Friday, February 12, 2010

Not What AT&T Envisioned

Today I Skyped with my Mom twice.  Those who know me well may wonder what the big deal is since I normally talk to her at least once a day--and often for an hour or more.
Well during our second conversation, we started to reminisce about how just two years ago our communication was limited to once a week.  We had not yet discovered Skype and were using the antiquated phone.  Thanks to phone cards we were able to keep the cost relatively low--about five dollars an hour--but now that seems outrageous since we can talk all we want for free.  Well more or less free, if you take into account we would pay for internet connectivity no matter what.
Our conversation down memory lane took us to what must have been the dark ages.  It is hard to believe that when I first started living overseas, about 25 years ago, I was only able to talk to my mother once a month.  I didn't even have a phone in my apartment but, fortunately, my landlady Conchita, would allow me into her home for about 15 minutes a week to talk to my mom.   Of course, calls couldn't be spontaneous. We had to scheduled our calls ahead of time so I could be sure to be home when Conchita screeched down the two flights of stairs hollering, "Maaayaaa teleeefooonoo".  Of course, more often than not, I was anxiously awaiting the much anticipated call just outside Conchita's flat, so I was saved the drama.
Then there was the time I was Eurailing around the Old Continent and I went for nearly two months without a call home.  I wouldn't have even had made that one call except that my traveling companion had called my Mom the day before to inform her that I had left him stranded without a passport or money, and that he had filed a police report against me in Germany.  I had to call and explain that in a drunken state we had a bit of a row and separated, not thinking about how we had already checked out of our accommodations and I had the key to the locker back at the Train Station.  The bumbling idiot that I was with explained the situation to the person in charge of the railway lockers and got him to open up our locker to make sure our stuff was still there.  Unfortunately, he had him open the wrong locker and, hence, decided I had split or thrown away all of his stuff.  Meanwhile, I was hanging out at the train station waiting for him to show up, so we could move on.  Fortunately, we eventually found each other and were able to continue on our way after a visit to the police station and a phone call to a very hysterical mother.
Currently, when on the road, I still don't call my Mom.  However, whenever my computer is on and I see the little green "available", light on Skype I have no problem reaching out and touching Mom.


  1. Aaaah, memories. No wonder I got grey before my time. Mom

  2. Mom, I am sure it was more than 1 call that brought on all those greys.