Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Betty's Plan

The restaurant was busy and crowded so we waited outside for our names to be called. It was a chilly night, so I hugged my coat tight, glad I had my backpack purse on, so I could wrap both arms around myself and retain all the heat I could.

We stood, talking with friends when I felt a strange sensation—a vibrating, buzzing sensation filling up my chest. It stopped and then started again. My mind whipped back to a conversation that had taken place with a friend. She said that when she started menopause, her breasts would tingle and buzz. It drove her mad, she said.

I stood, unable to carry on a conversation. Luckily, my friends and HOB were chatting away and did not notice my wide eyes and open mouth. The vibrations stopped. I relaxed. Then they started up again.

They stopped.

They started.

They stopped.

So this was it! I thought. This is where it all begins (ends?)! This clear and distinct message—nature’s Morse code—sent to me at this EXACT moment in time. I knew I would never forget it.

We were called into the restaurant, seated at the table and given menus, but my mind remained on this incredible signal from my body—this bookmark, this rite-of-passage. I had just received a missive that one phase of my life had just ended and a new one was beginning and I was supposed to just sit there and choose between a veggie burger or a salad? I could barely breathe.

Just then HOB’s cell phone beeped. “It’s Evan,” HOB said, “He’s been trying to get through to you. Where’s your phone?”

“It’s in my purse,” I said, digging around for it and then stopped.

In my backpack purse.

The one that had been strapped tightly to the back of my ribcage.

The rib cage connected to the ample, apparently overly-sensitive, vibration-amplifying breasts.



I admit it. I am a cell phone dork.

Really, I am.

When your phone rings in Target, I am the woman on the other side of the aisle you see slapping my purse upside my head to see if that’s my phone ringing.

Other people are so cool, so graceful with their cell phones. Like expert dealers in Vegas, they move their electronic decks in their hands, flipping this, snapping that, their hands flying across buttons, tapping out messages, quickly displaying colorful messages, things brought up out of the mysterious Ethernet.

Meanwhile, each time I have to make a call, I hold the phone at arm’s lengthy, squinting at it like it the first time I’ve ever seen the device. When I go to make the call, my movements are exaggerated and jerky. I resemble the old man in the nursing home who has the sleek new TV remote in his hand. He repeatedly slams his thumb down upon the same button over and over again, as if by doing so, he can drill down under the sea of plastic faces that pass in front of him. He longs to get past the garishly colored, busy screens, news items scrolling across on both the top and bottom, to finally find that crisp black and white image of Walter Cronkite who will just talk to him in simple, clear terms.

I understand him completely.

The fact that Betty is a phone dork may be hard to believe since Betty is so darn cool in other areas of her life. She drives a snazzy car with a personalized plate. She has a Mac, she teaches on line, she is a snazzy dresser, AND she goes Nordic walking with her poles every morning. Being un-cool with my phone is messing with my carefully-honed image. Something must be done and soon.

Therefore, I present my four-step plan:

Step One:

Stop announcing to the world when I receive a phone call. This is particularly hard for me. When I wear jeans, I put the device in my front pocket and when I get a call, I can’t help but call out, to no one in particular, “I’m buzzing! I’m buzzing!” while grabbing through the fabric, to grasp on to the phone that is atop my front groin muscle. I look as though I have a hernia and must immediately prevent it from popping through my abdominal wall.

People tend to stare.

Step Two:

Stop making a production out of making a call. Again, I do not need to make an announcement, nor do I need to stand stock still while I dial. I must also stop hunching over the device, slowly punching on the buttons, concentrating on each as though the combination of numbers is the secret code to a bank vault or the cancellation code on a bomb in a highly-populated area.

Step Three:

Stop mistaking my very large cat’s wheezing for my phone vibrating. As she naps on the bed, Mabel often makes rhythmic, vibrating sounds causing me to leap for my phone every time. If I can’t find it, I immediately and frantically call for my family’s assistance to find the device I am sure is lost in the covers somewhere. “It’s. The. Cat. Mom,” is the phrase I hear a lot, always delivered in a clipped, staccato. I will leave the tone of voice this is said in to your imagination.

Step Four:

Stop calling my phone “my device.”

Now, these steps may not make me the nimble-fingered, glossy-lipped, chick at the mall calling three people at once, I think they might just pull me out of the dork category and when Mother Nature does send that inevitable message I hope to receive it with grace and dignity, no yelling out, no grabbing of body parts, no slapping of my purse against my head.

I just hope she doesn’t send a text because those things always freak me out a little.


Anything Fits A Naked Man said...

Once again, Betty, I'm laughing and nodding!

I, too, am an enormous phone nerd. My husband is CONSTANTLY asking me, "Why didn't you answer your phone? I've been trying to call you for hours!" It's usually because I forgot to take it off "silence" from when we went to the movies two days before, or because I left it home plugged into the charger!

Thanks for these helpful tips, I will apply them IMMEDIATELY!!

Liz Mays said...

A few of your characteristics I am sad to say that I share with you! And I am the absolute worst about being able to find my phone in my purse before it stops ringing. Everyone is staring at me and I'm searching wildly for the stupid thing!

Anne Gallagher said...

Thank you for making me snort coffee out of my nose! I'm on the pre-menopausal stage myself and breasts vibrating was news to me. Although the phone sounds like something I would do. Funny Betty.

Anne Gallagher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
My Mind's Eye said...

Oh Betty,
I now need to redo my make up but the LOL was worth it.
Thanks for starting my Wednesday off with a smile.
Also I can thankfully say I did not experience the vibrating beast during menopause...but I did experience 1,000 other symptoms.
Madi and Mom

Joe Cap said...

I thought you were going to say the vibrating thing was those cool pagers they give you at restaurants these days when you are waiting.
I am kind of cell phone dork myself...I can use it, and text...but not nearly as fast as The Daughter...I have to go slow and easy...

Old Kitty said...

Awww Bossy Betty!!

I am probably one of two people on this planet who do not own a mobile (cell)phone!


But I like the message on your one - more beauty tips please!
p.s. very funny about the vibrating feeling you had by your ribcage...!!!

Take care

Betty Manousos said...

I think we have a lot in common, Betty..and
I've never being able to find my phone in my purse before it stops ringing.
Thanks for the smiles! :)
Betty xx

Momma Fargo said...

LMAO. I'm with ya! Loved the tips.

Marlene said...

Oh my gosh...thanks for the giggles! Just when I was thinking - I know what to watch for when the big ol "M" rolls around....LOL.

I keep my cell in my jacket pocket, so I can feel it vibrate...cuz I'm so hard of hearing, half the restaurant would likely look at me and yell, "pick up your damn phone already" if I had it set to "ring".

Don't know what I'm gonna do when the weather warms up and I don't need a jacket or hoodie with pockets anymore. Bra???

Cheeseboy said...

This is downright hilarious. You are an announcer eh? You sound very important.

I may be one of the lone adults left in the world that do not own a cell phone and I like it that way.

Noelle said...

WHAT? Cheeseboy doesn't own a cell phone???

LOVED THIS!!! I was laughing out loud! :)

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Get a cell phone pouch with a clip. Then remember to clip it somewhere near the top of your bag.It can also be clipped to jeans, etc.

Ashley King said...

LOVED THIS! unfortunately i am one of those crazy freaks about my phone. doesn't help that i have access to the internet and instant messaging on mine. :/

great post!!!!

Bitsy Baby Photography said...

Betty, correction: Step 1: get an iPhone! =) this made me LOL over and over but I have to admit when I first started reading about the vibrations I began to blush wondering what was coming next, hahahaha!

TS Hendrik said...

I have a simple plan that I follow to not look like a dork with a cell phone. I refuse to own one. Works like a charm. Now I just look like a dork without a cell.

Beth Zimmerman said...

This may be my favorite BB post yet! Truly funny! :)

Sueann said...

This cracked me up!!! I love your four step plan. When menopause hit me I just had lots and lots of hot flashes. I was hot then cold then hot again. I was always in desperate need for a fan. No vibrations for me. Just sweat!!
And you Post of The Week award is over at Hilary's at The Smitten Image.

Love this blog!!!
Thanks for following mine too!!

Joann Mannix said...

Betty, your post was so eloquent at first. I was so moved by the moment a passage of life would be burned into your memory and then...wham!

Beautiful. So hysterical.

I, too, am an ultra dweeb when it comes to my phone. My kids just laugh and laugh when I text because my texting skills are so dismal.

And I have giant purses, so by the time I find the phone, it's gone into voice mail. And then I have to figure that out!

And what is this? Cheeseboy doesn't have a cell phone? Now, I can't call him and order him to NEVER wear straight legged jeans.

Ann said...

It all sounds like something I would do. My problem is that my phone is used so little that I just don't get enough practice with it

liz said...

Oh my goodness! You might just be my mother!


Tracie said...

I can't even figure out how to answer my phone. I just wait for it to stop ringing and call the person back. Ridiculous.

Cindi aka Ericksoc said...

Oh Betty! You made me laugh out loud!!!! I can totally picture this! Thanks for the laugh.

Ms. A said...

I don't recall any dignity being involved in menopause! (best I can recall, it's been a while)

Nicolasa @ {My}Perspective said...

Haha, this cracks me up!

Melissa said...

Haha, as soon as I read about your chest vibrating my first thought was that it was your cell phone. I'm glad you're not actually buzzing on your own though! :P

Shan said...

This made me think of the email I received from a friend the other day. She lost her *8 year old* phone (how it still worked, I'll never know), called the service provider and got a complementary new phone. It didn't work so she sent it back. Same thing happened with the second one. When she called to complain about the third one, the service rep asked, "Did you charge your phone?"

"No, it was free."

Ba-dum-bump! (I'm adding the sound effects, the rest is her very own true story from last week. OH, and her old phone was returned, so she sent the third one back, too!)

One Photo said...

Oh my - I knew it was going to be your phone vibrating not signs of menopause calling. So funny.

As a technophobe and totally non-cool person I can so relate. I have a very old pay as you go do nothing phone and have yet to get to grips with any of its features. When in doubt, just switch it off and back on. Works every time :-)

gayle said...

This is so funny!! I am not as bad as you about my phone but it's kinda new so I don't know everything about it. I don't text though. No one I know does....not even my daughters.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like my mom! EVERY TIME she squints at the phone held at arm-length, i race to her, snatch her phone, while she looks at me with crazy anger in her eyes, i scream out the name of her caller and look on as she hunts for the "answer" button. I hope to be able to understand that someday. Maybe i did understand a bit TODAY.

BTW, that is one cute phone!

Anonymous said...

Betty, the problem is not you. It is your phone. I just got a new sidekick to replace my old blackberry and my phone cool factor has noticeably declined. I now swear in public and on the internet. (oh, yeah, I did always do that, huh? Well now I do it more. And louder.) Sometimes, if I've backspaced and erased my text message for the 10th time in a row, I cry. I'm always pressing buttons expecting a different outcome, just like your old man with the remote. I'm always holding it upside down. None of this happened with the blackberry. Plus the rollerball thingy was supercool. Sidekick has no roller ball thingy. I can't help you with the backpack issue, though. That's all you, babe.

Venassa said...

Haha too funny. I'm sure I'll be the same way when I get a new cell phone in the next couple of months.

I always announce when I'm getting a call as well, so you're definitely not alone.

essbesee said...

I am the same way. I forget to turn my phone on and miss calls constantly. and I usually NEVER find my phone in the bottom of my messy purse to answer it in time.

Theresa Milstein said...

Who would've thought you could mistake menopause for a cell phone? You had me laughing.

And I love the list!

I remember when they first handed vibrating pager devices at restaurants so you'd know when your table was ready. I'd jump like I'd been electrocuted.

When I first started using vibrate on my cell, I had a similar reaction. I've finally gotten cool about it. I think.

Ally said...

At first your post made me feel sad, but then relieved. Then sad again because I know I'm headed to the "end" soon.

As for the phone part, you're too funny. I keep mine in my bra - I have no idea why, but one day I was at the nail salon. My phone rang, I reached into my bra to pull it out and the Asian nail technician said, "You? BIG BIG BIG POCKETS!" um, pointing at my large chest :( Hope nobody reads this comment but you :)

DrSoosie said...

I am not only a phone dork but a computer dork too!! I am glad your buzzing breasts were not the rapid onset of menopause. There is plenty of time for that. I have never heard that one...the buzzing boob thing...but with the human body anything is possible!

Copyboy said...

I swore I'd never get a cphone and i held out 'til 2000. Course now I'm as addicted as they come. I gotta admit i like testing more than talking. Always feel like folks are listening.

Jimmy said...

The cell phone is not my friend, I tried to text once but gave up and just made the call instead, it was so much easier for me Ha Ha

My wife and almost everyone else around me is on the phone and or texting at the same time, not I you can add me to the dork category I am happy there.

Kazzy said...

I am pretty comfy with my iPhone and love gadgets. But some of the things you mentioned about yourself sound like my MIL, who once answered her camera. LOL

Lola Sharp said...


I don't know a whole lot about menopause, but I know I've never heard anything about vibrating boobs! Duly noted. That said, I'm glad it's not your time yet. (I think I will have a meltdown...grace-free, when it happens to me.)

Loved this post!

Tgoette said...

Fabulously funny post, Betty! Definitely one of my faves of yours! Although I'm not a novice with a cell phone, unlike most people I don't use it primarily as a text/camera/GPS/email/apps device but as a phone. Weird, huh?

leelee said...

This was a wonderful post, Betty. Hilarious and honest and awesome!

Julie said...

Oh are not alone. I will admit I am a phone dork. But I am proud to say..I just got my very first "smart phone" today. So does "smart phone" mean that it does everthing for me?? Because I need all the help I can get! ha ha

And texting?? I have never successfully completed a text! So there. Don't feel bad!

Unknown said...

That is SO funny! "I"m buzzing"
LOL my husband makes a crazy noise AND does an awful dance whenever his phone buzzes like that.

Leanne said...

Betty - I read this early this morning and it made me laugh all day long! Every time my vibrating phone went off today, I thought of YOU ... and Step One is the most hysterical thing I've read - you are just so fun!

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

That'a hysterical! You crack me up!!

MrsBlogAlot said...

OMG! LOFL!!! Let me just say that It's a really good thing that I did not read this at work.

Laughing, buzzing and snorting does not a professional make....not that I give a crap about that or anything (-:

Susan Fields said...

Here's a tip - when you lose your cell phone, call it on the house phone. That will let you know right away if it's Mabel or an actual call. Truly, I do this often, because my purse is so full of junk I can't figure out if my cell phone is in there or not.

Peggy K said...

That's it!! Now ya did it!!! I'll never be able to hear my cellphone vibrating without thinking of you!!
This was hysterical!! I'll have a smile on my face all night!

Petunia said...

This time I made sure I was done with luch before visiting your blog as the last time I almost ended up with soup coming out of my nose! Another post that brightened my day Betty. I suffer from phantom phone vibrations sadly. That's when I think my phone is vibrating in my bag when it's not. Now I know it's ME that's buzzing and not my phone!

Joyful said...

This is one of the funniest posts I've read! Good job. I really needed a laugh :-)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You made me laugh out loud. With you not at you. I, too, am technologically challenged.

I have yet to learn how to make links from people's names on my blog. Like the woman who has fallen and can't get up, I have been tagged and simply can't tag back. How un-awesome is that?


Alexandra said...

Oh, that was priceless.

You have to send that one over to, at LOL.

Oh, the visual of you slapping the purse to the side of your head to see if it's indeed your phone that's ringing is worth all the coins in my purse right now.


Gigi said...

Hilarious. I had NO idea where that story was going for a minute. I thought you might be having a heart attack. no, just a phone call. :)

Unknown said...

HAHA. Funny post. I enjoyed reading it. BTW, I am a cellphone dork too. And that's one reason why I am happy, I accidentally broke it...:)


Bonnie said...

you are the BEST storyteller!! enjoyed this post just as much as the others. thanks so much! hmmm and I think I'm somewhere in between... not a phone dork but not classified in the vegas category either... hehehe texting online freaks me out when I go over and get charged for it!


Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Betty- you really are so hilarious- I loved this post- You made me laugh more than a few times-
Hope you have a great weekend-

Unknown said...

Ha! I still try to answer my 9 month old phone upside down. Guess we're old school huh? SIGH..... Why can't they have rotary cell phones? LOL!!

Unknown said...

Not quite that big of a phone nerd...but I can never get mine out of my purse quick enough to answer it before the caller gives up on me.