Because I’m heading out of town in the morning, I stopped tonight to pick up my cell phone. My parents have had it for a whole week. They’ve gotten cell phone advice from just about everyone in the family, as well as several of my readers and some random strangers.
Have I mentioned before how obnoxious the ringtone on my phone is? It’s Shaggy Hair Boy making some kind of noise that’s worse than a smoke alarm going off. So the first thing my father said to me was, "We can change the ringtone, right?"
They hadn’t grasped the concept of voicemail so I clicked speaker phone and showed them how to retrieve the messages family members had left.
The first voice was Urban Sophisticate Sister, checking in from her apartment in Big City Like No Other: “Hey, I’m just calling to see how the great cell phone experiment is going. Unlike most people with cell phones, you clearly don’t have the knack of carrying it with you. But perhaps you’ve figured out how to check messages and you will get this message and return my call.”
I erased that message and played the next one. It was her again. “Hey, I’m just calling to see how the cell phone thing is going. Clearly, you don’t have the hang of carrying it with you. But maybe you’ve figured out how to check the voice mail and you can call me back.”
“Wow,” my father said. “You sound alike.”
That’s when I realized. The second message wasn’t my sister – it was me. Saying almost the same words, with the same inflections.