Friday, October 25, 2013

When The Awkward Silence Comes BEFORE The Conversation

"I've tried that number several times, Ma'am.  There doesn't seem to be anyone on the other end of the line."

My mother takes "awkward silence" on the phone to a whole new level.

She's got this new thing she's doing when I call (and when others call too).


When she answers the phone, she just stays silent.  Doesn't say a word.  Just picks up the handset and waits.

ring...ring...ring...ring...ring...ring...ring...ring


I hear the phone being picked up, then nothing.  Well, except her breathing. 

And the TV.

And the bells and dings and whistles coming from the Pogo game she's playing on her iPad, which I know is perched on her lap. 

So I wait.

...

...

...

...

...

Then I can't take it anymore. 

"Ma!!"  I'm annoyed and the conversation hasn't even begun.

"Yes?" she said.

"WHAT are you doing??  Why don't you say hello when you answer the phone?"  I said.

"Why didn't you say hello?" she said.

"Because I called YOU and when you pick up the phone, you're supposed to say hello.  Or at least say something.  Grunt, even." I said.

"Well, you could have said hello." she said.  I'm getting more aggravated by the minute.

"That's not how it works," I said.  "The person answering the phone is supposed to answer it with a greeting of some sort.  Usually, it's hello."

She has no good reason for doing this.  I think she assumes the person calling will just hang up.  It's her way of not having her slew of evening TV shows interrupted. 

It's beyond frustrating.

The other thing she does is answer the phone like a feeble, crotchety, wobbly-voiced old lady.

"Huuuullllloooo?" she says, sounding small and frail.

"Ma!  What the hell??  Why are you answering like you're dying??"

"Well..."

"No, seriously.  WHAT are you doing?  Why are you answering the phone like that??" I said.

"I figure if someone thinks I'm old, they won't bother me." she said.

"First, you are old.  Second, do you really think acting like a frail old lady, who can barely hold the phone in her tiny gnarled hand, and who doesn't have enough air in her lungs to even say hello, is a good thing to project?  Why don't you just give them your address and tell them to come rob you because you can't fight back, you're so feeble??"

"They don't know how old I am." she counters.

"No, they don't.  But when you make it sound like you're a fucking hundred years old, hobbling around your house on a walker, dragging your bad leg behind you, you're sending a message that's not accurate.  You should answer the phone like you're a 300 pound lumberjack, getting ready to take down a forest with the cord of your phone."  I said.

"Ma?"

...

...

"Ma?!  Are you there?"

"Yes."

Oh, dear God.  And she's not even old old yet.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012:
Relax And Enjoy The Ride
2011:
Goats Make Good Pizza…And You Don’t Even Get Onion Breath From It
2010: When Medieval Equals Pretty
2009: A Great Celebration Of Abundance
2008: Dormers Of Sweetgrass
2007: Old Power
2006: At Your Service
2005: Clothing Identification 101

2 comments:

dlg said...

I LOVE TONI...I STILL THINK I SHOULD VISIT HER AGAIN. WE HAD SUCH FUN.

Gi-Gi Roxx said...

You're mother cracks me up.