Five Reasons I Love My Rotary Dial Phone

Gandalf believes this phone is a wise choice. (image by Corrina Lawson)
Gandalf believes this phone is a wise choice. (Image by Corrina Lawson)

I bought the old rotary phone on a lark off eBay to hold us over until we decided what cool new phone to buy for the house, but after a couple of months, we decided to keep it.


1. It’s never lost.

When we had a phone with a handset in my bedroom, the handset disappeared, sometimes for days, meaning I had to roam around the house looking for the phone to answer it. There were times when I never found it.

Now? I always have a phone in my room. Bonus: The kids won’t use it because, eww…Mom, how do I use the dial thing?

I suppose I could teach them.


2. It can be used when the power goes out.

Yes, I know I can use my cell phone too, but doing so uses up that battery. Unless the phone service goes out too, which is unusual.

3. I have to memorize phone numbers.

Yes, this sounds like a drawback. It’s not. I like knowing the phone numbers of my family members, especially my eldest two kids, who are at college. I like knowing my mother’s number. If I ever happen to be without my cell phone, I can still reach the people I care about.

4. It’s the perfect shape to fit between the neck and shoulder during conversations.

I can talk on the phone and take notes. I can’t do that with my cell phone or the newer, thinner handset for the phone we used in the family room in the basement. (That disappears frequently, too, but it’s not my problem now. If the kids want to make a call, they can find it on their own.)

Sure, I suppose if I’m on my cell phone that I could put the conversation on speaker, but then everyone in the house would hear the whole call and, trust me, that’s not a good thing.

Note: Why do I have a cell phone and a land-line? Because the cell reception is crap at my house in the boondocks.

5. I can hang up on telemarketers with gusto.

Something has truly been lost when you can no longer slam the phone done and definitively end a lousy conversation, especially one with an annoying telemarketer at the other end. The rotary phone has heft and weight. It just feels good in my hand.

I bet I could use it to smack thieves if they every broke into my house, because the thing weighs as much as some baseball bats.

The only drawback? I can’t use the phone to navigate through voice mail systems used by many companies. Hmmm…maybe that’s not such a drawback after all, since it will prevent me from calling them in the first place.

Writer, Mom, Geek and Superhero. though usually not all four on the same day. Author of the award-winning Phoenix Institute Superhero series and the steampunk novel, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract.