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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.

“No.”

“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.

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