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Monday, May 2, 2016

Wife on call

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My wife's cell phone keeps calling me. She's not calling me--just the phone. We are fairly certain we did not pay for this feature, but my bill is complicated, so it's hard to tell.

Here's how it works. Or doesn't work. I'm at home minding my own business when suddenly I hear the William Tell Overture. No, it's not the Lone Ranger on the line. I check the number and it's my wife, I assume contacting me from work to remind me to take three tilapia filets out of the freezer and defrost them. This is the most exciting call I get all day.

But as I said, it's not Mary Ellen. Apparently her cell phone has been jostled in her purse and somehow redialed the last caller, which was my number. So I pick up and I hear my wife talking--not to me--but on her office phone. I really don't want to spy, but for 30 years of our relationship she has accused me of not listening to her. I'm always looking to improve my marriage.

Nothing interesting going on in that first ten minutes. Mary Ellen was typing on her computer and I was hoping that a missttroke or two might elicit a few mild expletives that I could tease her about that night. "Oops!" did not give me much material to work with.

I listened in on Mary Ellen's office activity until almost noon when suddenly the room went silent. She must have decided to have lunch at her desk, probably the clam chowder she brought from home. Think about this. She's completely alone in her office eating a bowl of soup, but she never slurps. Why is this not on her resume?

My biggest disappointment was my wife's professionalism. When she talked with her colleagues it was always strictly business, which is why when she gets home at night she tells me what a busy day she had. The people I've worked with over the years know how to slack off. They know that if a third of their day isn't spent on office gossip, leafing through People magazine, or playing solitaire on their cell phone, they're headed for an early ulcer.

This rare opportunity to eavesdrop had not afforded me any real dope to use against my wife. Instead, maybe I could win some brownie points with the help of the cell phone. I went to get a haircut and called Mary Ellen. Just before she picked up, I stuffed the phone in my pocket so the muffled sound would make it appear as though my phone had also accidentally called her at work.

"You know, Buddy, as I sit here having my hair cut I'm reflecting on how lucky I am. I have the most incredible woman: beautiful, intelligent, sensitive. Without her, my life would be lonely and without purpose..."

It was the perfect ruse, but I hadn't planned on my barber being such a wise guy. "Yes, you are a lucky man to have such a woman, Dick. I just hope your wife doesn't find out."

I fumbled for the phone in my pocket, but it was too late. Mary Ellen had hung up. I panicked. I tried calling her back to explain but she didn't answer. She knew Buddy was a jokester. She's seen my haircuts. Later that night I tried to talk to her...

"Not now, Dick. I want to watch Desperate Housewives. We'll talk another time."


"I don't know. Why don't you have your phone call my phone?"