Friday, October 12, 2012

Oh Goody, Wrong Number

Talking on the phone isn't something I'm fond of. I'm very selective as to who I enjoy talking with and there aren't many.

I don't know why that is. I love talking to Daughter and a few dear friends in Ontario, and some here but there are far few calls where the old blue-tooth is stuck on the head and I walk around and do chores, etc., while the conversation stimulates me incredibly.  Often for several hours.

Other conversations drag, I don't know why. Maybe they're about others rather than ideas. I know - it's me. I'm getting more lodged into eccentricity as I age. And getting more unapologetic about it.

I've got one of those systems where the phone announces who's calling. The dog hates this. She whines pitifully at the automated ladyvoice and comes closer to a howl than I've ever heard her. I sometimes join her. We bond as the unwanted or intrusive call falls into voicemail.

I have to be in the mood for certain people. They seem to always want something. So I have to be in a giving mode. And often I'm on leftovers with nothing on offer.

The other day I was arranging a meeting and dialled a wrong number. Of a woman I've met the odd time. The outer edge of my acquaintance circle. She was so excited that I'd called. She told me her face must have lit up the room when she saw my number on screen, it was an honour and a pleasure to hear my voice. I told her the truth. She was a wrong number. But she didn't care.

She spoke of her mother who is 102 and still fishing. She spoke of my play and wanted to know all about the tour dates and Ireland. She spoke of her own aging, she never did like fishing and here she was 80 and not going to start now with her mother catching all she needed for herself and her husband.

Oh you've made my day, girlie, she said, you've made my day. Call me again soon.

Well, I might if I had your number......



28 comments:

  1. Your last line made me laugh out loud. I remember some woman calling my Mama's house several times, getting more and more irritated when she reached my Mama again and again. Finally she shouted. "Well if it's the wrong number, why do you keep answering?"

    Maybe you should just try mixing up the numbers of the number you dialed and keep calling till you get your fan lady again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It would have been nice if you had asked for her number because obviously she doesn't get enough phone calls. When you're 80, it may be one of your few contacts with the outside world (not to lay a guilt trip on you). Of course, you're not a social worker and it's not your job to entertain the elderly. I know I enjoy getting phone calls and like being surprised and try NOT to read the name or number on the display. xox

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, you did make her day even if it was a mistake. Aren't you glad you don't have her number because, if you did, you'd feel guilty for not calling her.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm sure you know how to retrieve that number, if you feel like being really nice to someone again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. WE're on the same page. Experience tells me most callers want something, and it isn't conversation.

    My number is unpublished. I'm on the national "Do Not Call" list. No calls is a part of a day well-spent.

    When the mood strikes me, I call a real friend for a chat.

    I'm not misanthropic; I just have other priorities.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'll swap your friend's number for that of my aunt! She will soon sort you out... she knows how to solve everyone's problems except her own... enough said!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ah well, WWW, you brought about a little bit of serendipity for someone you don't know - perhaps at some point you'll receive something similarly unexpected from an unknown source, and similarly serendipitous. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pauline:
    That was good one your mama~!

    I'm relieved about the wrong number as there are far too many lonelies out there, where on earth would I begin, plus the phone makes me really grouchy.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  9. SJG:

    It would be sweeter if I wasn't so keen to get off the phone!

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  10. Irene:

    Like I said to Pauline, there are far too many lonelies out there. And I'm not a social worker, like you said.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sharyn:

    Unfortunately for me (and more than fortunate for others) most such calls involve a commitment for tea and visit which is a huge chunk out of my time.

    I know - lovely. If time is on the hands.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  12. Marc:
    Yes, I'm on the no-call list too which eliminates the spam type phone calls but I view my time as rather precious and can't waste it on frivolities like telling people what I'm having for dinner and why I don't go to church.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  13. GM:
    Oh she sounds like a prize! I have to say all my aunts were lovely ( I had 8 blood aunts), so was not so afflicted.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  14. Marcia:

    Not really. I'm losing a lot of the coulda shoulda stuff as I age and save my breath for more challenging conversation!!

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  15. T:
    Ah you think I topped up my karma??
    Oh that's a sweet thought!!
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  16. I know what you mean. Some people are a delight to talk to while others are just an uphill struggle and you wonder why you/they bothered to dial the number. A triumph of hope over reality, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love your story and laughed out loud when I read the last sentence. haha

    Not a phone talker myself, I only answer it when I know who is calling and am in the mood for a chat. Doesn't bother me not to answer it. If a message is left and it is something to deal with or someone needs me, I will call back. Maybe ...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Nick:
    And I suppose it's all down to kindred spirits really.
    Validating and being validated.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  19. Carol:
    Aha! A kindred spirit indeed!

    But in these days of call display it is so hard when someone doesn't leave a message to say I didn't see your call....

    Oh for the days of the black dial phone...:)

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  20. oh yeah, the old call display problem. Tough to get by that one. Sometimes one just has to answer it and get it over with. I have one friend who I adore but she has a habit of going on and on and my poor ear gets so sore and I basically don't get a word in. Not that I have that many words to say ... LOL

    ReplyDelete
  21. Carol:
    I think we all have one or two of those in our lives.

    As:

    "Enough about me, what do you think about me?"

    LOL

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am not a phone talker either.
    Usually to busy to sit and chat.
    I have an answering machine and
    sometimes do not answer.
    Usually feel guilty...

    ReplyDelete
  23. I live quite a long way from my family and friends so I can sometimes spend whole evenings on the phone which can sometimes be exhausting when, as you say, there's not very much left in the tank. You may not have intended to make that call, but it clearly gave an immense amount of pleasure to someone - I hope that kindness is paid back to you one day. Best wishes, Chris.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks Chris, I don't regret it at all, often I'm not aware of the small pleasures others take in such simple things.
    On my way to your blog now...
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  25. Aw, that's sweet even if unintentional. Once I got a wrong number from an older woman trying to reach the radiology center. She left a message on my machine asking about her mammography results. I HATE making phone calls, but I couldn't let that one lie so I called her back to give her the correct number. I ended up spending a little time on the phone with her, reassuring her that if there were problems the center would almost certainly have contacted her, but to go ahead and call if that would ease her mind. We also talked a little about how unpleasant mammograms are. It was a call that I actually enjoyed.

    ReplyDelete
  26. SAW:

    What a lovely story about a wrong number. We never do know, do we?

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  27. OWJ:
    You keep getting thrown into my spam bucket on a regular basis, don't know why that is.

    I'm so sorry.

    No I don't feel guilty any more, to hell with it.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete

Some of you are having trouble, I've removed captcha and verification so we'll see how that goes. My apologies. Blogger is putting up far too many roadblocks. Thanks for the emails alerting me.
wisewebwomanatgmail.com