I was getting my hair cut the other day and Billy Jo, my stylist (hair cutter) got a call on her cell phone in her apron pocket. The conversation went like this:
“My Shop, Billy Jo speaking.”
I couldn’t hear the voice on the other end so you’ll only get Billy Jo’s responses, although you can kind of hear between the lines.
“I’m cutting a client’s hair.”
“Fine, but I can’t talk right now.”
“I’m busy until 5. It’s 2:15, did you take your pills?”
“Okay take them now. I’ll be home about 5:30.”
Billy Jo disconnected the call and put her phone back into her pocket. She rolled her eyes as she picked up the scissors and began cutting my hair again.
“That was my mom wanting to know how I am. She acts shocked when she hears I’m working and she never leaves a message if I don’t answer right away.”
It made me think about my mom getting frustrated when her mom would call her when she was busy and how distracting it was when my mom would call me at especially busy times. She too would never leave a message saying: “I hate those damn machines and I refuse to talk to a machine.” It made me think about what I do to my kids. For one thing, I quit calling them when I learned how to text. That gives my kids an easier time to put me off when they’re busy. And just like my mom and Granny, I have no idea when my kids are busy, so I understand the chain of unwanted calls through the years.
I wonder what they did in the olden days when there were no telephones. One thing, the old parents lived with the adult children in many cases so an aged mother could see that her adult child was busy and could leave her alone. Two, with the whole family living together, I’d think there’d be a tendency for every member to want to seek more private space. These days we live apart from each other and so, in my opinion, we need connection more than our ancestors did.
I was at the store a few weeks ago and I watched the reverse of a mom seeking connection with her adult child; it was a four-year-old seeking attention from his mother. She was reading the label on a cereal box and he was looking at the pictures on a box of Corn Flakes which was at his eye level. It went like this: