There’s a myth circulating about senior citizens, that we are up with the birds and asleep before sunset. An entire culture has been built on “Early Bird Specials.” Because old people purportedly eat dinner by 4pm.
I eat around four, but I call it lunch. Dinner is around eight. Please call before you show up.
In my experience older people, especially retired ones, are up when they feel like getting up. They go to bed when they feel ready to sleep. For us, that’s around one in the morning or later (earlier?). Even when we should go to bed earlier (because we have something we need to do in the morning), “Just one more show?” always wins over “Are you ready to go in yet?”
Thus when the phone rang at eight this morning, I wasn’t happy. I’ve recently changed my phone. At least my new ring tone — a Mozart sonata — is pleasant. Not like the old one which had all the grace of a nail gun to the head.
It took me a few moments to reconnoiter, to recognize the source of the sound. The phone, Marilyn. It’s the phone.
When I’m awake and focused, I don’t answer calls from “Unknown Callers,” survey companies, or 800 numbers. None of them are people to whom I want to speak. Most of them aren’t people. They are recorded messages (talk about annoying).
I can’t see the caller ID from the bed. It’s easier to snake my hand around the lamp and grab the phone.
I see an unfamiliar name on the caller ID.
“Hello?” Big improvement on my usually hostility-tinged “Yes?”
“Good morning, this is Rita from the Milford Daily Telegram.”
Speechless, I stared at the receiver in my hand, trying to get through the clouds in my brain to remember what to do next.
“Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?”
I was there, sort of. Shortly, I remembered what to do. I clicked “End.” Put the phone down. Plumped the pillow and went back to sleep. I was pissed, though well short of a killing frenzy. I save murderous rages for back-stabbing former friends and moronic customer disservice personnel. I’ve outlived most of the back-stabbers — in which there is some weird consolation — and no matter how frothing at the mouth crazed I may get at customer service drones, I recover almost immediately. I may not even remember the details an hour later.
Actual solicitation calls, of which this was one, should not be coming at all. I’m on the “DO NOT CALL” list. Nonetheless, I get up to a dozen or more such calls every day. If I’m alert, I don’t answer them. When I don’t recognize the name but doubt it’s anyone I know, I respond with a hostility-laden “Yes?”
Note: Putting yourself on a “Do Not Call” list seems the perfect way to distribute your phone number to organizations who want to sell your data to spammers.
Why eight in the morning? Anytime they call me will be annoying, but do they believe they can sell me something if they call before I have time to drink my coffee? Or my defenses down because I’m not fully awake?
What they accomplish is to rob me of a couple of hours of badly needed sleep. I curse them for that. Sleep is precious. Nobody should attempt to solicit anything from anybody before eleven. Or ever, if it were up to me.
I’m sorry about not having a criminal rampage to report. I promise to write about it as soon as something appropriate triggers one.
But why is the hatter mad? Did his hats not sell? Is he mentally unbalanced or merely angry? Inquiring minds want to know.