Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's Albert's Fault

I hate telephones.  I’ve hated them since I was nine or 10 years old and a little boy in my class decided he liked me.  He didn’t slug me in the shoulder but I knew he liked me.  I knew it because he would call me on the telephone after school.  I don’t remember what he said during those conversations but I remember I stammered out monosyllabic words as I stood squeezing the receiver in a sweaty hand wishing he would just hang up and never call again.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that for a shy, awkward little girl, those phone calls were torture.   Every time the phone would ring I would hold my breath and chant in my head, please don’t let it be for me, please don’t let it be for me.

Even now, years and years and years and years and years and years later, every time our telephone rings, I tense up.   How’s that for a Pavlov’s dog reaction?  My brain knows the odds are I won’t hear anything sad or distressing when I answer that insistent ring, but that doesn’t lessen my fear that I will.  I brace myself for the worst until I sense that the voice on the other end of the line is trauma-free.  They don’t call me the Queen of Worry for nothin’.  

Ryan and Leslie have had their own anxious telephone moments recently as they waited to see if they would be moving to the garden spot of Wyoming.  A couple of weeks ago their hoped for phone call finally came.  Ryan was offered a teaching position and his acceptance tipped the first of many dominos that comprise a move.  I had no idea how fast the course of our life would also change until we became one of the many toppling dominos.  Within minutes of hearing of their impending move we I decided we should retire to that very same garden spot. 

Now before you start shaking your heads and tsk tsk’ng – they asked us to move up there.  It was their idea. They looked us in the eye and said, “pleeeeeze, will you move with us?” And it wasn’t because of the sobbing and keening noises I was making.  Really.  I wouldn’t lie about a thing like that.  They just love us and want us to be near.  I don’t even think free babysitting figured into it.   It’s not like we’re moving right away anyway.  We still have 2 ½ years to work.  Okay, I have 2 ½ years to work but I’m sure Dean wouldn’t dream retiring before me just so he could live near his grandchildren.  

So see, there‘s plenty of time for them to change their minds and beg us to stay right where we are.  But they’d better do it quickly because once I make my mind up I’m the Countess of Control, waving my magic wand and knocking down dominos like no other.  Not the least of which was talking to a banker and discovering we not only could, but should, pay off our mortgage ― which we did on Tuesday … Ow!  Ow!  Ow!  Sorry. I got a bit dizzy spinning around on my toes and cracked my knee on the china buffet ...  which led to a market analysis on our house, which led to realizing we had a few projects we should probably finish begin working on so we’ll be ready when it’s time to sell our house.

That led to calls from contractors who will do the things we couldn’t do even if we weren’t slower than a snail trying to push itself through goo.  I still cringe a little when the phone rings because now I’m wondering what the estimate on the other end of the line will be.  But mostly I cringe in case it’s Leslie or Ryan calling to say “stop!  What were we thinking??!!!  Pleeeeeeeezee, pleeeeeze, pleeeeze don’t move!”  I wonder how much they’ll cringe when I tell them it's too late.



Abby said...

So THAT'S why you hate the phone! It makes a lot more sense now. Although you would think if that were the case, you would have gotten caller ID when it first came out, rather than still living without it. I guess that's the benefit of your cell phone, at least you don't have that moment of fear before you push the green button.

Art Elser said...

Now I'm guessing that Albert was that little boy who kept calling you, or is that really a name Dean used to keep you guessing who was on the other end of the line. And why did Albert stop calling. What an IDIOT--he could have hooked up with a Queen or at least a Countess. That was in Nebraska though, wasn't it?

And what will the move be like when Abby and Jorge ask you to move to Ohio's garden spot, Cincinnati, or some other garden spot, perhaps Detroit or Philadelphia, where they will study bugs? Suppose they promise grandkids and say please, please, please more times than Leslie and Ryan did?

Hope your knee heals soon. Takes a lot of energy and walking to pack up and move. :-)))))

Susan Struck said...

Sheridan, WY is my DREAM town! I've always loved it and hoped to some day live there. I made it back to Wyoming but not Sheridan. I hope you love it!