Yesterday, I had some business errands to do, which afforded me the opportunity to commune with others. My cell phone cost $9.99 and provides basic communication. I have no desire to be accessible to the masses. Practically none of my work is a matter of life or death. I have never been called to grant a Stay of Execution.
I talked with my husband/business partner before I left. I said, “Please don’t call me unless you want to tell me how much you love me or there is a medical emergency; call 911 first, then call me.” I did relax the criteria a little bit when I added, “I suppose you can call me if you need me.”
The first time he needed me I was in the bank lobby. The ring tone on the phone is one that came with it and it sounds like something that would accompany a fairy godmother. As my niece says, “It starts out happy!” He needed me to call someone on a job site to have a conversation about something I knew less than nothing about. A waste of precious moments in my life, not to mention squandered time I could have spent visiting with unsuspecting bank employees.
I was at an artists’ collective having an interesting conversation with a painter. He called again to see if I would bring home a treat. No love or emergency expressed in that call. He called a third time while I was still deep in conversation to ask me about sand for the driveway on Hippy Hill. Really, just shoot me! “Yes, I ordered sand. Yes, it will be there this afternoon. Remember I am doing errands for you. By the way, I’m having a conversation and this isn’t an emergency.”
I do not mince words or waste time pretending to be anything other than what I am, which at that point was impatient and exasperated. No matter how annoyed I am, I always say “I love you” at the end because I do and I mean it. I answer the damn phone because what if it was an emergency and the one person I love, more than air, truly needed me?
The painter mentioned to me that she could tell I was mad for the last call. She said it in such a way that I sensed, in her estimation, some sort of failing on my part. I wasn’t mad for the last call. When I am mad it is AWESOME in the way of a tornado. I am rarely mad. We’d only just met so she doesn’t know me or my husband. She couldn’t know that I defer to his happiness almost every day because his happiness adds to mine.
I learned a valuable lesson about perception, again.
“What is essential is invisible to the eye. It is only with the heart than one can see rightly.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry