Answering the phone makes editor’s ears ring

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve hated answering the phone. I’d wait for it to ring a few times before lugging myself over. I’d usually make it just in time before the voicemail came on. Half the time I wasn’t fast enough, and I’d have to pick it up as the person was leaving the message.

“Hi, Christine (they were always calling for my Mom) it’s Cathy and…”

“Hi…,” I’d interrupt.

And then we’d do this awkward: “Oh, I was just leaving a message,” “Yes, I know, but I picked up,” rigamarole, which eventually gets to the point that I’m charged with leaving some message for my mother.

Of course, I could have just let the call go to the answering machine, but it has a tendency to beep continuously if you don’t listen to the message, as if to say: “(beep) I (beep) know (beep) you’re (beep) home (beep) so (beep) PAY (beep) ATTENTION (beep) TO (beep) ME!”

After getting the message for my mom, I would immediately forget it, as I am the worst secretary ever. Then a couple of days later, I would remember and say:

“Oh, Mom!”

“Yes, Tessy?”

“Someone left you a message.”


“I dunno…some lady. Something about work, or something.”


“I dunno.”



“It was probably Cathy. I was expecting a call from her.”


Of course, now that everyone has a cell phone, I no longer have to take messages for my mom. Unfortunately, I still have to take messages from my mom. As much as I love my mother, a call from her means one thing: I’ve delayed/forgotten to do something required of me. Usually our conversations go something like this:

“Tessy, did you turn that form in yet?”

“Er…I mean, I’ll do it tomorrow. I couldn’t get to the financial aid office today. But…”

“TESSY, YOU HAVE TO GET THAT FORM IN. It’s been five days.”

“I’ll do it tomorrow, I swear.”

Then I hurriedly hang up before any other things I forgot to do can come up, and I get back to my busy day of flipping through channels. Because, even though I can’t appreciate the technology that led us to instant communication, I definitely have a thing for that magical black box.


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