Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Scared of the Phone

It's an old cliche: if the phone rings after 10:00 pm or before 7:00 am, it can't be good news. Somebody needs to tell my Dad this.

Since August 12th, I've been terrified of answering the phone. Every time it rings, I'm convinced it's going to be bad news. Yet Dad insists on calling me during that dreaded 10-7 red zone. I guess he wants to catch me when I'm not at work (and that would be the best time) but he's scaring me to death. It doesn't help that he has the habit of announcing himself with this low, forboding "Hullo...", as if he's calling to tell you somebody ran over your dog.

He just did this to me at 6:30 this morning. "Oh, no. Is Mom okay!??"

"Hunh? Yeah. She's fine. Listen, do me a favor. Can you go upstairs to your computer and look something up for me...?"

AAAARGH!

13 comments:

Leaf said...

Did he want you to look up the actress from SASQUATCH MOUNTAIN?

Heywood Jablomie said...

Hi Matt,

My dad does this to me as well. He had a heart attack at 40, and has mild problems here and there for the past 12 years, so whenever he calls I usually flip out too. Of all the times though there were only 2 that were a real problem. The other day he did it to ask me something about all the mutants in X-3. Yeeeeahhhh, so I know how ya feel man!

Mike

Matt Wieringo said...

Your Dad called you about X3? Sounds like a pretty cool dad!

Heywood Jablomie said...

Haha yeah he did. He does it all the time. He never read too many comics, but watched all the misc. shows of things thru the years, but he likes to ask me how they differ from the comics.

todd said...

matt and all~~

yeah, i HATE those after hours call--so scary!
now that my mom is gone and dad lives alone, my fear is to hear anybody BUT dad...so i breath that sigh of relief when it IS him.
as for the computer, well, my call always comes from nick cardy who can't remember the name of a movie, actor, or actress and wants me to imdb them. the call still lasts for over an hour, but that's the impetus. also, he can't remember the name 'imdb', so he calls it the imgettingold data base...
todd

Parker said...

Look Todd, that little puppy is standing there like...

Rory Calhoun, Nick?

Rory Calhoun, yes!

Matt Wieringo said...

If there was ever someone I'd like to talk to for an hour, it would be Nick Cardy.

renecarol said...

When I was in college my dad used to always call me (practically everyday) at about a quarter til 6. He knew that I had swim team practice at 6am and would be rolling out of bed at approximately 10 minutes til 6 and it was about the only time he could definitely catch me in my room.

Matt Wieringo said...

Heh. He just did it again. 10:15 pm. In his defense, he was retuning my phone call from earlier in the day, but still...

Warren said...

As a dad with an adult son who lives in another town three hours away, I can tell you that the need to hear his voice can come at the oddest times.

But you can't just call up and say, "Hi, son. I miss you and need to hear your voice."

Instead you call up and say, "Hi, son. Are you watching the Cubs playing the Astros...?"

PopSkull said...

As someone who suffers from chronic and severe generalized anxiety, there is NO time which isn't "red zone" when it comes to the alarming ring of the phone. During a therapy group last year, I was sitting in group of several other people with similar issues and the fear of the phone thing came up. Turns out, every single one of us answered matter of factly that we NEVER answer the phone - only return calls when messages are left. (On a side note, we also all discovered that none of use ever open our mail - every one of us confessed to having a backlogged pile of unopened stuff. I think it all ties into the fear of potentially unwanted and/or negative contact, probably some kind of post-traumatic shock disorder...)

At any rate, I'd recommend that you squeeze your red zone down a couple of hours and allow for calls from 10 to 11 pm to be non-threatening, and possibly even from 6 to 7 am. If you can alter your internal definition, it will give you at least a couple more hours where that jolt of fear can be eased if only a little. It is more common in the world today for people to "reach out and touch someone" at later/earlier hours than was considered polite just a decade or so ago.

Matt Wieringo said...

Well, that's even more true in my family now. When Dad called at 6:30 am, he apologized for waking me up. When I told him I was already up because I wasn't sleeping well lately, he replied, "Neither am I, son." He only calls me "son" (as opposed to "Matt") when he's sad or worried about something.

Scott said...

There should be special rings depending on the urgency of a call. That way you know from the ring if the call is something to worry about.

This goes along with my idea of a 2nd horn that is a casual "excuse me" horn for the car.