time from a non-digital clock, or tying one’s shoes, or script handwriting…(K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know…it’s sad how many things are going away, and I’m not sure the alternatives are actually better. Script handwriting is the sadness one (even though I hate my handwriting, I at least appreciate that I can sort of do it…hehe). Yeah…I’ve experienced the lack of phone etiquette and it’s weird! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 😀 My grandma has a phone like that on her wall!
    Oh, and I love the Rosetta Stone joke. I do winder, if your parents speak Japanese, than why don’t you, that’s just common logic.🙂
    I’m taking Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a little difficult in the later levels! I have to use google translate the first time I hear some of the words because the pictures don’t help with like, “bad.” and stuff like that.

        Liked by 1 person

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