My dad liked to collect things… well… sort of acquire things he suddenly took a fancy to. This old telephone was one of those things and it ended up following me around from house to house for many years before finally disappearing. I always liked this old phone (it looks like it has a face!), but never had a place to display it nor knew how to hang it properly.
So, it just sat on the floor laying against various walls in various houses. This doodlewash is an ode to that old phone. And since I now rarely use the “phone app” on my smartphone, preferring to text, this always reminds me of nearly the only person I talk to on the telephone – my mother.
My mother lives in Texas now and we only see each other a couple times a year. Neither of us are particularly good about using a telephone so it’s not uncommon to go weeks without talking to each other. Our running joke is that whoever finally decides to break the silence and actually call says, “Hi, it’s me. I’m returning your call.”
Not sure why I wouldn’t call more, because conversations with my mother are always entertaining as I’m never sure what will pop out of her mouth. You’re likely to hear bits of wisdom like these: “It’s kind of like a porno… people say there’s a story to it, but there’s no story to it,” or, “I’m kinda glad I grew up in the 50’s. We didn’t have to wear slingshots for underwear in the 50’s,” or “Well, apparently, having sex with a dead woman is only a misdemeanor.”
I remember when I was talking to her about first meeting Philippe. I was excited to be traveling to Paris to spend time with him for a few weeks, but worried that my ability to speak Spanish was not going to be very helpful there. I was visiting my mother for Christmas and had just ordered a new in-depth French language course. This was the conversation:
Charlie: So I’m trying to learn some French before I visit Philippe in Paris.
Mom: That’s good! Have you seen those commercials for Rosetta Stone?
Charlie: No, I don’t have cable, why?
Mom: There’s this one with a 30 year old man on there and he says, “Now I can speak to my parents in Japanese.” I was like… if your parents wanted you to speak to them in Japanese, why the hell didn’t they teach you?!”
This is the wonderful logic I grew up with and I have to admit that it’s served me well in life. I really love hearing about the world through my mother’s eyes and ears. You usually feel like you’re starting in the middle of the story, but that’s all part of the fun. The conversation will take a whiplash turn from a political tirade to the inexplicable discovery that “their neighbor’s cows were coming over and licking the siding on the house. I mean, what’s wrong with those cows?!”
Everyone has a different relationship with their families as well as with their phones, but I’m just fine with mine. Sometimes it’s the things you do the least that you remember the most. And out of all the crazy things I’ve done in life, the most cherished memories will always be the simpler ones. Those rare times when I remembered to press the phone app, and found myself calling mom.