Many of my own memories are now tinged with the soft glow that time can airbrush on the past, and it takes reading some of my more ironic pieces of writing to bring to mind those interesting periods (in the sense of that so-called Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times!)
This little piece is an excerpt from a long-ago letter to my mother, written with tongue firmly in cheek:
Number One Son has fallen in love and now spends most of his spare time on the telephone talking to his girlfriend, initiating huge fights over whose turn it is to use the phone, and how long the other two have been hogging it.
As tempers fray, the noise level escalates. Invariably, when the din reaches a level roughly comparable to that of the takeoff of a 747, my DB rears to his feet and hurls threats, the most effective of which is that if they don’t work out a user schedule immediately – and quietly – we will have the phone disconnected.
Now, to most threats they casually turn a deaf ear, but they don’t dare take the chance that we might actually carry through on this one. They are acutely aware that of the 1,563 phone calls a day that come into our house, only .025 percent are actually for DB and me.
A false peace immediately ensues, during which we can hear furious whispering going on in the general area of their rooms. Eventually calm is restored to our little home, broken only by–what else?–the ringing of the telephone.
We turn up the t.v.