How My Parents Use a Cell Phone or Any Phone For That Matter


Let me start by saying "I love my parents" but when it comes to speaking with them by phone (any phone), I begin to wonder what has gone wrong.

They have a cell phone that my brother gave them so we can reach them when they are not home. Of course they rarely have the phone on and when they do, they have no idea how to use it. My mother claims it's my father's fault and my father claims... well you can guess ...

They seem to think it is only for emergencies. It's like those phones or fire alarms in those glass cases you see on walls in schools and shopping malls and I made that up cause I really don't know where you would see these any more.

When I call their cell phone and on the rare occasion they answer, here is what ensues.

Firstly it's my mothers role to "hold" the cell phone while my father drives or eats cheesecake (equally as important and if it is marble cheesecake - more important). Neither of them are assigned to pressing the power button - putting the phone on!

When it does ring, all hell breaks loose. My mother becomes hysterical and swears at my father (okay she does that even when the cell phone does not ring). It goes something like this..

Ring Ring on Larry and Elaines Cell Phone

Larry and Elaine are driving to the pharmacy for toilet paper and those Pirate Peanut Butter Cookies that are on special (that I have never seen in anyone elses house).

Elaine: "HELLO HELLO"

Okay so firstly she is screaming into the phone and she says Hello so many times that the person (me) on the other end can't slip in their own Hello.

Me: Hi, what's going on?

Elaine: HELLO HELLO

Me: Hi, it's me - what's up?

Elaine: Who is this (Lawrence be quiet and drive slower - I can't hear a thing)?

Me: It's your daughter, Lisa.

Elaine: Lawrence it's Lisa, pull over for God's sake!

Note - when their cell phone rings and if they are driving, they believe that pulling over makes the cell phone conversation clearer (I didn't stand a chance)

Lawrence: What' the matter with her? What's wrong? What happened?

Elaine: I don't know but if you would shut up I could find out.

Me: Nothing wrong. I just wanted to touch base so I called you at home and you were not there so I called your cell.

Elaine: Well we are not home (uh huh) we are off to the pharmacy. Do you want me to buy you a box of those cookies with the chocolate on the outside and the marshmallows on the inside? You use to love those. You use to crack the chocolate into little pieces and eat that first, then you would eat the marshmallow and save the graham crust on the bottom for later.

Me: You mean Whippets

Elaine: What? Lawrence, I told you to pull over.

Okay so I think you get the point. Now let's move on to a normal phone in a house and the most feared thing of them all - Talking to my mother and she gets "call waiting".

Me: Ya so I was thinking about becoming a professional dancer and maybe packing up my car and heading to California (not at all the conversation I would be having with her or with anyone - but it's a good conversation starter)

Elaine: I don't think that is a good idea. You are an awful dancer.

And then it happens - the beep - the beep - CALL WAITING

Elaine: Oh, no, what should I do? Should I take it?

Me: Yes, that would be what call waiting is for - you check who is trying to call you and then you decide who you want to speak to more.

Elaine: Okay, stay there, don't go anywhere, I'll be back in a second.

And without a doubt a milli second later

Elaine: Hello Hello

Me: It's still me - press the flash button

Elaine: Hello Hello

Me: Still me

Finally there are a few minutes of pause and I'm really enjoying the quiet then suddenly

Elaine: Lisa can I call you back - it's my friend Ruth and I haven't spoken to her in a while - okay bye

Me: Rejected by my own mother for some Ruth woman.

I actually went out and bought my parents a new set of phones. All of theirs were years old with food stains on them and were purchased at a flea market in Florida. One you couldn't hear out of, one you couldn't be heard from and another the numbers were rubbed out from my mother's hands that are often covered in "Fantastic Spray".

I went over to visit them and check on the new phones which I had left charging the night before.

When I walked in the house, they were nowhere in sight. My mother was on the phone with someone and she was using one of the old phones. She signaled at me that she was talking to someone very important (it's like a point and a wave at the same time and her eyes pop out of her head). So I went downstairs to see my father who was sitting watching TV and eating an entire Betty Crocker Bunt Cake (not true but ever since seeing My Big Fat Greek Wedding - I really find "Bunt Cakes" to be funny).

"Dad, where are the new phones and why is mom using one of the old broken ones?"

My father as the icing from the cake runs down his chin "We are saving them"

"Saving them for what?"

"In case the ones we have break"

I rest my case.