Dancing to the Wrong Tune
It was spring in Maine and a sea of green was emerging across the dead landscape. The change was refreshing and my wife and I delighted in seeing life being renewed as we traveled northward. We apparently came at a bad time because the state was in the middle of updating road signs. The numbers of the state highways on the signs and the numbers of the highways on our road map did not always match and we were often confused by the conflicting numbers.
We stopped for directions often to make sure we were on the right road. Each time we stopped, my wife would whip out her cell phone and call several people, letting them know where we were, what the weather was like, what scenery we were seeing, etc., etc, etc. She always looked forward to the next stop so she could call someone and did not mind me stopping for directions, for gas, or for other reasons. Since she was happy talking to her parents, her friends, or our children, the stops were enjoyable and I was happy just having some quiet time to myself.
Although this plan worked for all previous stops, there was one stop with the cell phone that brought trouble. It all started out innocently enough. I pulled in to a gas station for gas. After filling the tank I decided to use the restroom but before I went inside my wife said, “I want to go inside. I don’t have a pocket in these jeans so would you keep my phone for me?” Reluctantly, I took her phone and stuck it in my pocket. I hurried into the restroom scarcely ahead of two other men. I took my place at an urinal. Another man, a trucker, took his place at the urinal on my left. A motorcycle rider stood at the urinal on my right. We all looked ahead in silence, at least until my wife’s cell phone went off.
“My boyfriend’s back and there’s gonna be trouble,” the ring tone of her cell phone blared, and continued playing the same tune over and over. The trucker turned and eyed me intently. The biker also turned and stared.
What could I do? I was totally embarrassed. I smiled at one and then the other. I hurried over to the sink, washed and dried my hands, and zipped out the door. By then the phone had stopped playing but I was thoroughly irritated.
When I found my wife, I slapped her phone down into her outstretched hand. “Here,” I said. “I don’t ever want to hold your phone again.” When I explained what had happened, she laughed. Then she apologized, and laughed again. I found no humor in the situation and we sat in silence for a long time as we traveled. Later, I found time to laugh at my own temporary plight. My wife did her part to ease further situations. She changed her tune. We still travel together, but when we stop somewhere I always check my surroundings, and I never, ever, hold her phone.
By Dan Roberson