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Earlier this week, I broke my iPhone.  Sorta.  That is to say that sometimes it’s broken and other times it works fine.  So it’s only sorta broken…”half broke,” as I prefer to say.  The long and short of it is that I left my iPhone on a surface that I shouldn’t have and, even as I did it, I thought twice about whether that was the smartest place to leave it.  The fact that I even second-guessed my actions should’ve been my first clue.  But, such is the life of Cathie.  In any case, the exterior of it still looks pristine – no cracks or dents – but something about the force of hitting that hard tile floor must’ve done something to the internal workings of the phone itself.

These last several days, the phone has been “playing with me.”  One moment it’s working and the next moment it isn’t.  When I call out or receive a call, sometimes the other party hears me crystal clear, and other times they hear only static or nothing at all.  In the midst of trying to figure out whether my phone was really broken, or it just needed to be reset or updated, I started making some calls to see whether people could hear me.

I tried Troy at work.  No answer.

I tried his mother in Oklahoma.  No answer.

I tried my friend, Holly.  No answer.

I was becoming desperate, and so I decided to call my mom in Florida.  I’m still scratching my head, wondering how in the world I thought that was a good idea.  You see, at 81, my mom is somewhat hearing impaired.  It took us years to convince her to wear the hearing aids that the doctor prescribed for her, and even now she’ll take them out of her ears to “better hear you” when she’s having difficulty understanding.  Go figure.

So I called my mom, and this is the conversation that took place:

Madame de Meuron
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“Hello?” my mom said as she answered the phone.

“Hello,” I responded.

Hello?” My mom said again.

“Hello!” I said a little louder.

“Hello?” My mom said once again.

By now I’m getting frustrated.  “HELLO?!  CAN YOU HEAR ME?”

“Who’s this?” she asks. “Trina?”

“Um…no,” I answer, just a smidge irritated that she doesn’t recognize my voice when I call her every single day!

“Amber?  Is that you, Amber?”

“Ummm…no,” I answer again, with as much patience as I can muster.

“Who is this?” she asks.

Releasing a sign of frustration, I answer “Seriously, Mom?  This is your daughter!”

“Ohhh!  Cathie!  What are you doing?”

“I broke my phone yesterday and I’m trying to figure out if it works okay.  Can you hear me?” I ask.

“What?” she responds.

Slower this time, I repeat myself.  “I broke my phone yesterday and I’m trying to figure out if it works okay.  Can you year me okay?”

“What?”

“Mother!” I said with no small amount of irritation.  “I broke my phone yesterday and I’m trying to figure out if it’s working okay.  CAN YOU HEAR ME?”

“Hold on.  Let me change ears.  I can’t hear you.  Okay…say that one more time.”

Very slowly this time, I repeat my question again.  “Mother. (pause)  I broke my phone yesterday. (pause)  I’m trying to figure out if it’s working okay now. (pause) Can…You…Hear…Me?”

“Oh! Yes!” she responds with cheer.  “I can hear you fine!  What was that about a bouquet?”

“Seriously, Mom?  Are you kidding me?” I said.  “You just wrote my blog for Thursday.”

“What?”

“I said…you just wrote my blog for Thursday.”

“Your blog?  Oh yeah!  Your blog!  How’s that going?  I haven’t read it today!  What’d you write?” she asked.

At that point I just gave up and hung up the phone.  She couldn’t hear me anyway, so she probably didn’t care that I hung up.  She might even still be talking to me; who knows?  Since she can’t hear me anyway, she’s probably still talking to a dead line.  I haven’t called her yet today to see whether the line is open.

All of this leaves me with two lessons:

  1. My next phone will be housed in an Otterbox and maybe even wrapped in bubble wrap.
  2. The next time I decide to call my mother to ask if she can hear me, I’ll remember to eat a few shards of glass first.  It’ll be less painful.