Sunday, April 26, 2009

Call Me

When I was a girl we didn't have cell phones, caller ID, or a double line. All seven of us shared three phones and one phone number. When the phone would ring, my brothers and I would race answer it. Mi madre would warn, "Don't answer it unless you're going to answer it P-R-O-P-E-R-L-Y!" Here's an ideal phone call reenactment for your enjoyment and education:

Recipient (mi madre): Hello. We didn't have to identify our household using our last name. My grandmother did that, though. A simple hello was fine.

Caller: Hi. This is Jenny Smith. May I please SPEAK with Madre? The caller must identify him or herself. No ID equals no respect from mi madre. Don't ever ever start a phone conversation with, "Is Madre there?" Mi madre may respond, "Yeah, I'm here. What do you want to do about it?" The words that will spark her heart are, "May I SPEAK with..."

Recipient (mi madre): "This is SHE" or "This is Madre." She'd never say, "This is HER." If she ever makes a phone call, and the recipient responds with a "This is HER," the stars fall out of the sky and that recipient is crowned queen of all ignoramuses. I love that word.

Now I'm grown. I have three kids and mi Amor. We have caller ID, a double-line, 2 cell phones, 5 landline phones, and an answering machine. When the phone rings, my homies race to answer it, and I say, "You'd better not answer that phone unless you're going to answer it properly." They answer it just like I did as a girl. We've practiced and practiced because good phone etiquette makes us look fancy, classy, and refined, almost as refined as mi madre. I heart that woman.


  1. Your blog has a great layout, congratulations

  2. Your mom's phone etiquette rules sound just like my mom's! We had 3 phones, 1 line for all of us! No phones in our rooms! The kitchen phone had a 12 foot cord so we could at least go sit in the hallway to try and have a little privacy...

    Where do you find your great pictures??

    And my mom never comments on my blog either...she just reads it and then prints it out and puts it in a file!! Crazy...

  3. I was at a team-building forum last night. I learnt that the appropriate choice of words can help bring people together, and a bad choice of words can ruin a team-mate's day.

    I am pretty sure the same applies to all relationships - over the phone or otherwise.

  4. I totally agree, especially when you're on the phone with someone you've never met in person. First impressions are everything!

  5. That's probably why I prefer writing to talking on the phone. I stammer. I'm an IGNORAMUS. It's even better capitalized.

    I'm happy to report that all four of my sons say, "This is he." It almost brings tears to my eyes.

  6. I have a feeling ignoramus is exactly the word to describe my phone etiquette! I am really not a phone person. Most of the time I don't answer (we don't have caller I.D.) and 50% of the time that I do answer... I hang up without so much as a single word! Cuz I don't have time or patience for solicitors. And now you know I have no friends, only solicitors. But if by chance a friendly person does call my way... im usually caught off guard and babble like a dingbat. This sometimes results in them hanging up on me. And I'm fine with that. Can't we all just email and blog comment? Seriously people. but really Katy, i like your phone etiquette so you can call anytime. especially if you want to teach me all your clip making tricks, come over to play, or go get some lunch.

    wow this is almost a blog post in itself!