Monday, March 9, 2009

Mama's cellphone

Mama got a cell phone a few years ago and for the first few months papa and I kept calling each other nonstop.

"Where is she?" I would ask. "She is not answering her cell phone."
"I don't know," he commiserated. "She never answers it. We should have just gotten her a toy one instead."
We would call and call and she would never pick up.
She called me at the end of the day.
"It looks like I have fifteen missed calls," she would say. "Did you try to reach me?"

I tried explaining how to check her cell to see whose calls she missed, but it was eaiser to explain thermonuclear energy to a kitten.

"Only a few people call me, anyway," she defended her ludditeism. "I'll just call everyone and ask."

After a few months, mama realized that she heard the ringing better if the phone wasn't at the bottom of her purse.
"Hello? HELLO?" she'd yell into the cell with such an urgency that I wanted to deliver some earth shattering news, as opposed to "hey, I'm at Whole Foods and Arctic Char is on sale. Is that the fish that made me shit out salad dressing?" (sidenote: if you go to that link, which you absolutely should because it is one of the most hysterical things that I've read and also, incidentally, happened to me, do not, under any circumstances miss the second comment. Because when I have a bad day, it's my "go-to" comment and it always cracks me up).
"It's me," I would announce.
"Yes, what is it? What do you want?" Mama considers cell phones to be for urgent communication only, like the coming of the Messiah or a Bloomnigdale's unadvertised White Sale.
"Nothing. I'm in line at the store waiting to pay and I'm bored."
I say "bored" before I remember that mama has banned that word since the mid-80s. Mama is a workoholic and a universal improver. She's the type of person who will assess any situation in record breaking time and give you various suggestions as to what you should do to improve it. In my case, "any situation" is "my life" and she has many helpful hints. Such energy does not understand boredom.
"What classes are the kids signed up for?" she asks me.
"Piano, karate."
"Daughterella should be taking tennis lessons," she proclaims.
"Tennis lessons? They are so expensive and this isn't the economy to-"
"You democrats are always whining. Blame the economy, blame the government for your laziness. I didn't hear a peep out of you about the economy when you liberated all those clothes from Saks ."
"I need clothes."
"Yes, we all need clothes. What, am I a nudist now? What you need is to lose some weight. Then clothes will fit better. You know, fat really ages you. You don't want to look older than you are."
"Listen, the line is really moving now, I better go!" It's amazing what a boredom buster mama can be.
"I bet it's moving. Moving is great exercise!"
"Give everyone my love," mama says and as I start to hang up, I hear her starting to say something else. Of course. Because that is what mama does. After all goodbyes are said and you are hanging up, she'll add something so that you have no choice but to call her back. What? You think that you do have a choice? Good luck to you with that, you insane optimist.
So I call back and say, "You were talking while I was hanging up again."
And she says,"It's nothing important. Just dress the kids warmly, it's cold."
"OK, thanks." I am determined to stay on the line until she hangs up and as she does, I remember something key that I wanted to tell her. "Hey, mom-" click. I call her back.
"Listen, mom, I read the worst article the other day-"
"Oh," she is suddenly excited, "I think I read the same one! Was it the one about famine overcoming the United States and how people will turn to cannibalism?" I look around Whole Foods. The lines are unusually long and the people in front of me do look really tasty.
", it was about how fingernails become more brittle as we age. Is that true?" I am suddenly starving.
"You read some real crap," she says. "Let's hang up on three."
"Ok, but you do the counting," I tell her.

And it's a good thing that she does, too, because the hunger is making me lightheaded.



Blogger rachael chatoor said...

LMAO, sometimes it pays not to make the call after all. My Mom took a while to get the hang of it, but now she is all 'dialed in' on her cell, she even hangs it around her neck on a chain so she can get to it easier.
It was a great plan until she leaned over to make a point one day, and her cell phone dipped into her glass of water.....

I hear the really edumatcated kittens are very up on thermonuclear energy... ; )

March 9, 2009 at 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Kibbles said...

Marinka, where did you meet MY mother?
Never ever answers her cell, all the while my poor agitated father frets "why wont she pick up the damn phone?!"

Once she discovered the existence of the missed call log, she would then proceed to make a list with pen and paper.

When I showed her the relative ease of pressing:

call back

she informed me that she doesnt want to "waste her minutes on that one"

March 9, 2009 at 12:17 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Now, I'm going to think of a way to sneak that fish onto my husband's plate. That will be fun to make him think he's dying. It reminds me of that diet aid ALLY, one of the side effects of which is "uncontrollable gas with oily discharge". I think I'd rather be obese. Seriously.

March 9, 2009 at 12:25 AM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

Aw, old peeps and their cellies are so cute. You should get her a Bluetooth ear piece next. Perfect blog fodder!

Salad dressing poo ... ew!

March 9, 2009 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Daffodil Campbell said...

My mother doesn't answer her phone, which leads to me leaving snotty voicemails along the lines of: "I'm SO GLAD you got a cellphone, it makes it SO MUCH EASIER to get ahold of you in an urgent situation. TURN ON YOUR PHONE."

And of course, as a dutiful blog reader, I went to the website you linked to, and I read the entry, which was a little disturbing....but the comments were where it really went south. Mary Queen of Scat ? REALLY ??? I can guarantee I will never visit the site again, but you can be sure I will be sending lots of people the link !

March 9, 2009 at 1:20 AM  
Blogger Threeboys1mommy said...

Momma and I have the same cell phone issues, and my nails aren't even brittle yet.

March 9, 2009 at 1:35 AM  
Blogger Maggie May said...

My mom is similar with her phone. She's always hanging up on people accidentally and trying to answer it but erasing her voice mails instead.

The thin nails reminds me of how our noses supposedly get larger as we age. This horrifies me.

March 9, 2009 at 2:00 AM  
Blogger mo.stoneskin said...

I'm tempted to get my mum a toy blackberry and see how long it is until she realises...

I also once knew a kitten that understood thermonuclear energy. Unfortunately it died in a thermonuclear accident.

I did warn it. I told it in no uncertain terms that a trip to the moon in a homemade rocket was a mistake.

March 9, 2009 at 3:24 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

Sadly enough it's not my mom who's horrible with the cell phone, it's me. I have it, yet I forget to bring it with me, I leave it in the car, and I NEVER check who calls/texts for hours and hours.

The fish article - flipping hilarious... as is the 2nd comment. The things we talk about in our house far surpass the grossness of that. Good thing I'm not talking to him about it. :)

March 9, 2009 at 5:17 AM  
Blogger A Woman Of No Importance said...

As per Maggie May, I am obsessed with the size of old men's noses and how they can sometimes seem out of all proportion to the face - My OH tells me to stop, when I am sizing up his conk!

Marinka-dink dahlinka, this was a fabulous, fabulous post - With a mom like your darling, it is as well you are humour-, as opposed to parentcide - inclined! Great fun x

March 9, 2009 at 5:42 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I don't think my mother could live without her cellphone. That and electronic bridge.

March 9, 2009 at 6:02 AM  
Blogger Scary Mommy said...

Sounds like me-- I should really not own a cell. I am constantly hanging up on people, calling by mistake, forgetting to check voice mail for days. I drive people crazy.

March 9, 2009 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger The Dental Maven said...

My mother-in-law wanted nothing to do with a cell phone, that is until my husband recommended that we buy her one and pay the monthlies.

March 9, 2009 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger HappyHourSue said...

LOL that was hilarious....

This is my conversation with my Mom every time she travels:

"Mom, do you have your cellphone?"
"Will you have it turned on?"

March 9, 2009 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Z said...

hahaha, I'm with your mom on the cellphone issue. Actually, I'm like that with all phones. :)

March 9, 2009 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Kylie w Warszawie said...

I'm too young to think that cell phones are only for emergencies, but I do.

My sister is the same way. But the funny thing is, we never carry our cells with even if we were inconvenienced with an emergency, we'd never be able to call.

March 9, 2009 at 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Danette said...

That was hysterical! I love your mama!


March 9, 2009 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

You can lead old people to technology, but you can't make them use it right.

When my daughter's friends were surprised that I blog, she told them, "Well, she's always worked with computers, and she loves to write, and she's really self-involved, so it's a perfect fit."

Be Nice to Your Mother -- you only have one!

March 9, 2009 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger LuckyMe said...

Again with the cannibalism? Remind me to bring my own meat to your next dinner party.

I'm surprised your mom leaves her phone turned on. My mom can't figure out how to hang up without powering off, or so she says. Maybe I should just take a hint, huh?

I had no intention of hitting that fish link. I'm so glad you insisted. I can't remember the last post that made me cry like that.

I want to hang out with you and your mom, but not for a meal. This was priceless!

March 9, 2009 at 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it so unfair that your maladies with your family are mild enough to blog.

March 9, 2009 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

Me: Mom pick up your damn cell.
Mom: Well, we don't really HAVE service up here in heaven. Perhaps you should try the other place. I have a feeling there will be a lot of people you know there....

March 9, 2009 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

"You read some real crap." HAha - that cracked me up.

March 9, 2009 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Renée aka Mekhismom said...

You Mom reminds me of my Mom and her cellphone. Which for the record is never on. I don't even know why she has one. The only time she uses it is when she visits me - because she calls home. I always remind her that I do have long distance and she can call from my phone but she insists on using the cellphone. Moms. Gotta love them.

March 9, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Kristine said...

Apparently my work does not approve of the poop story's site. Which is sad, because now I will be thinking about it all day until I get home and read it. It would be more productive for me to read it now and then be able to work.

March 9, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Ann's Rants said...

Next time I go out of bloggyland, I'm just directing everyone here. That was hysterical. I went over to the poop report, and now I feel slightly nauseous. Thanks.

March 9, 2009 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

The more ways we have of communicating with each other equals the more ways we have to ignore each other. That is the sound of one hand clapping, Grasshopper.

March 9, 2009 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Between your mama, cannibalism, and the poop report, I am having a very fine Monday morning. Now I need to go make me a big breakfast.

March 9, 2009 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Belle said...

Excuse me Marinka? Could you tell me what 'ludditeism' means?

March 9, 2009 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Mariah said...

Sounds just like talking to my mom-EVERY time she answers her phone it sounds like she expecting me to announce the coming of Jesus or something

March 9, 2009 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Wow, your conversations with your mother are SO much funnier than mine.

March 9, 2009 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

I'm sorry, you lost me at the orange poop link! You were saying???

March 9, 2009 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Keyona said...

One of the funniest conversations I've read in a LONG time! :o)

March 9, 2009 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

my parents have one, but it's never on!

March 9, 2009 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

i clicked on your nauseating fish article and i was going to be really pissed at you until i read comment #2. Really enjoyed it. Obviously, she's not married.

March 9, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger ella said...

Oh man, what an education for a Monday morning. I'm still reeling from the whole fish-oil-poop thing. And wouldn't ya know, I started taking that Alli crap this morning. Now I'm on HYPER ALERT!

March 9, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is shitting out salad dressing the same as a "wet fart"? you know, where you think you're gonna fart, but then something like salad dressing comes out instead? i tried looking on web md, but they never have the info you really need.

March 9, 2009 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Tooj said...

I almost feel as if I were in the grocery store line with you.

March 9, 2009 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger lizspin said...

The fish story was too funny!

Does that commentor not know that men live and breathe to talk about the quality of their poop?????

March 9, 2009 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

old people and cell phones...bad combo.

March 9, 2009 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger ♥ Braja said...

Wait. Messiah and Bloomingdale's line: why are they separated? When he comes, it will BE in Bloomingdales...

March 9, 2009 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Nap Warden said...

My MIL has a cell phone. It is the most annoying thing ever! She has no idea how to listen to messages, so I have to clean it out every time I see her. Put down the cell phone MIL, you can't handle it...

March 9, 2009 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Texting with my mom

Mom: youwancomeoverdinnertonight

Me: The space bar is middle center

Mom: bthank yoU4

March 9, 2009 at 11:35 PM  
Blogger bernthis said...

my mother is losing her hearing and it is horrible. She literally yells. I have to shush her all the time.

March 11, 2009 at 1:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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March 18, 2009 at 1:51 AM  

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