Remember land lines? When the phone on your kitchen wall would ring, and you would answer it and talk to somebody? And that was it? You couldn’t see people’s pet photos on it, or get a text message? Life was so much simpler then.

Now, we feel compelled to stay in touch with everybody all the time. It is all the rage. For instance, I think that the population of the world really needs to see the latest pictures of my grandson, so I post them on Facebook and Twitter, and spend a bunch of time texting the latest snaps of him in, for example, his lobster Halloween costume, to all my friends and neighbors.

This works fine. But there seems to be a little glitch in my iPhone. Apparently, when I put my friend Sheryl into my “contacts,” I was one digit off. So whenever I send Sheryl a text, it actually goes to someone named Ethel Rosen.

I know this, because Ethel is a very assertive person. And apparently, she has an old school cell phone that does not have the capability to receive text messages. So every time I send Sheryl a text, Ethel’s phone rings. And when she answers it, no one is there. So Ethel being Ethel, she CALLS ME BACK.

HER: Who is this? And why did you just call me? 

ME: Oh, I am so sorry.

HER: You have done this multiple times. Why don’t you change the number in your phone, so that you don’t make this mistake over and over? 

Well, actually, I tried. And it didn’t work. So I tried again. I changed Sheryl’s number at least five times, but my phone is fond of Ethel, and so it defaults to Ethel every time. And how do I know this? Because every time I try to text Sheryl,  without fail, I get an immediate callback.

This has happened so many times, that now it kind of goes like this:

HER: Hello, who is this? You just called me and there was no one there. 

ME:  Oh, no. Is this Ethel? Ethel, I am so sorry that I keep bothering you. Really, I keep thinking that I have solved the phone number problem, but apparently I haven’t. I guess I will just stop texting Sheryl and just email her from now on. 

HER: Well, actually, I am beginning to enjoy our conversations.

So last night, after another aborted try at sending Sheryl a picture of one of my cats doing a cute thing, of course I got a return call from Ethel. Ethel and I had a long conversation. Here’s the thing: Ethel lives in the same city as my daughter! She is moving to a new house soon. She used to live in the same city as Sheryl, but they never met. What a small world! We both love creative things. Ethel has a great sense of humor.  Although I didn’t ask her directly, I think we are about the same age.

And here is the exciting news: Ethel is going to get an iPhone! She will soon be able to read all the texts I send to Sheryl and look at pictures of my cats and my grandson! I am going to send her some shots of my holiday decorations, and she may even send me some photos in return! We have already made plans to have lunch the next time I go to visit my daughter! Ethel gave me her LAND LINE number, as well!

Poor Sheryl.


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