This is now standard. I am on board.
Anyway, this afternoon I phoned Brock for our usual Saturday "salon des bon mots." Here is the conversation, verbatim:
Brock:(muffled distress of some kind and then a frustrated voice) "Hello?"
Beth: "Hey! What are you doing?"
Brock: (as if he had received repeated obscene phone calls) "WHO IS THIS?!?!"
Beth: "It's Beth. Jesus Christ, what the hell was that?"
Brock: "Sorry, I...I pressed a button and the phone answered and I couldn't see who was calling."
Beth: "Jeez. 'Who is this.' Who were you expecting?"
Brock: "I know! Did you like my tone!?!? God, I don't know what came over me. I'm all riled up!"
Beth: "That was quite exciting."
Brock:"Apparently. So, do you want to hang out?"
Beth: "WHAT THE HELL ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO?"
These days, when presented with answering a phone blindly, we're simply beside ourselves with fear and confusion. When's the last time you answered a cell phone call from an unknown number? Years, right? That's why God invented voicemail. The worst are unknown calls without messages. As I often remind my friends, "A missed call does not a message make." I prefer to see that a specific person is calling, send them to voicemail, have them leave a brief but informative message and call them back at my leisure. None of this, "Hi Beth. Please call me back" business. Why? Tell me why you're calling. This process is ideal, and again, I feel it's the unspoken standard.
I was shopping with my mother on our recent vacation and she took every cell phone call she received. She'd just answer, "This is Joanne!!!" when her phone rang, whether she knew the caller or not. I was floored. Answer a cell phone? Unheard of!
I eventually decided it's a generational thing.
My mother doesn't see any reason to not answer her phone. And Brock sees every reason in the world to freak out when presented with an unknown caller.
Either that, or he's been getting repeated obscene phone calls and keeping the dicey details to himself...