Throwback Thursdays

Throwback Thursdays



By Jana Vandelaar
~ Originally Published in the 08/17 Edition of The Reporter in the Florida Keys ~

Carina:   “Hello?”

Me:   “Mffff I NEED  mfffwhhthh  carrying these mfffwhhffss….”

Carina:   “Jana??  JANA!  Hellooooo!”

Me:   “… am I the only uusshhh hhmmm…”

Carina:   “J A N N N N A A A A A!”

Carina sighs as she sees her husband glance over from the other side of the bed.   “Jana butt dialed me again… I think she’s yelling at someone.”

Carina’s hubby:  “Probably Jack."

Me:   “…mmmfamm…sn’t rocket science to pick… uuhhmmma sssshhhhh!”  (The sound of water turning on.)  “Clank!”  (Possibly the sound of a dish dropping in sink - aggressively.)

Still Me:   “…the plate doesn’t clean itself... mfmfffummsufnsufa! WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO DOES ANYTHING AROUND THIS uuhhhmmmmma sssshhhhh!” (Water sounds again.) “Clank!”  (Definitely the sound of a dish dropping in sink again – still, aggressively.) “Marriage suc…”

Carina:   “Yup. She’s yelling at Jack.”

Butt dialing. We’ve all done it. It’s the new normal since the flip phone lost its popularity and cell phones with touch dial and cameras took over. Sorta like Farrah Fawcett’s red swimsuit poster became a feathered memory once Kate Upton put on a bikini.

I’m horrified at what my friends and family are hearing on their end. I mean, I’d like to believe my private life is normally rated at a “Leave it to Beaver” level. Now, since I've moved from one end of the country, across the Pacific Ocean, to the other end of the country, and away from my support group, I'm sure my private life is closer to a “Sopranos” rating. If I had to be honest… it has probably always been a “Sopranos” rating, but I’m blaming my anger issues on the move right now.

Actually, flip phones are still around and, believe me, my brother Joe has threatened to buy me one every time I talk to him.

Joe:   “Helllllllooooo. Helllo, hello hello.”

Me:   “Um, Hello. What’s up with all the hellos?”

Joe:   “Oh, so you actually are on the phone? You aren’t butt dialing me?”

Me:   “Of course not.” 

Joe:   “Three times.”

Me:   “What about three times?”

Joe:   “YOU CALLED ME THREE TIMES YESTERDAY.  THREE! I heard you negotiating with the Craigslist guy while you were buying his table. You knocked him down from $400 to $375 because of some clip or something on the side. And then I heard you trying to stop Charlie from playing on the carpet. What's that about? He's a dog. Let him play. Of course the third call was the typical Jana telling Jack where he could put his size 13 shoes.”

Me:   “It was a chip on the side of the table and Charlie isn’t housebroken yet. He was peeing on the carpet, not playing. And, do not even get me started on Jack’s giant footwear. I’ll never understand why he can’t take them off and stash them in the corner like everyone else.

Joe:   “I know. I know. I’ve heard it a million times during your boob or butt calls. You’re never going to win that battle. Give it up or get a flip phone so I don’t have to hear about it.”

Me:   “Yeah, well, you try tripping on abnormally large shoes all day and get back to me. Anyway, chill out. You should be happy you’re on my favorite list. If I butt dial anyone, it’s always from my favorite list. I can’t help it if your name is right in the middle.”

Joe… through clenched teeth:   “Do you realize I’m in Denver and you’re in Hawaii? I’m four hours ahead of you now. Every butt dial is in the evening or later here. My family scoffs at me for even answering your calls. They know you’re not actually calling me.”

Me:   “I’m calling you now.”

Joe:   “I’m buying you a flip phone.”

Me:   “Flip phones are so Farrah Fawcett.”

I really should get a flip phone – at least while I’m still in the moving-in mode. To be fair, I am a master of multitasking even when I’m not moving and if someone has to be butt dialed in the process, that’s the sacrifice my friends must endure. The other day I was carrying in 4 bags of groceries while clenching on to the heavy plastic packaging of a new comforter in the same hand. My other hand gripped onto a case of 24 waters. I had the car keys in my mouth and the phone was tucked in my back pocket. My motto is “never make more than one trip if you can avoid it.”

I consider it a win if I make it to the kitchen with a load like that. My friends don’t agree. Especially if it’s 8:00 p.m. Hawaii time/2:00 a.m. Florida Keys time and they get the dreaded butt call. They were just lucky they didn’t get the bathroom butt call. Those are the worse.

Maybe Joe’s right. I need to be more diligent and try to avoid dialing someone by accident. It’s bad enough having my “conversations” (okay, my screaming) overheard inadvertently, but now I have to factor in the extreme time difference when I screw up.

If my brother is all whiney about being called in Denver, can you imagine my buds in Florida? I’ve accidentally called poor Carina after midnight more times than I’d like to admit. It’s horrifying to hear my phone ringing and I look down to see Carina’s name on the screen. My mind races as I quickly calculate the time difference. If it is 9:25 p.m. in Hawaii, I need to add six hours as quickly as I can – well, at least before it turns to 9:26. Crap. It’s 3:28 a.m. in Key Largo.

“NOOOOOOOOOO!!!” I dive on the phone like a hero dives on a grenade in the war to save his/her buddy. Okay. Boob or butt dialing is nothing compared to a grenade. And I’m certainly no hero by diving on the red “end call” button, so I should be ashamed of myself for comparing myself to those heroes out there actually facing grenades instead of technology. However, I do feel like my comrades in the Keys are losing a lot of sleep because of our Hawaii move. If I want to keep my friends on the east coast, I think my only option is to turn my phone off after 3 p.m. my time.

I’d like to say I’ve received the same in reverse, where my buds accidentally call me at 3 a.m. my time, which is 9 a.m. in the Keys. Sadly, the only calls I get are from tacky telemarketing companies who have found my number randomly. Even sadder, I stay on the line and listen to their pitch because I’m missing human contact of any sort.

No worries. I know this will change and soon I’ll be drinking mai tais with new buds wearing leis. But, for now, I’m going to whimper from loneliness when I can. And I will complain because no one is bothering me with a boob or butt call while I'm sleeping. Don't they love me like I love them??


p.s. If my Key Largo buds think they’ve got it rough, yesterday I accidentally butt dialed Mark, my son-in-law-to-be. He’s a Lt. Colonel, training his troops in Romania right now. I think that’s a 13-hour difference. Gads. Hope the wedding is still on.

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