I am not a phone person. Now, this comes as no surprise to any of you who know me.
. . . it’s learned behavior from my dad. Our adult conversations have mostly gone like this:
Dad: “Nnnnnyellow?” (I don’t know why it’s not “hello”, but his resounding bass voice clearly pronounces a series of “nnnn’s” to signify he is about to name the color yellow. It’s cute.)
Me: “Hey Dad!”
Dad: “Hey! Uh, here’s your mom”
Dad and I have a great relationship, it’s just that he talks on the phone all day as part of his work and I, well, I would rather stick those thin, dry off-brand cotton swabs deeply into my ear canals than chit-chat on the phone and he knows this.
. . . it’s because I once heard someone say that after 5 minutes into a phone conversation the discussion always goes from “what” to “who”, and the topic begins to spiral downhill into gossip. I generally find this to be true, and prefer not to badmouth people ever again. (This is not to say I WON’T do it, I just prefer not.)
. . . it’s because I’m afraid of calling people at the wrong time. I’m a firm believer in etiquette when it comes to the right and wrong times to use the telephone. I have always adhered to a strict “between 9 and 9” rule. Any earlier and you risk waking people, any later and you risk, well, waking people. It’s rude, unless of course it is an emergency. And by emergency, I mean death. A Saturday night 10:15 “Oh, Steph, I forgot . . . I’m not going to be there to teach in the morning because my cat has worms, so can you do it for me?” is NOT an emergency! And the reverse is true for our rural friends who call EARLY because they believe if you are still asleep after 6:30 a.m. you must have been worshiping Satan the night before.
So, while I’m on the subject of poorly timed phone calls, my mom has had issues with this on more than one occasion. When the husband & I were newlyweds, we became convinced she had a sixth sense about when to call . . . or rather a “sex-th sense”. No matter when Mom called, it was ALWAYS when we were, uh, well, you know. Bad timing. Sometimes REALLY bad timing. We decided to find it humorous.
Then, when we lived in Alaska, she would frequently forget which way the 3-hour time difference worked. She’d call at 8 a.m. . . . unfortunately, it was 5 a.m. in Anchorage. Add to that the fact that we had a 3-story condo with only one phone - in the kitchen on the main floor. If you wanted to actually ANSWER the phone when it rang, you had exactly 11.63 seconds from the first inkling of a ringtone to jerk awake, kick off blankets, bound out of bed, down the hall and down a flight of stairs (necessarily taking 2 at a time) just to grab the phone off the wall before said caller hung up. Many times I took a gold medal in this event, but there were many other times when my qualifying time just wasn’t up to par.
And speaking of this 100-meter-phone-dash . . . once the phone woke me out of a dead sleep. Or rather, it rousted me . . . I don’t think I was really awake. I stumbled down the hall thinking to myself, “I have to pick that thing up and SAY something! What do I say??? Isn’t there a WORD you’re supposed to say when you answer the phone? What IS that word?!?”
11.63 seconds later, I picked up the receiver and muttered, “HUH?”
Eloquent, as always.
Maybe THAT’S why I’m not a phone person.