I don't have a hands-free phone. In fact, I use my cell phone only a couple of times a week, for coordinating with my husband how two adults with two cars can have two children in three places at one time without a time machine. And, thank goodness, I'm not so very important that I can justify walking around with a phone in my ear all the time. But there is something I love about hands-free phones.
My monkey mind has lots of conversations with people who aren't actually with me at the time. And I compose a lot of stuff in my head--blog entries, email to Hayley, things I want to write (and promptly forget as soon as I have time to sit down at my computer), reports to clients. And sometimes I get so involved with these words in my head that my mouth moves. And being a person of gestures, I might even move my hands.
It used to be that if you saw someone talking to herself, your first thought might be that she was a bit loopy.
"Look, Daddy, that lady in the car next to us is talking to herself. Does that mean she's crazy?"
If she had young kids with her and you were a parent yourself, you might have sympathetically postulated that she'd spent the morning singing "Baby Beluga" 421 times and was so desperate for adult conversation that she'd resorted to talking to the voices in her head.
But now, if you see someone talking to herself, you're likely to assume that you just can't see the phone she's talking on--especially if she's like me, in desperate need of a haircut and with so much hair that I could have phones in both ears and be wearing several pairs of big hoop earrings and no one could see them.
So now, thanks to modern technology, I can talk to myself without embarrassement. If I wanted to, I could even speak out loud and people would just think I'm monopolizing a phone conversation. Instead of worrying that I've chaperoned one elementary-school field trip too many and gone off the deep end, people just assume I'm on the phone.