Image licensed from Canva

6 Things Only Those Who Grew Up With Phone Cords Will Understand

Memories of the curly wire of doom.

Kyrie Gray
Oct 20, 2020 · 3 min read

The Trap

Images and animations by author

When talking to friends on the phone it was very easy to get excited and start to move back and forth, turn to grab something, or perform another action that would draw the cord more secure around you. Inevitably after a call, you’d find yourself entangled in a web of wire, having to carefully unwind yourself like a yoyo so you could be free.

The Danger

Cords and cups did not go together like peanut butter and jelly. More like peanut butter and smashed glass. Or ceramic. Woe to the child who dragged that curly wire across a flat surface without checking for glassware first.

The Despair

With a cell phone I can literally go anywhere to have a conversation. No so with cord phones. We’d be forced to remain in the same room as the phone, often within earshot of others. To find reprieve we’d try to stretch the cord to its limit for some privacy. This move was not approved by moms.

The Pain

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if there is a string or sting-like item, a child will wonder how it will look tied around their finger. Which is how one ends up screaming for their parents to come save their digit that is quickly losing circulation.

The Drama

Parents had to take a lot of calls. Which meant they were not spending enough time focused on us kids. The battle for attention was played out by messing with the defenseless cord in order to make them look at you. Whether with anger or love, it didn’t matter. As long as they showed they cared more for you than who might be on the other end of that phone.

The Mystery

Who’d get the phone? Who knows. Because we’d all assume someone else would, sometimes it reached that dreaded last ring before any of us realized we’d all gotten too comfortable with someone else picking it up. Which either led to a shout for someone else to answer it, or a mad dash from multiple directions to reach it in time.

Atta Girl

For women in their 30s & 40s or whatever. If the internet doesn’t think you’re cool anymore, we do.

Sign up for Atta Girl's Newsletter

By Atta Girl

A newsletter for everyone the internet thinks is "over." Take a look.

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Kyrie Gray

Written by

Writer of humor, spooky things, and history. Subscribe to my newsletter, Guffaw for updates, musings and other fun stuff https://guffaw.substack.com/welcome

Atta Girl

Atta Girl

For women in their 30s & 40s or whatever. If the internet doesn’t think you’re cool anymore, we do.

Kyrie Gray

Written by

Writer of humor, spooky things, and history. Subscribe to my newsletter, Guffaw for updates, musings and other fun stuff https://guffaw.substack.com/welcome

Atta Girl

Atta Girl

For women in their 30s & 40s or whatever. If the internet doesn’t think you’re cool anymore, we do.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store