A Phone Call with the Phillipses

My parents are in Michigan for a family reunion of all the still-living cousins on their mom’s side. This therefore involves a mini-reunion of my dad, mom, Uncle B., Aunt C., Aunt J., and Uncle G.–six people who I love dearly, but for some reason all want to talk at the same time on speaker phone. When I called this morning to get a better understanding of what they wanted last night, it was like talking to a circus. I don’t know how else to explain it.

My dad was attempting to offer me a clear explanation of what they needed me to do. My mom was just, I think, randomly saying my name. My uncle G. was laughing at my Aunt J. who was reading my Pith post aloud, I think, to me. My Uncle B. was simultaneously shouting clarifying things to me while, it became apparent, talking to one of his kids on his phone. My aunt C. was trying to do what I was advising them to do and reporting on whether it was working.

Thank the gods there were not iPhones back when my other two uncles and grandparents were alive or I swear, it’d just be calling up and talking to a wall of sound.

My brain just shuts down. It can’t figure out who to focus on or what they’re talking about or why it might be necessary for me.

Thank god, when I called my dad back, he was on the toilet. NEVER have I been so relieved to reach someone without the sense to, oh, you know, not take a call in the middle of going to the bathroom.

I said to him, “Oh my god, how are you holding up?”

And he said, “This is better than yesterday.”

Poor Dad! But I admit, I laughed long and hard when I got off the phone. It sounds like he needs to send about four people into the other room to play solitaire on the computer for a while. Ha.

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