The Etiquette of Social Tedia
“And don’t tell anyone I’m in the bathroom,” I told my ten year old daughter. This was part of the litany of admonishments about things to not do while she is texting, Facetiming, or (god-forbid) actually answering the ancient phone sitting on our kitchen counter.
“Just tell them I’m busy,” I reminded her. Even though everyone my age knows that’s a euphemism for “she’s in the bathroom,” I was determined to pass on that specific phrase since I had learned it the hard way when I answered the phone as a child and was a bit too honest about the whereabouts of my own mother.
Not that anyone she speaks to even cares what I am doing.
So, the phone rang yesterday. I was (shocker, I know) cooking, so Dimples ran to answer.
“Hello?” Pause. “Hello-o-o?” A bit more insistent this time.
Telemarketer, I thought.
“Speaking,” Dimples said, a bit forcefully.
Why would a telemarketer be calling her? Or was Dimples just pretending to be me?
She listened for a moment.
Then she hung up.
“Um. Did they ask for you?” I asked.
“Okay. Did they ask for me?”
“No. They didn’t say anything.”
“Then, why did you say, ‘Speaking’?”
“Well, that’s what I always hear you say,” she said, shrugging.
After I stopped laughing, I explained that I only said that when someone asked for me by name – not as some kind of angry rebuke to the person on the other end of the phone for not bothering to respond when I answered.
“This is going on your blog, isn’t it?” she asked, as I continued to smile at the thought of her listening to my end of the conversation all of the years, and assuming I had to deal with stubborn silence every time I answered the phone.
“Only if you say it’s okay,” I grinned.
And she did.