when I'm kissing toddlers, listening to Hillsongs, and furtively ripping strips of plaid flannel out of my husband's shirts to use in table runners, I don't like to hear the phone ring. If its my friend Cheri offering to come over and bring me chocolate, or take me to some distant village thrift shop, I soon get over my sense of intrusion and loss of privacy. But when I run to the phone and hear that tell-tale click and pause, I begin to brace myself. If I'm feeling particularily brash and crusty, I will generally tell the telemarketer that Mrs Hildebrand has just thrown herself off a Manitoba hill and is unable to come to the phone. Or that she's lost in the corn maze is won't be found until spring. Or that our phone is for pleasure only, and does not cover the extra privelege of her/him wasting my time with dull surveys or pleas for money.
Unfortunately, my moral barometer has been rising, plus there are people who actually, mistakenly name me "Mrs Hildebrand". I always glance over my shoulder, expecting to see my mother in law approaching, as I am known only as "Joyce" or "Kehler", or a variety of endearing nicknames that I won't burden you with. So now when someone on the phone asks for my mother in law, I fear it may be someone at the church or school asking me to bake brownies or to chide me for my naughty child, or beg explanation for why some agendas rarely get signed. So, today I was stuck in that no-man's land as the gentle voice on the phone started in on me. She launched into a spiel about predators hunting down our children as they ride their bikes, meander to school, or play in their yards. She tried to convince me that its the school's responsibility to educate children about dangers and that for $100.00, I could rest assured that four Manitoba children would find their safety and redemption in a new educational supplement.
I say for a hundred dollars, we could go to the pool for a swim, have a treat at McDonalds, buy a new nest for the budgie, and tell our kids how precious they are to us. We could tell them what we want for them, how much they are valued, and how glad we are they picked us. We could spend a few hours enjoying the good in life and revelling in the knowledge that so far, we are unbelievably fortunate. We are a whole family. We love one another.
And if I have my way, none of my children will grow up to be a telemarketer.