My mom just called me, simply to pass the time. She said, “You always call me when you are in transit from one place to another, so I thought it only fair that I call you when I’m bored.” She was on the sidewalk, outside the vet’s office, waiting for her appointment so that they can check out Bonnie’s goopy eye and arthritic hip. Bonnie was agitating the rest of the otherwise peaceful dogs in the waiting room, so my mom thought it best to take her outside where she wouldn’t be able to stir things up so much.
Other than once-in-a-while phones calls from a thriftstore, to ask if I’d like the $1.99 40% off item that she has in her hand, my mother rarely places calls on her cell phone (she will, however, answer the calls, even from numbers she doesn’t recognize. She has gotten sucked into the drama of strangers via a wrong number more than once). She resisted getting one for years, until an episode of dizziness kept her trapped in her car for three hours last fall. After that, she was finally able to recognize their utility.
We always talk about how much my grandmother would have loved cell phones. She would have loved the ability to drop in on our lives from 3000 miles away at any time. She would have taken every opportunity to call us from Little Pete’s with a question about a movie, book or tidbit of family news.
Through the early years of my parents’ marriage, my mom and grandmother would talk on the phone for at least an hour a couple times a week, late in the evening or Sunday afternoon when the rates were low. It boggles my mind that they were limited to twice-weekly conversations when my mom and I now take for granted the luxury of talking when and wherever we feel like it.