Phone etiquette

Phone etiquette

No Phone calls please

There are people who like to talk on the phone…and then there’s me.

I hate answering my phone. I’ll invent a thousand reasons why not to answer it, and even when it’s someone I really like and enjoy talking to, I’m ambivalent about picking up.

Staying in touch by phone when you don’t like to talk on the phone and your spouse is ten states away for the next few years makes staying close a little…problematic.

If it isn’t already complicated enough, let’s add in a time zone issue and my 11 hour minimum work/commute time. When he does call and I’m in the car, half the time I’m either moving in and out of cell range, and when I’m actually IN cell range he complains he can’t hear me. These are not problems I can actually fix, which makes his complaints about them intensely annoying.

But wait, it gets even better!

My husband likes to talk about himself. He likes to talk about what he ate, what he thinks, what he did, where he went. He likes to tell you all of the tiny little details of his day, whether you want to hear them or not. I can’t even count the number of phone calls we’ve had where he’s spent a half hour recounting his day or giving me an unasked for lecture session on whatever Libertarian thought he’s having, not offering a pause for me to put a word in edgewise, then say, “Well, have a great night honey!  Love you!” without once stopping to even ask me how I’m doing.

I know there are things I could take to make this better. I could politely redirect. I could explicitly state what I would like from him on these small opportunities we have to connect across the miles. I could just start talking without waiting for him to ask how my day has been. Sometimes I do these things, mostly when I’m in a calm and understanding frame of mind — which I’m often not, because a) I don’t like talking on the phone as it is, and b) I’m too fucking annoyed at his lack of manners to bother.

This means the next best chance I have to connect with my husband is when he comes home to visit at Christmas – unless I am the bigger person change my behavior and responses to problems a) and b), because he sure the fuck isn’t going to change his.

I don’t see this going well.