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Humor September 2014

Agelessly Yours

If A Man Answers, It Isn't My House

By Karen White-Walker

"Don't think you'll ever bring a cell phone into this house, young lady," he threatened. "You'd only stick it in your jean pocket, forget about it and wash it along like you always do with my wallet. You give a new meaning to laundering money, let me tell ya." The only part of that dialogue that's worth repeating is when he called me “young lady” – hopefully half of that phrase is correct, anyway.

What is it about mainly older men and the phone? If it's only inches from his ear, my husband won't answer it. "All the calls are for you, so why should I bother?" he's been arguing for decades.

If that's the case, why is he so darn interested in who's on the phone when it rings? Just like it's impossible to maintain two separate thoughts in your head at the same time, so too, it's impossible to be hearing two separate people at the same time when each is not remotely saying the same thing.

"Please don't talk to me when I'm on the phone," I've begged old stone face. "I get so confused."

"Why aren't I surprised? Your whole family is confused," he'll grumble.

"They're only confused when they see us together — when, where, how, why? I feel guilty for leaving my aging parents all those years in limbo with those pressing questions."

"Guess I had that coming. I shouldn't down your family," he confessed.

"Until the next time," I pouted. "I shouldn't have said they were confused about us being together, I should have said angry. No, more than angry right now because I want to strangle you when I'm talking on the phone and you butt right in. And you don't even know what the heck I'm talking about. That's the part that really kills me."

"Oh I know all right, and it's all the same jibber jabber. What do women always yak about? Their kids, weight, hair and husbands."

"You're diverting from my original complaints — you don't answer the phone when it's right near you, and yet you want to be in on the conversation when the phone call is for me. Here I am stuck only with a land line, ‘chained’ to the wall when the rest of the world has cell phones with the freedom of talking privately."

"Don't think you'll ever bring a cell phone into this house, young lady," he threatened. "You'd only stick it in your jean pocket, forget about it and wash it along like you always do with my wallet. You give a new meaning to laundering money, let me tell ya."

The only part of that dialogue that's worth repeating is when he called me “young lady” –  hopefully half of that phrase is correct, anyway.

I'll never give him the satisfaction of knowing that I have no desire for a cell phone. I truly believe they're addicting and that you lose living in the moment when you're on them. And it looks like almost everybody is on them continuously. It seems like you'd have to be oblivious with everything going on around you. Hey, like it or not, that's only my opinion.

But back to our home phones that have caused such discord in our relationship. If my husband has such an aversion to them, why did he have seven of them (like the seven deadly sins) installed in our small place, when one would suffice? He claims he can't tolerate “small talk,” which is all talking on the phone is to him, except when he gets a call!

Is it spousal abuse when you're not even allowed to move or breathe while he's on the phone? Once and only once, I attempted to ask a question while he was talking and that glare of his alone would have held back the Confederate troops at Fort Sumter. Is that the same face that always in the beginning winked and smiled at me? The same guy who years ago said, " Honey, always make sure you have a dime on you at all times in case you have to call me. I'm as close as the nearest phone, darling."

That's what I'm afraid of –  I'm as good as stranded if ever I have to call home.

 

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