Welcome to the first Insecure Writer's Support Group of 2016. I would like to wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year. The older I get the more I have trouble remembering who I called or sent New Year's wishes to. I'm also not sure exactly when the cut-off date is. Do I continue signing my emails Happy New Year through the end of January, or does it become annoying after the 15th?
Hopefully, members of Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group will be able to weigh in on the subject. In the meantime, I've done a little research of my own.
I noticed this year was more competitive than usual when it came to texting. Mini-me emoji cartoon texts were circulating and I had to get in on the action. When I thought I chose a fitting Happy New Year text complete with stars and sparklers, one of my friends texted back a look-a-like emoji bedazzled in an evening gown and pearls. It became a battle of the texts and those who couldn't create their own Frankenstein emojis fought back with killer family photos, or exotic vacation scenes. I decided to take a break from texting to make some actual phone calls.
Here's where my research comes in:
- Father's Day is the busiest day for collect phone calls - Snopes.
- "We found that Mother's Day is far and away the most popular day to place phone calls across the world, registering more calling traffic than any other holiday, including New Year's and Valentine's Day," according to Reuters.
On January 1st, I called my mom to see if she had a good time at the retirement home's New Year's Eve party. She said, "Are you kidding? Everyone went to bed by 8:30." Then we talked about what everyone wore and who got indigestion, until another call came in.
Mom: I have another call, but I can't find the button.
Me: The call waiting or "Flash" button should be somewhere on the top of the phone.
Mom: Nope, it doesn't have it.
Me: Of course it does. It's a brand new phone, and we showed you where it was before.
Mom: I'm telling you it doesn't.
Me: Maybe your caregiver can help you find it. Why don't you ask her?
(10 minutes later)
Mom: She can't find it. I'm telling you I don't have it.
Eventually Mom hung up the phone, and the person who was trying to reach her finally got through. It was my brother and yes he knew exactly where the call waiting button was.
Afterward, I went upstairs to relay the story to my husband. I was just about to unleash my frustrations when I heard him skype-shouting to his mother in Israel:
"I said Happy New Year, Ma! Can you hear me?" (He kept repeating this over and over at louder and louder decibels. Finally, I heard him shout to her caregiver)
"Put the earpiece under her hat so she can hear me. (10 minutes later) Okay, now put it in her ear."