Sunday, January 09, 2005

the bobsey twins and the mystery of the strange phone

background: we are a two-person, three phone family. i have a cell -- issued through work so i try to avoid using it for personal calls. husband has a cell. we also have a land line at home that is connected to a $19.95 cordless phone.

we used to have a phone with a cord, but someone (i think it was me) had the bright idea of using it as a wall phone in the kitchen. one day it got knocked off the wall, and that was the end of that.

since the land line phone served as our answering machine as well, we were in a hurry for a replacement so we purchased a $19.95 cordless phone from a post-christmas sale at an electronics chain. it was probably worth $2, as we'd later find out.

not convenient: it's maybe not the smartest move --having only one phone in an apartment that is larger than many homes. the phone is in our bedroom and when it rings, i typically sprint down the hallway in the speediest manner possible, probably tricking the downstairs neighbors into believing i'm practicing for sprints.

you really have to start running during the first ring in order to make it to the phone before the answering machine picks up. i have the rules down and i'll explain them if you ever come over to our house, in case you need to answer the phone.

the problem: a month ago or so, i used the land line to try to reach husband on his cell. instead of him answering, a woman picked up.

was she his mistress? he was studying awful hard in law school. no, i just had the wrong number.
a minute later, i called his cell AGAIN using the land line, slowly, deliberately pressing the numbers on the keypad. lo and behold, i got the same girl again.

i surmised that our cordless phone was lacking battery power and was dialing the wrong number even though i pressed the right buttons. i apologized to the woman for wasting her time and reached husband successfully by using my cell phone.

strangely enough, the phone works just fine when i call ANY OTHER NUMBER.

resolution? a few weeks later, i decided to try to call husband again using cordless. it worked - no problem.

nope, still having difficulty: i pick up the cordless a few days later to call husband's cell and guess what, i reach her. i am extremely apologetic on the phone. i tell her the phone is messed up and i obviously need a new one and i hope i'm not calling her cell and wasting her minutes and all that! i tell her that i'm going out to buy a new phone so this won't happen again.

did she buy the phone???:
well guess what. i never went and bought that phone. i have no problem spending $20 or more during an evening out with friends, but stupidly i have trouble handing over $20 to Circuit City, knowing they're just going to sell me another crappy phone.

now she's a stalker: so wouldn't you know it but i space out and call the husband today using the cordless. and, wouldn't you know it, i i reach the girl AGAIN!

she emits her standard chippy "hello?", but this time i can't seem to talk. "hello?" she chirps again, but i still can't talk.

it's at that point that i hang up. i just can't apologize again because she'll ask if i purchased the phone and i'll have to tell her i'm too cheap, which is no excuse because i continue to bother her.

as soon as i hang up, i begin to regret not issuing the girl yet another apology. after all, what if she thinks i'm some deranged stalker, that i call her over and over for kicks. (like i have that kind of time on my hands.)

as my internal dialogue is beginning to end, the home phone rings. do i answer? no way.


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