As a “know-it-all teenager,” Michelle Shores once hung up on her mother – but only once. Photo courtesy of Michelle Shores

Years ago, long before we had cellphones, back when we were still using that green rotary dial phone mounted to the wall in our 1970s kitchen, I remember the day I hung up on my mother.

We were talking on the phone, me the know-it-all teenager, Mom the working mother trying to do it all. I’m not sure now what we were arguing about, but I got frustrated and hung up the phone. Mom called right back. When I answered I heard my mother hiss, “Don’t you EVER hang up on me again!” It was clearly an offense I could get grounded for. I never did it again.

Cellphones have, in many ways, made our lives easier, and this was brought home to me very poignantly the other day when my husband called. I’m not sure exactly what we were discussing, but I was getting frustrated that he couldn’t quite understand my point. So I hung up the phone.

He quickly called me back, but I didn’t feel like answering. A dozen or so callbacks later, I finally answered. “What happened?” he asked. “I lost you.” Smiling to myself, I simply said, “Dropped call. No service, I guess.”

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