Friday, November 16, 2012

Family Hang Ups

I was amazed when a friend told me that she’d never hung up the phone on anyone.

Truly, I was astounded by this news. Survey the women on my mother’s side of the family, and you’ll discover that hanging up on someone is practically a rite of passage. It’s not that we’re rude, and we don’t intend to be mean. It’s just that we don’t like a lot of foolishness. Our tolerance for such things is low. We will hang up the phone in a second to end the madness.

I’ve hung up on people from the cable company, the gas company, the phone company, and my bank; all manner of extremely pushy telemarketers; and of course, my husband.

Me: “Hi Ed. I’m just calling to remind you that I’m having dinner with _____, and you’ll have to pick Thomas up from school.”
Ed: “What do you mean I have to pick Thomas up? I have a meeting at work.”
Me (exasperated already): “Ed, I told you last week and again this morning about my plans. You’ll have to pick Thomas up.”
Ed: “Who is _____? Do I know her? Where are you going? What are we going to have for dinner?"
Me: “_____ is my friend of 20 years whom you’ve met multiple times. You’re going to have to deal with Thomas.”
Ed: “Call Christian and ask him to pick Thomas up.”
Me: “Why do I have to call Christian? Why can’t you call Christian?"
Ed (more whiny than I was): "Can you just call Christian? I’m at a client’s."
Me: Click.

So, I’ll call Christian and then I’ll call my husband back, and he’ll probably hang up on me, just to even the score. Whatever. He’s just pretending to be that person. I am that person.

I’ve never hung up on a friend, either of my parents, my children, or any business associates, and I don’t recall ever hanging up on my brother. I guess I just feel entitled to have customer service representatives and my husband do what I say.

The women in my family are highly sensitive and emotional creatures, and we will cry at the drop of a hat. But, we’re also tough and know how to hold our own when it’s important. Please do not call my house at 7:00 on a Saturday morning claiming I owe you $67.28 for a service I paid in advance for the period after my cancellation because supposedly my new provider didn’t notify you properly or some other such nonsense after I, your actual (former) client, had already provided you plenty of notice. I’ll give you my attention for a time, but if you insist on not listening to reason I’m just going to have to hang up on you. It’s the family way.

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