Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG: Calling for a Happy New Year


                                                                       


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."

42 comments:

  1. That sure put it in perspective, didn't it? Glad my mother isn't quite that ornery yet, although she has Facetimed me with her iPad by accident. Late at night.

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    1. Oh, and I think a week is the limit on Happy New Year.

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  2. My mom doesn't get anything technical either, even texting. Hope you have a Happy New Year!

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  3. This is the month when we still write 2015 on our checks and other important papers so it is OK to say Happy New Year till the end of the month. It is a little reminder to us who hate change.

    I never use call waiting as I think it is rude (and also because I can't find the button either).

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  4. LOL I loved the emoji battle! My phone is very limited when it comes to emojis so I could never compete. :D

    Happy New Year, Julie!

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  5. Happy New Year, Julie! :) Almost everyone texts me nowadays instead of calling, so I rarely, if ever, have a call waiting. Even if I did, I wouldn't know how to get to the other caller.

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  6. These stories are hysterical. And yet I worry about what I might put my loved ones through should I live to be an old Jewish lady who's meshugenah.

    Have a sweet 2016, Julie.

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  7. huh? huh? That tends to be any conversation with a cell phone, so I appreciate your parent phone/hearing stuff. I'm lucky my Dad and I email. All the best to you in 2016. Keep laughing - that helps.

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  8. Thanks for sharing that. It gave me a good laugh.

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  9. I want to grow up and be like your mom! She never fails to make me laugh and think that I have some good times ahead if I keep my sense of humor.

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  10. And soon, that will be us. This is why I'm glad I've always respected my kids! Fun stories.

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  11. I think you can keep saying "Happy New Year" until all the Christmas decorations are down.
    Or Saint Patrick's Day.
    Whichever comes first.

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  12. Phones are tricky. I couldn't even begin to teach my mom how to use my phone. haha

    Glad I haven't been in a texting or emoji battle.

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  13. I think Happy New Year should be remembered throughout the year, Just try and remember all the resolutions one made when you break them.
    Great post.
    Yvonne.

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  14. I do not make New Years resolutions and only say happy new year during the holiday season. Once January 2 comes around the new year has aged. My father-in-law had a very old telephone. It was the only one he knew how to use. He has not used it for a long time. He would have to push more than one button.

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  15. I got a new phone as Christmas gift...I always find your mother's antics hilarious.

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  16. LOl...

    Too funny. Thanks for the laugh Julie... and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! It's been ages. How are you?

    Missed you over the summer. We need to get together and have lunch soon. So much to tell. LOL... I've posted pics of my newly rehabbed loft! Hope you can stop by and take a look...

    Wishing you all the best for 2016... keep that sense of humor!

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  17. Alex - I'm impressed that your mom knows how to use an iPad! Thanks for hosting another great IWSG, Alex!

    Natalie - I was one of the last of my friends to learn how to text. It was a lot more difficult on an old flip phone. Thanks and happy New Year to you, Natalie!

    Arleen - I just wrote my first check this year, and almost forgot to write 2016. I'm sure you know where the call waiting button is, though sometimes letters and numbers do get worn out over time on the phone.

    Julie - My son helped me add a free emoji app that I'm addicted to. It's just another silly fad I'm going through! Thanks Julie!

    Connie - Texting really is taking over. I'm so glad my kids didn't text me when they were away at college. I always feared that they'd be sick or in trouble and I wouldn't be able to hear it in their voices. I'm sure they were still able to trick me anyway. Happy New Year, Connie!

    Julie




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  18. Robyn - I don't think we have to worry, because we're already a little meshugeneh, in a good way! I'd rather deal with these silly little things than constant complaining and worse. I don't think you'll ever lose your sense of humor, and you deserve only happy days ahead! Thanks Robyn!

    Joanne - It's great that your dad knows how to use the computer! Hope he's doing okay. My mom's hearing is pretty good, but sometimes she forgets to put the phone close enough to her ear. That's one of the few things she has in common with my MIL. Thanks, and all the best to you in 2016, Joanne!

    L.G. - I'm glad this struck you funny too! Thanks L.G.!

    Lee - I read your comment to my mom and you made her day! Thanks Lee!

    Jacqui - I read all of these stories to my mom, and she gets a kick out of them. There's no lack of respect on my end, but I see what you mean! Thanks Jacqui!

    Al - St. Patrick's Day sounds about right. Of course everything sounds better on St. Patrick's Day after a few Shamrock Shakes!

    Chrys - My brother left a recording on my mom's cell phone telling people not to bother leaving messages, because she'll never be able to listen to them. It's kind of like the call waiting button. Glad you're staying clear of those dangerous emojis!

    Julie

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  19. Yvonne - That's why I never make resolutions in the first place! Happy New Year! Thanks Yvonne!

    Yvonne S. - I wonder if your father-in-law had a rotary phone? Remember the phones on the Andy Griffith show where operator Sara came on and connected you with anyone in Mayberry? Now those phones were easy to use!

    Olivia - Hope you enjoy your new phone, and that they didn't try to shortchange you by not including call waiting! Thanks so much, Olivia!

    Michael - I'll stop by later to see the pics of your loft. I'm sure it's beautiful! I would love to get together with you when it warms up! It was so much fun running into you out of the blue last summer! Thanks Michael, and I wish you all good thing in 2016!

    Julie

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  20. Hi Julie - gosh at least you and your hubby can have repartee about your mothers ... under the hat, for goodness sake find the caregiver - is she under the hat?, or has that flashing stopped by now ... someone must be bored of hanging on.

    Certainly both your mothers make me laugh .. and my mother would have laughed with me if I'd told her the story ... we couldn't help re phones either ... mind you I'm not much good with mine!

    Cheers and Happy New Year ... oh yes .. if I haven't said it - it is still allowed!! Hilary

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  21. Happy New Year, Julie. How are you? I never thought my parents would be the texting types, but ever since my mom got her new toy, I mean...phone, she'd send me notes, using r for are and u for you. She has always been so proper, I never thought I'd see that coming from her!

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  22. I'm done with Happy New Year but I'll still say have a great 2016! Sounds like you had some fun and games with your folks. I struggle enough with new technology as it is, so I dread to think what I'll be like at that age, or what innovations I'll have to contend with!

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  23. I love the idea of a good emoji war! My hubby is way more creative with them than I am. Poor dads, getting collect calls on their special day. :)

    Also, I'm trying to let my bloggy friends know my blog has moved to http://libbyheily.com/blog/

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  24. Hilary - Oh I'm sure your mum and my mom would've been great sparring partners! My MIL's hat isn't quite big enough to hide under, but I'm glad you saw the humor in it! If I wore a hat, I'd like it to be large enough to hide snacks underneath it, or perhaps a spare working phone! Happy New Year, Dear Hilary!

    Cynthia - Your mom quickly caught on! Be on the lookout for inappropriate abbreviations! Hopefully, your mom won't go down that road! Happy New Year, Cynthia!

    Nick - I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit. You've accomplished quite a lot by self publishing your books for someone who "struggles with new technology." Have a great 2016 Nick!

    Libby - I'm impressed that your hubby is an emoji expert! I was also surprised about the volume of collect calls on Father's Day. It's great to see you again, Libby! Looking forward to checking out your new website!

    Julie

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  25. Thank goodness for caregivers. LOL - has your mom found the hold button yet? Happy New Year.

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  26. When I asked my daughter's boyfriend if I took too many "selfies" (I have serious mental issues that way), he told me that my pictures of me were not "selfies," in the strictest sense of the word. He told me that they were more like "Real Life Emojis."
    That actually makes me feel better.
    But, I still think I have serious mental issues.

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  27. Rhonda - Yes, she passed the test yesterday! Now we'll see how long it lasts. Happy New Year to you and your family! Thanks Rhonda!

    Al - Sounds like your daughter has a very diplomatic boyfriend. Maybe he's onto something and you and Bones can go into the emoji business. You can wear matching outfits and have pithy catch phrases. I like it and our other friends with "issues" will like it too! And when Bones is in one of his moods, you can substitute Hill and Donald to fill in. Oh, I do so hope this is not the last thing I ever write.

    Julie

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    1. He even coined a phrase about what I do on Facebook. Once I comment on (or start) a thread on Facebook, I usually keep going on with more comments. He calls them my "comment comic strip."
      I really like that kid.

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  28. Al - He sounds like a keeper! "Comment comic strip" has a nice ring to it, and I'm impressed that you're all Facebook friends. You've raised your daughter well!

    Julie

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  29. Ha, ha ha, that was funny mate, but what can you say? We all are on the same path so let's learn some sign language before our hearing goes to pot or get that extra loud dial on our phones etc....

    Happy New Year mate, and it's never too late to say so. I just say Happy Belated New Year in Feb and March :)

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  30. Hi Julie,

    Yep, finally, I have dropped into your blog site. No, not literally! :)

    Your mother is hilarious, Julie. It seems to have run in the family. I have some of the most surreal calls with my mother who is 83 and goes on a bus into Vancouver to go look after "old folks" who need a bit of company.

    Here's to an awesome 2016.

    Gary who notes something about IWSG :)

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  31. RPD - It's so great to see you again! Hope you're doing well! It's good to know you still have your wonderful sense of humor!Sign language happens to be a terrific idea. Thank you, and I wish you all the best in the New Year!

    Gary - That is really nice of your mom! Now I know where you get your good heart from. I'm also impressed that she gets around by herself so well. Thanks, and I wish you all good things in 2016 too, Gary! No one deserves it more.

    Julie

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  32. This was hilarious, if only because my parents don't understand call waiting either. I've showed them the Flash button. They acknowledge it's there. And yet whenever I call and they're on the other line, it just rings for eternity, and I have to end up calling back later when they're off.

    "Oh! I knew we were getting another call, but I didn't know that it was YOU," they say. "Besides... what button do we press, again?"

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  33. Okay, wait, let me check... It's the fifteenth, so I guess I can say HAPPY NEW YEAR without being TOO annoying. (No cute little pictures to go with it, though.)

    I feel for your mom with the call-waiting button. We don't have one of them, but it wasn't all that long ago we got a phone with a built-in answering machine. When we came home and saw the blinking light, we thought the phone was broken. And our son, who'd left the message, thought he'd called the wrong number!

    I hope you are doing well, and still enjoying your job. Happy weekend!

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  34. Bryan and Brandon - I just Googled when that newfangled call waiting was invented and it's been around since the early 70's. For some reason, I don't remember even hearing about it until the late 80's. So there's no rush for my mom and your parents to learn how to use it. It's not like they're going to be held back because of it. To be on the safe side, I'm going to make sure no one in my mom's assisted living community finds out. I know your parents aren't ready for that yet, but I still wouldn't want this information on their permanent records. Thanks B & B!

    Susan - 1000 apologies for not visiting you sooner. I remember wishing you happy birthday and Merry Christmas, but there's no excuse for getting so far behind in the New Year. Unless I did, then nevermind. I am still enjoying my job, but wish that I could type faster. Funny story about your answering machine! I know how tech savvy you are, and don't think you give yourself enough credit. Miss you, and hope you have a happy weekend, Susan!

    Julie

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  35. Great post, your posts regarding your mum is always fun to read.

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    1. Olivia - Thank you so much! I'm sorry I haven't checked in a few days, and will be sure to visit you soon.

      Julie

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  36. I get confused by stuff like that too. I hardly call anybody anymore, but they know my number so they could call me if they wanted to. I used to call my mother every morning, but can't do that anymore since she's gone. But, yeah, I understand the confusion about that hold button. I'm sure I mess up with it every now and then--well mostly then I guess.

    I just had to buy a new Direct TV remote and can't figure out how to program it. Guess I'll give up trying and just keep my crazy system of using 5 different remotes to operate everything. Technology makes me so tired.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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