My Mother… and her Telephone Voice

Remember in the 80s, when parents used to answer the landline by saying the area followed by their phone number ie. ‘St Albans 233915?’

Well, my mother STILL does that.

The husband didn’t believe me so I told him to call my mother. She answered with a trill, ‘Hello, Preston 7437**’, as she always does.

Sometimes, I try to cut her off somewhere between the 7 and the 4, by announcing, ‘It’s ME!’

But she always persists with saying the full number, in her poshest ‘telephone voice’, of course. I think it’s something to do with her former days working on the switchboard at BT, before she became student landlady extraordinaire.

My sister and I were always drilled to answer the telephone in our best secretarial voice,  just in case it was Someone Of Great Importance (it never was).

I love that the age of mobile communication has done nothing to dampen my mother’s habit.

The husband’s late grandmother took things one step further – answering the telephone not with her number but with her full postal address.

I almost wish I had a landline so I could carry on the tradition.

‘Hello, Orange 07956 2666**, somewhere in North Leeds…’ just doesn’t have the same ‘ring’ to it.