few people understand how truly terrifying telephone conversations can be. case in point: tonight, I must endeavour to contact a neighbour back home to ask for the names of psychologists and psychiatrists for whom I could try to do research over the summer. granted, she is very nice and has known me virtually all my life, but there are still countless potential pitfalls.
1. what if I dial the wrong number? then I'll have to hang up, dial the right number and get nervous all over again.
2. how do I address her? I avoid using names whenever possible, but I have to ask for someone.
3. what if they can't hear me, or can't understand me? I have been told by almost everyone I know to stop mumbling at one time or another. and sometimes I forget where my mouth is and hold the phone somewhere in the vicinity of my neck.
4. what if she doesn't remember me? I'm sure the name would click sooner or later, but what if it's later, after lots of "you know, random's sister... down the street... no, the other street..."? so awkward.
5. what if I get so nervous I forget that I am, in fact, a native english speaker and have been competently putting sentences together for almost 21 years? this has happened before. typical english words, such as 'my', 'name', and 'laura' are replaced by a sort of garbled, nonsensical stream of sounds with a couple stutters thrown in for good measure.
6. what if she doesn't know the answer? or doesn't want to tell me? or pretends to be polite and helpful when, in reality, she's rolling her eyes and thinking, "stop wasting my time, you worthless tool?" what if she tells me outright, "stop wasting my time, you worthless tool?"
so many possibilities. so few of them good. and that is why I hate telephones.