Waiting for the phone to ring

Shit, another Monday. That was quick. Well here goes:

A MILLION MILES FROM NORMAL – By Paige Nick

WAITING FOR THE PHONE TO RING

Have you ever waited for the phone to ring? Either oblivious of the law that a watched telephone never rings, or simply blatantly ignoring that fact, and believing in your heart of hearts that you are different and therefore the cliché doesn’t apply to you.

At least these days we have cell phones, so we can take them with us wherever we go. And we do, (Ahem, yes, I’m talking to you, using your cell phone at the cinema in the middle of the movie) ensuring that we never miss as much as a call, a text, or heaven forbid, even a tweet.

One wonders whether it wasn’t perhaps a single girl sitting at home alone night after night waiting for her phone to ring, who first had the idea for the cell phone? Necessity is after all, the mother of invention.

In the old days we didn’t have it as easy as we have it today. Not only did we have to walk to and from school uphill in the snow every day, watching out for dinosaurs along the way, but we also couldn’t leave the house if we were waiting for a call. Even taking five minutes out to go to the loo was a risky business. Unless the stretched, twirly cord of your phone reached that far. Ours didn’t.

Showering was also a risk. A ringing telephone could easily be missed over the sound of running water. And showering is doubly dangerous because everyone knows that the second you get in and lather up your head with shampoo and your face with soap, the phone is ten thousand million times more likely to ring. Sometimes one almost considers taking off all ones clothes and climbing into the shower and lathering up whether you need a shower or not, just to try cause Murphy to make the phone ring.

And back then when you did, after a couple of days waiting, eventually have to pop out to buy milk, or run the dog to a patch of grass, you’d do it as fast as you could, urging the dog to poop faster goddammit, so you could get back home again.

Other symptoms of any extended telephone stake-out included picking up the phone at random intervals to ensure there was a dialling tone. Or phoning a friend or the electronic clock to check the phone was still working. And when the phone did eventually ring, it was never who you were hoping for, and you’d find yourself irrationally annoyed with the caller for tying up the line.

The guy, or caller, on the other hand, often has no idea that he’s being waited on by the callee. Over there, at his house, on the other side of the twirly telephone cord, he simply gets on with his daily routine. The truth is that on day one he desperately wanted to call, but his rules have been passed down to him in man-code for centuries and he’s been told he is under no circumstances allowed to call you, he has to hold out till day five at least.

On day two he still has quite a strong urge to call. But everything he knows tells him it’s still too soon. Unfortunately by the time day five rolls around, something shiny, new or electrical has caught his eye and he’s been distracted. Although somewhere deep, deep in the back of his mind, buried under the memory of a great burger he once had, he has the strangest nagging feeling that there was something he was meant to do that day, but for the life of him he just can’t remember what it was.


One response to “Waiting for the phone to ring”

  1. Any says:

    Oh Paige, thank you for your story, the only thing making me feel slightly better today as I am sitting here after a beautiful date last night waiting for the phone to ring. This is my take on it: http://anysroad.blogspot.com/2011/11/mondays-bachelor.html
    So it leaves more question than gives answers that much is clear. I will grudingly wait 5 days, though I wonder who came up with that silly rule, especially knowing that men have such a short term memory.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *