Storytelling Sunday: Long distance romance

It was interesting to read some of the comments on my February contribution to Storytelling Sunday regarding how different telephone charging policies were in the UK compared to the U.S. in the 1990s (i.e., cost per call in the UK, local calls included in monthly fee in the U.S.). Though we didn’t have to worry about extra cost for Karen’s local calling habit, it was another matter entirely when it came to long distance!

We had a lot of rules in our household when daughter Karen was growing up. Most had been in place for a long time, including one that Karen wasn’t allowed to date until she was 16. This turned out to be difficult to enforce because, with a birthday in late June, Karen was among the youngest in her class. So, about halfway through her sophomore year and a few months short of her 16th birthday, we agreed that Karen could start dating. It wasn’t long before she paired up with D, a boy a year ahead of her in school. They went together for most of the next 18 months until D’s family decided to move to Florida, some 1200 miles away from our Connecticut home.

Needless to say, our telephone bill skyrocketed the first month after D moved because he and Karen were on the phone as much as each set of parents would allow. In fact, early on in their long distance relationship, I discovered Karen on the phone (with D, of course!) and asked what they were doing. Imagine my surprise when Karen said they were “watching a movie together”—at long distance rates! Needless to say that call came to an abrupt end, and, once the first post-move phone bill arrived, Karen’s dad and I quickly came up with new telephone rules (involving a kitchen timer and a set number of calls per week) in order to control our monthly long distance charges.

Posted for Sian’s Storytelling Sunday. Click here for Sian’s own story and for links to other interesting and entertaining reads. And, of course, you are welcome to add your own story to the link party.

19 thoughts on “Storytelling Sunday: Long distance romance

  1. Ouch, the cost of watching a movie long distance – the only thing I can think of that would be worse – reading a book long distance.

  2. My sister and I watch movies via skype now- its just better watching it ‘together’ sometimes. Back in the day my dad used to get the highlighter out with telephone bill and then we’d all deny knowing the number and he’d call it and get one of our friends answering and we’d be caught out!

  3. I can remember those days of trying to “police” the amount of time my daughter was on the phone, talking to her friends – trying to keep the line open some of the time for other callers to get through. Now she simply texts all her communications.

  4. Thank goodness for Skype; bet you would have been pleased to have had that back in the day. Thankfully my two girls had boyfriends (who became their husbands) nearer at hand… though even then, the bills were extortionate. Thank you for sharing this story.

  5. Oh, what a lovely story this is! Imagine,watching a movie long distance – I’ll be smiling at this sweet thought for the rest of the day. And I love how last month’s story gave you an idea for this month’s perfect little memory. Thanks Wanda, I like this one evry much.

  6. Communication has come a long way! My first job right out of high school was as a toll (long distance) operator. When I started, we used plug-in cords and dials to connect people and manually timed their calls, which were billed according to time AND distance. Now my sister in California and I in Maine talk for hours every Sunday, and it’s covered by our unlimited, flat-rate monthly phone bill. My brother in Florida and I keep in touch via Skype, no phones involved at all. And I can’t remember the last time I talked to a telephone operator.

  7. This is very sweet. I am a teenager in a long distance ( Although not quite that far) relationship and totally sympathise! Thankfully we now have skype!

  8. My husband and I started our romance long distance. He was a full-time volunteer at the time so only made $75 a month (a one year commitment). Needless to say, I offered to pay for most of our phone bills. But he is the one who drove to see me on the weekends! Great story about your daughter.

  9. There is something about being a teenager that makes you want to chat for hours on the phone. I got many a telling off for chatting too long but watching a movie, that made me smile 🙂

  10. First Love Wanda!…you have made me remember that even though my boyfriend( now my hubby) lived only two streets away from me, we STILL spent ages on the phone to each other…though we never got as far as watching a movie over the phone- too funny!
    Alison xx

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