I get one phone call a day.
Because I spend my entire day around our kids, and then I head to work. And if I want to have angry, sad, frustrated, somebody-break-me-free-for-ten-minutes-of-this-reality, I’m relegated to the garage. It’s cold. Or the deck. It’s cold outside. Or I have to wait for my one phone call a day. And that’s on my thirty minute drive to work.
Usually, when I’m headed home, I’ve called J to make sure I don’t need to bring anything with me. To let him know I’m on my way, and yes, you can start dinner. And what were the kids doing, and see-you-soons, and by the time that ten minutes is up, I’ve got less than twenty left to make a call. Who’s it going to be to? And will they answer.
“Okay Google, call Suzanne.”
In those precious moments I get per day to make real life phone calls, it’s the only time during my day that I’m having interaction with the outside world that isn’t my family, or my colleagues I convene with weekly about work. (I should add here that there is something special to be said about my listeners who call during my show.)
But I miss my friends. The ones I used to meet up with to catch a drink on a patio. Or to sing karaoke. Or an impromptu game night. Or my sorority. I miss my girlfriends. I miss my guy friends. I miss going to see my sisters every other weekend. I miss my daughter in London who messages me on the daily. Who’s back to calling me “Mommy”.
And you might ask yourself – why can’t you have those conversations in front of the kids?
Because here, as maybe at your place, is chaos. And it’s distracting. And if I am falling apart, and I do need a good cry sesh – or you do, it’s impossible to have those clean cut conversations when ears perk up as soon as you’re talking to someone else. Sometimes, you’re talking adult stuff. Like budgets. Like sex. Like gossip. Like work. Like things you don’t want an audience for. Those conversations? Those private calls? I miss them. And trust me, I want to talk to you. YOU.
I used to hate the phone. I used to be the one that was like – don’t call. Send me a text. Now, I’m desperate for human interaction. Even Jan and I – who have always been the very best of friends – are on edge. (Oh, don’t be worried. I love him more than I could quantify not liking him sometimes. We are solid, but frustrated.)
Someone recently said this is not our prison. This is not our jails. You’re asked to stay home. You’re not incarcerated. You’re not stripped away from the things you love most, and exiled from community. You can paint and do puzzles, and play games. And watch movies. And sleep in. And eat. OMG, eat everything out of the pantry. No one cares.
And maybe that’s true. But I still only get one phone call.