I call you on the telephone, but you’re never home.

Last night Jeff presented me with a birthday gift.

For the first time ever, we now have Caller ID and Call Waiting.

I’m a terrible (TERRIBLE) phone person, which is odd when you consider that two of my very first jobs involved lots of telephone action. (While in college I was one of those people who called you during dinner to ask if you were interested in having Olan Mills take portraits of your family. I was oddly successful with that job, but the only real memory I took away from it was when my co-worker presented me with a six-pack of Fat Tire and a cassingle of “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston. (She was paying me back for the bread sticks I often bought for her during our breaks. She was broke, and NOT very successful with the Olan Mills gig.) When I returned home that night, five people (3 roommates and 2 friends) were scheming in the living room. We quickly divided up the beer and listened to the cassette one time. ONE TIME.) (Please know that if you live in a house where Rage Against the Machine holds a permanent spot in the CD changer, Whitney Houston is definitely not invited to stay for very long. Also, please know that I rescued Whitney from the trash that night and kept her hidden in my car for those times when I found myself hoping that life treated you kind and that you have all you dreamed of. (I also wished you joy and happiness, but above all this, I wished you love.))

(Sometime I’ll tell you all about my roommates and how we once ate an entire turkey (minus the innards) with our bare hands (on the roof of our house!) to ring in the new year. Wonderfully stinking cretins we were!)

What were we talking about? Phone jobs! The second phone job I had (that’s starting to sound dirty, isn’t it?) involved fighting unemployment claims made by people who were fired from their jobs for misconduct. In other words, I can tell you (off the record, of course) entirely too many stories of Denny’s employees who actually DID pee into the coffee and movie theater employees who were found with their pants down when their pants should have been up (and fastened). Urban Legends Revealed!

So, anyway. Up until now, I either answered the phone or I didn’t, and whoever (whomever? I can never get it down.) was calling either left a message on our machine or they didn’t. It was all so serendipitous and twirly! But now that has changed, because I KNOW it’s you (if I actually get up and look at the phone) and there are four people I do not wish to talk to right now (five, if you count the owner of a local Roly Poly whose employees took me to a level of anger yesterday that led me to type a terribly mean e-mail that I later regretted sending. Oomph.), and those four people currently think that I’m never home, but now they know that I KNOW. (And I  know they know I know et cetera!)

And this adds a whole new flavor to the mix: I just now received a call, and the caller ID thing said ADA. Could it be the American Dental Association (I have a dental appointment on Monday!) or perhaps the American Dietetic Association (Just this morning I was thinking about nutrition, and there is no such thing as a coincidence!)? Because curiosity always kills me, I picked up the phone. It was the American Diabetes Association, and they were thanking me for my contributions and wanting to know if I could send letters out to everyone in my neighborhood. When I told them that I was really strapped for time in the coming weeks, they tried to talk me into finding extra time in my schedule. (Believe me, I’ve looked for extra time! Unlike the Whitney Houston cassingle, it’s nowhere to be found!) When I reached the point where I could feel my voice shaking, I finally hung up on them. And now I’m feeling an unpleasant blend of Guilt and ShouldHaveSaid.

The mailman just delivered, and I’m steaming potatoes covered in dill. (And because of my poor sentence structure, you’ll never know if it’s me or the potatoes covered in dill. Use your imagination.) Harper is taking her first karate class, and Meredith has finished two of her homework pages.

Most importantly, I now own three different types of basil plants. It’s the beginning of an excellent summer.
I’m still going strong with the Tropicana Juicy Rewards Program. (AND I’m giving away another $50 Visa gift card!) Follow this link! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

12 thoughts on “I call you on the telephone, but you’re never home.”

  1. You should spring for the caller ID that displays on your television. You don’t even have to look at the phone to decide not to answer it.

  2. Please feel no guilt, and I understand shouldasaid. Argh. So’s ya know, those ADA callers are the national office, not the local chapter folks. I’m sorry they didn’t take the hint — won’t you please give me some info about the call, and I’ll follow up however you’d like? Or not, if you’d like? (I feel oddly compelled to ‘xxoo’ you now, just to let you know you’re appreciated and liked very much — and I’m not a huggy person AT ALL)

  3. It’s about time! Happy Early Birthday! Welcome to the “Fuck you, I’m forty” era. I just joined it myself. Ihope you don’t find it as painful as I do.

  4. I have a phone phobia and I LIVE for caller ID. It’s the best invention ever. And my kids love to run to the phone to tell me whom (who?) I am ignoring. Have a very happy birthday. And make sure to brush the dill out of your hair! :)

  5. You just reminded me of one phone job I had (I sold circus tickets!) where I had to sit next to a guy who constantly made cigar jokes while smoking a cigar, rode a unicycle to work, and insisted on showing me his Private Investigator’s license at least once a week. Good times!

  6. Actually, based on your sentence structure, I now think that YOU are a pile of steaming potatoes covered in dill. This, of course, makes that fact that you can type words and answer phones and have children a miracle of science. You should be studied.

  7. Happy Birthday?

    And I hate the phone, too (quoth the former reporter who had to interview people over it). Ugh.

  8. I was just telling mom yesterday that they should get caller ID. Their phones have the windows, dad is just too cheap to pay for it. Instead, everytime the phone rings he says something like, “Do you think that’s your sister Xxxx?” or “Now, who do you think that is?”

    She said she doesn’t want to take all the excitement out of an 87 yo man’s life.

  9. Huh. Now I’m thinking about dill body scrub, dill facials, dill-scented lotion… mmm… dill dip…

    Our DVR thingie requires the phone line be plugged in, so when we get phone calls it pops up on our TV. Plus we have a talking phone (I don’t know why, but we do), so the phone itself announces the caller. It’s phone TMI, because I usually let it rollover to the answering machine. If you *really* know me, you’ve got my cell phone number, you know?

    Oh, and in college I had a job at a mail sorting center in Des Moines opening Gevalia coffee returns. I’m sure it wasn’t as interesting as a phone job, but I had the benefit of being able to spend my whole shift with headphones on listening to Iowa public radio. Good times…

  10. which roly poly did you go to.. i didnt know they still have them.. i use to go to the one in creve couer and it was great.. the staff was always so friendly and the place was immaculately clean all the time..but they closed :( and i tried one out in the valley but it wasnt the same.. i think it closed now too.. anyway didn’t know one still existed

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