Darn that telephone!


As I relaxed in my couch with my morning tea nicely resting in the cup holder next to me, I heard my cell phone ring.

It was my best friend. I picked up the phone eagerly, ready to chat for the next hour or so while Pleasure Island played on TV.

My friend and I live pretty boring lives. I’m a housewife and she works a boring job 9-5, M-F. We usually have nothing to talk about that concerns us and ours. Thankfully we know many interesting people who make for good conversation fodder.

After mindlessly commenting for an hour on various women’s boob jobs, recent birth processes, domestic problems while inserting a complaint or two about our own spouses and in-laws, we hung up. All in all we had a good talk. What would I do without my girlfriends!

As I started to decide about what to cook my mom called. Since wedding off all of us she has a lot of time on her hands so sometimes we speak three or four times a day. I look forward to her calls as she usually has something new and exciting from my siblings’ families and other people we have in common . As my mom and I chatted I finished cooking and was ready to get the family room in order before the kids came home.

Cleaning and organizing have never been my favorite therefore I usually call one of my sisters. And since my mom had just told me about my sister’s god forsaken mother-in-law who insisted on staying with my sister during her vacation for two months I wanted to lend support. I called her. As expected, my sister was enraged and furious. I was so glad I called. When else do sisters come in handy? It’s for these times. I tried to give her some tips to cause her mother-in-law to choose another place for her vacation. I had many examples from my own life with my in-laws and it has never been hard for me to convince another woman about how to ruthlessly handle in-laws. Soon my sister was thanking me for lessening her stress and promised that she’d use my advice against her mother-in-law and make sure that old bat never even thought of burdening her.

So there was my good deed for today, I sighed contentedly as I looked at my pretty looking family room.

Soon the kids were home. To tell you the truth I have argued with my husband about how they should get some tuitions after school, just so I could get a few hours to myself. Come to think of it, I haven’t had a moment to myself the whole morning. I spend everyday in telephonic social work and phone calls to solve problems. Why can’t I have some time to get my hair and nails done or even just go for a walk?

The kids were noisy and my family room looked like a battlefield soon after. I quickly laid out lunch so they could eat and go down for a quick nap. As soon as they napped, I whipped out my phone again.

But I didn’t call anyone. I scrolled through my social media and tried to solve problems for other women. This is really my thing. Helping women navigate domestic life. Finally I heard my kids wake up and with tired feet I dragged myself to the sunroom where they normally do their homework.

I heard my husband come in and soon we were tucked in bed.

My husband, as is his norm, complained about a colleague and I was immediately bored. What sage advice did he expect from me? I told him abruptly that I was sleeping and wouldn’t like to be disturbed. Then I slept peacefully, waiting for morning and my friend’s daily phone call so I could tell her about my sister’s atrocious mother-in-law.


I had been desperately waiting for my best friend’s phone call. In the mundaneness of this office her phone call brightens my day. She’s a happy-go-lucky housewife with a boring life nonetheless. Like mine! I have a boring life too.

She called and we chatted for an hour. This is my usual routine in the morning when she calls before my boss arrives.

She seemed worried but not too much. Turns out that her sister’s mother-in-law would be visiting and hoped to stay with her sister. I immediately agreed when my best friend expressed her anger at this expected hospitality. As I was fervently engaged in this conversation with her, my boss arrived and I had to hang up.

The rest of the day was my boring routine like everyday. Until my boss took his daily out of office meeting during which he usually also eats breakfast.

I quickly sought this opportunity and called my sister. She is usually doing nothing at 10 in the morning and is available. We chatted. While casually discussing the details of other people, which included the mother-in-law conundrum that my best friend’s sister was facing, we talked about my sister’s in-laws too who are just as disagreeable as most in-laws.

I hung up and yawned. I took some messages from the answering machine and got down to finishing a charge sheet that was due that day. While finishing the boring charge sheet I occasionally scrolled through social media and answered a query or two, fought a few online battles, did a little keyboard warrior ship and voila! I’ve put in all the charges .

My boss was back in the office and looking through his files. I sat with him for a few and went over our marketing designs and other stuff that truly is so boring. When I finally got done with this daily meeting it was time for lunch.

Two of the girls who work with me joined me for lunch. As we talked I came to know that one of them had gone to school with my sister. This made for more conversation.

I watched some women going to the gym in their lunch hour and I wondered why I didn’t use the office gym more. I paid for it. I certainly needed to use it. But I was always so encumbered with work that this never happened.

I texted my sister about finding her classmate at lunch today. She told me that the said girl had already texted her. Wow! The power of communication.

As I was sitting down to work again, I briefly texted with my best friend again. Her kids were home now and she seemed tied up. I texted with some other friends and soon it was time to go home.


My sister called this morning. She was frantically angry and agitated. According to her, my mom and I were the only people who knew about her angst at her mother-in-law visiting her but somehow this news had gotten back to her husband and he was really upset with her.

She repeatedly accused me of being the lightweight and that I somehow leaked it. I consciously avoided telling her that I had indeed discussed it with my best friend. I mean, I trust my best friend. She wouldn’t ever give away our conversation to someone else.

My sister swore at me some more and hung up. We rarely fight so I was a little shook.

Soon the kids came home.


My best friend called me with worry and anger in her voice. She asked me repeatedly if I had told someone that her sister was secretly planning to throw mother-in-law out during her visit. I lied to her because I didn’t want to lose her trust. I couldn’t really understand where this information could have gotten out to reach back to her sister’s husband but I let it go. I couldn’t fix it so I quickly got off the phone and called my sister.

My sister isn’t the most trustworthy person but she has never betrayed me. Turns out it wasn’t her fault. My best friend’s sister’s husband works with my sister’s husband, my brother-in-law, and my sister had told him. I mean spouses don’t have secrets! And he, like a sorry little tattle tale that he is, went back to my best friend’s brother-in-law and opened his big fat mouth. How is that my sister’s fault, someone tell me? My brother-in-law on the other hand is a downright snitch.

Oh boy! My best friend was still looking for the culprit so I stopped calling her for a few days, afraid I might give my sister away. When it had all cooled down I called her. I found out that her brother-in-law had been most disappointed in his wife when he heard the details of her elaborately planned operation against his mother and had actually ended up going away to his parents’ house for a few days.

Oh well! However it happened, ultimately the mother-in-law trip was postponed. I didn’t mention my pivotal role in the whole operation to my best friend because I was sure I wasn’t ready for her reaction but she can thank me later.


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