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While cool kids strive towards ever more advanced, portable and tiny phones, I just bought the most gigantic, tethered landline I could find.

That’s right, we’re talking to you corded.

Call it kitschy, retro or ridiculous, but I love my new wall phone, just like the one we had in our kitchen growing up (except my rotary dial is faux).   When it rings, I don’t have to dive under couch cushions to find it.  I don’t have to recharge it or replace its parts, and I’ll never have to upgrade it to, say, the iWall 5S.

My fantasy is that Viv will learn some old school phone etiquette by using it: “Good morning, this is Viv.  Who’s calling please?”  Plus I’ll be able to play gatekeeper and really freak out her friends with my whole June Cleaver act.

I don’t fetishize the past, but there are a few things I refuse to leave behind.  As Viv grows up, she will be required to experience the following:


I’m not a stickler for vinyl, but I believe there are some albums that must be listened to all the way through, from beginning to end.  We may be in the digital age, but just because you CAN shuffle, doesn’t mean you should.  Fans of Dark Side of the Moon, Sticky Fingers, Doolittle, Purple Rain and A Chorus Line would surely agree.

I find that when we do use our phonograph instead of “the compooter,” we have much better dance parties and singalongs because we’re not constantly DJ’ing. Plus it goes great with the new landline.

Typing Lessons

Traditional typing skills aren’t needed for texting, but I’m a writer, so my kid’s gonna learn how to type properly with two hands.  Watching her hunt and peck through a term paper would make me insane.   And how else will she learn that the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog?


What’s nicer than going to the mailbox and finding a personal card hand-addressed to you, a little jewel amongst the crap catalogues, junk mail and bills?  Same goes for handwritten thank you notes.  They’re just better.   As long as the post office is in business, so at least another 3-5 years, I’ll be teaching Viv the joys of snail mail.

Special Occasion Movies

When I was a very little girl, there were no VCR’s and only 7 television channels (CBS, NBC, ABC, WNEW, WOR, PIX, PBS – What up New York Metro Area!!).  Every Spring, CBS would pre-empt The Waltons to bring us a very special presentation of The Wizard of Oz.   We’d make popcorn and even though we’re Jewish, my Grandma would show up with a giant Easter basket of candy and it was a monumental event that I looked forward to ALL YEAR.  I know this is an incredibly unrealistic idea in this day and age, and as a preschooler Viv will go through a phase where she needs to watch The Little Mermaid 18 times in one day, but when she’s old enough to understand about traditions, I’m hoping to institute some special occasion movies of our own.

What old school rules do you have for your kids?

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