Phone Preference

I figured out a lot of things by realizing that I was a “hi-tech brat.”

I had a college roommate who was a self-proclaimed “faculty brat;” “similar to a military brat.”

The issue of “phone preference” came up with her.

My father was a hi-tech professional and was also an AT&T employee and my mother’s discount long distance calling was extremely important to her as it enabled her to stay in touch with her family and friends in England.

They moved here after they were married.

So, after 39 years I finally forgave the Harvard roommate for screwing up my life.

After years of blaming her for commandeering me as a friend to her in her insecurity when I should have gone elsewhere with my own troubles at that time– because it just took too long to work everything out and some bad things happened; recently. I finally understood that–completely outside the world of Harvard, she had authority over me as a person of superior authority in the hi-tech world. At the time I understood her authority as an academic; then, I was able to see her authority over me through her fathers position in the world of engineering that I wont further elaborate here.

There was a big fight at the end and we went our separate ways and I went down after that.

I wound up at the state hospital here in PA; my parents had just moved here; i wasnt welcome.

There were some bitter feelings toward this self-proclaimed faculty brat who called once or twice and then moved on.

She caught up with me about 5 years later when I have moved with my ex to California, which she regarded as her stomping grounds. I declined to acknowledge that. She was from SF. I was living south of LA.

So, she sent a letter. This is important as that was currency at that time. But this was especially so for a self-styled academic intellectual. I had taken a different course since Harvard and didnt really appreciate her remarks about herself; I just couldn’t relate any more. So, I set the letter aside and went forward.

When my baby was born about a year and a half later, in late 1993, I started calling up everyone I knew. As the hi-tech daughter of an AT&T Bell Labs retiree that was my prerogative.

I kept calling this Harvard roommate over and over and getting her answering machine I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT CALLER ID. I had some post partum psychosis, a feeling of unreality. I had a difficult situation in my family but i was also ecstatic about my baby and I couldn’t understand why she wouldnt want to talk to me. I figured she must be on vacation. I kept leaving messages. Then I finally got through. She must have had me on call waiting We had an argument. She made a nasty remark about “you and your father” regarding the sexual abuse issue which was on the table at that time–as if I was complicit with this! I couldnt believe what I was hearing. This person is a psychotherapist? (Because that was her profession at this time.) I had talked to our other roommate and she was very kind. She had given me a hint to write a letter to this third roommate.


I had lost my ability to write when I was on the Tegretol. That was the heart of my illness. The sound of the pen touching the paper startled me and made me forget what I was about to say. I literally couldnt even write a check. I couldnt get a gestalt of the 5 items in the check being properly filled out and the check going into the envelope and the stub and address and sealing all being done properly and if it wasnt all done right there was a panic and nothing I could do about it.

So, she wanted a letter.

It was the Tegrotol. I was off of it at that point but the harm was done. I just didnt even go there about a letter. That wasnt going to happen. i kept calling. And yes, I did get mad when people called me on being rude about getting an answering machine and when I used questionable means of getting people’s phone numbers, it goes back to my mothers post partum issues; and, it is also about being a “hi-tech brat,”

So, recently I give my farher credit for being uniquely responsible for the development of the cell phone, which I am typing on now.

He entire career at Bell Labs was developed around the miniaturization of the IC; I have elaborated this elsewhere. Under Sally’s wing at Harvard, I was able to mull through what that excellent institution had to offer for the puzzle pieces that I needed to ubderstand his career and my and our familys place in society.

There have been some very unfortunate turns since then.

Even today, the cell phone and PC are a miraculous help for my condition as I dont need paper so much any more!

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