(Reworked from a 2012 post with all new cartoons.)
My husband was home with the kids while I went shopping. There was one particular client he was trying to avoid. The phone rang & since he thought it probably was this same client, he told our 5 or 6 year old daughter to answer it. It was. He mouthed to her that he wasn’t home. She told the client, “My daddy’s not home.” There was a small pause & she said, “Just a minute.” Nameless turned to Bud & loudly asked, “When will you be home, Daddy?"
Bud had a lot of dealings with an attorney that I wasn’t overly fond of. Let’s just say that “Cedric” (not even close to his name, but I don’t want to be sued) thought he was much more important than I thought he was. Bud was out of the office & he called our house looking for him. I had previously refused to speak to Cedric on the speakerphone. (My only idiosyncrasy.) He was on the speakerphone. Our conversation: “Hello.” “Hi, Fran. Is Bud there?” “Get off the speakerphone, Cedric.” “I just want to know if he’s home.” “Get off the speaker.” “Can’t you just tell me if he’s there?” “Not while you’re on the speaker.” He tried a couple more times & then, in frustration, clicked the speaker off. He said, “OK! I’m off the speaker. Is he there?” “No.”
I was very close to my grandmother. My husband answered the phone one evening & his side of the conversation went like this: “Hello. When? Yes. Yes. OK. I’ll talk to you later.” (This kind of conversation was not unusual. He was an attorney & many things had to be kept private.) He hung up the phone & I said to him, “My grandmother died.” He told me that had been my dad calling to tell us just that. She was old, but had not been sick—it was very sudden.
Slightly off the topic: I was helping out in Bud’s office, answering the phone when the receptionist was sick. There was a small chalkboard above her desk for important notices. One of the clerks had taken the bar exam & I was told that he had just gotten word that he had passed it. I wrote on the chalkboard, “Lenny passed!” I apparently should have said, “Lenny passed THE BAR!” Some of the office staff thought he had died.
WAY off the topic—but still dealing with communication: As many of you know, Bud & I have been married for 61 years. (If you use his system of counting, it’s 122 years—61 each.) Even though I’m fascinating, he sometimes seems to ignore me when I talk to him. Not so. After all these years we have developed our own private language. In response, he can either just sit there, belch or fart. I can then interpret his action (or inaction) as meaning, “That is the most amusing/interesting/informative thing I’ve ever heard. Thank you for sharing it with me!” (We feel it’s important to keep our lines of communication open.)
My mother-in-law once said there were 3 rules a successful public speaker should follow. They are: 1. Be brilliant. 2. Be brief. 3. Be gone. That probably is good advice for writing posts, too, but I obviously don't follow it!!