It's time for another monthly meeting with Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group, where writer's unleash their inner fears about everything from publishing problems to meddling moms.
Here's what happened a few days later during a phone conversation:
ENI: Mom, I just wanted you to know that I have a phone interview in a few minutes, so if you need to call me back, please wait at least an hour.
Mom: What if it's important?
ENI: Is there anything important that you'd like to discuss now?
Mom: I can't think of anything.
ENI: Okay, then if you think of something else, just hold onto that thought for an hour until I'm done.
She agreed, and called me back fifteen minutes later during the interview to tell me about a great new movie.
Another instance occurred when Mom called while I was on the other line with a friend. I told her that I would call her back soon. Twenty minutes later, she was slightly agitated that I hadn't returned her call. I explained that I was still talking to my friend.
Mom took it well, and said, "I'm sorry that I'm only your mother and you can't find time to even talk to me on the phone. I'm sorry to bother you. I'll be fine. Goodbye."
Recently, I was out with my mom, and I checked my phone for messages. I immediately responded by emailing my editor, and followed-up with a call to the city manager's office.
My mom sat waiting with a drink and a snack while I finished my brief phone call. Then she said, "Why did you have to get back to them right away? Why are you such a pushover? I don't know why you let people take advantage of you like that."