It was the Fourth of July. BTW, the following account is a typical day in my life as a member of the “Sandwich Generation.” (To find out more about this, click on Sandwich Lady in the sidebar.) I decided to take the kids (daughter 2 1/2; stepson 12 1/2) on my own to a community parade very close to my house. And although we live in the Midwest, it wasn’t too hot for a July day, but we wanted to find some shade to sit in. My husband is an air traffic controller, and so he was actually at work. (BTW, my ANNIVERSARY is also the 4th of July!) Since we were a bit late, the only “shady” spot left was a small curb space near a dumpster for an apartment complex on the parade route. This was a garbage dumpster COMPLETE with a couch and chair someone was throwing away.
If you have small children, you already know where I’m going with this: “Don’t touch the dumpster. Don’t sit on that couch–it’s gross–someone is throwing that away! Don’t pick up that cigarette stub. What are you thinking?” ETC. So, while I was lecturing the kids and waiting for the parade, which was of course late, except for the police motorcycles that sped by every so often at TOP SPEED, my cell phone rang.
It was my dad.
“Margo, how do you get this phone on vibrator?” (Yes, he said vibrator.)
(Before I go on, I should tell you that none of us have smart phones. We still have flip phones with NO texting keyboard, even.)
I told him. “Do you see that little button on the side? You need to click on that, pushing it down. And you will see a screen that shows your phone’s volume going down to VIBRATE.”
“Okay, hold on,” he said. Then I hear some commotion in the background. I put my hand over the phone and yell at my stepson to get away from the dumpster and watch his sister; can’t he see I’m on the phone?
My dad came back on the line. “I don’t see what you are talking about. I’m clicking the button down, and vibrator is not coming on.”
“Dad,” I tried to keep a patient voice. “Are you calling me on the cell phone?”
“You can’t do it while you are talking on the cell phone. I’ll call you back on the home phone.”
So, we hung up. People were now looking at me, and I saw snickering. I made my children sit on the curb and NOT MOVE A MUSCLE.
I called my dad back on the home phone and explained again how to get the phone on VIBRATE. This time, he put the home phone down, commotion going on again, and he came back on the home phone and said, “It worked. I think.”
“Well what does it say? Do you see a little symbol of the phone looking like it is vibrating?”
He was quiet for a bit. And he said, “I’m not sure.”
“Okay, I’ll call you back on the cell phone and let’s see if it vibrates.” We hung up. My children were whining: “I’m hungry. I’m thirsty. When does this start?”
I called my dad back on the cell phone, and he picked up. “It worked!”
Now, stay tuned for when my mom calls and says, “This computer isn’t working right. . . “