Hold the Phone

I don’t talk on the phone much. Every time I do, there are (Hold on, Sweetie, I’m on the phone) interruptions. I have friends–mainly childless friends–who don’t really understand why (Just wait a minute) I don’t like talking on the phone. They feel like I don’t care about them, or (Not now, Honey) that I’m not making an effort  because I don’t call to chat for an hour every few days.

What they don’t (Can you see I’m on the phone?) get is that for me, talking on the phone is a huge sacrifice, a giant bite out of my day. Now, I have people that I will talk to, like my mom, because she lives far enough away that we only see each (I’m trying to talk, you just have to wait!) other a couple times a year, and sure, if I am on the phone I can multi-task and do things like tidy up the (Shhhh!) kitchen or something, but it means working one-handed, and not getting as much done. I rarely even talk to my very best friend on the phone unless we have something (Go out! Go play in the play room until I’m done!) urgent to discuss, and that’s typically less than once a week.

I have one friend, who, though I frequently sent her a text to let her know I was thinking of and praying for her, because I knew she was going through a rough (What do you need NOW?) time in her life, felt I wasn’t putting out an effort into our friendship because I didn’t call often enough, I didn’t push hard enough even though she said she didn’t want to talk about it, and I was trying to respect that, and I didn’t spend time getting together with her for (Well, you have to wait, I’m still on the phone) coffee. She determined that we were never really friends in the first place.

I regret when things like that happen, but, as I mentioned before, I have a lot of (Go out! Now! I am ON THE PHONE!) distractions. It’s easier for me to send a text if I have something to say, because it’s quick, (You are about to be in BIG trouble! Stop asking. I can’t do that right now. You have to wait until I’m off the phone! GO!) and I can respond on my own time. It’s not that I want to alienate people, it’s (Out! Now! You just have to wait!) just that I have so much else to do, putting all my attention into a phone call that lasts more than a few minutes more than once every great while is really just out of the realm of my capabilities.

So, if I screen (SHHHHH!!!) your phone call, or don’t have time to talk, please don’t take it personally. Just understand that my love for you will be expressed in different (OH, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE! GO TO YOUR ROOM AND DON’T COME OUT! I’LL COME GET YOU WHEN I’M OFF THE PHONE!) ways than a lengthy phone conversation.

It was lovely chatting with you, but I need to run. Buh-bye!

About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

4 comments on “Hold the Phone

  1. LOVE IT! Oh, my gosh, I can soooooooooooo relate to this.

    I tell my kids that unless they are on fire, bleeding profusely, or can see bone, they better not interrupt me. Does it work?

    ‘Course not :P.

  2. Ironically, I just spent an hour and a half on the phone with a really good friend who lives out of town. She is one of the few exceptions, though, and since 50% of my children were in school and 25% were napping, that left me with only a 25% chance of getting interrupted. Which I did, when there was an accident involving a fall from a barstool, but all things considered, it went well. 🙂

  3. I don’t have children, but I have a dog who gets antsy when I’m on the phone with anyone more than 5 minutes. AND, all of my friends ARE parents who sound just like this on the phone.

    I used to get annoyed. Thanks to the dog, I now totally understand. 🙂

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