I'm old enough to remember when you couldn't go to a store and buy a phone. Every phone--every single one--had to be purchased through the phone company. And if you've ever walked into a cellphone store nowadays and thought their selection was "lacking," you have no idea how things used to be. The phone company--where we lived it was Mountain Bell--had maybe three phones to choose from, that was it.
So to see a store in the mall in the early 1980s selling telephones, different kinds of phones, it was amazing. You could get phones that sat on a desk/counter or ones that hung on the wall. The possibilities were endless, or so we thought.
As time when on, you could buy phones anywhere, even convenience stores, hardware stores, and grocery stores.
Apparently, those days are pretty much gone.
We still have a landline. I know, it's kind of a dorky thing to have, but we do. We inherited the phone number from my mom when she passed away. It's the number I had since we moved to Farmington in 1969. I like having a landline and we'll probably keep it. The cordless phones we've used for a while are beginning to go--those batteries don't last forever. It was time to get a new phone.
Where to go to get one? That question is tougher to answer than you might think. My wife checked out Home Depot--they advertise phones on their website. When she asked if they sold phones at the store, the Home Depot employee gave her a strange look. He said he didn't know. He sent her to an area in the store where they night be. They had no phones. She next tried Kohls, I mean, they sell housewares. But they don't sell phones, either.
Tonight we checked out Costco, that huge megastore that has everything, including a lot of electronic gadgets. We found some landline phone, actually three models. We picked the the cheapest one. We have replaced our phone, but it seems we're back to only having three phones to choose from.