Sometimes, just the way your child says your title can forewarn you of impending bad news.
When it’s bad, I’m Mom. When it’s regular stuff, it’s Mama. This time, my teen approached me calling me Mom.
I braced myself.
“I need to tell you something.”
I waited. He wasn’t bleeding. He wasn’t hurt. I hadn’t heard anyone or any living creature I love cry out in pain, so this didn’t seem to be an emergency situation.
“I dropped Dad’s phone. I was taking it in for him, and I dropped it on the stone step and it shattered. Like really shattered.”
It was a sad thing really, watching our only child be used as a human shield by his father.
It’s not that I’d get mad over something like a cell phone being smashed but it is the sheer volume of things my husband has broken over the years.
Starting with when we married, he called me at work one day with his greeting being, “You’ve got two of those lamps, right?”
“Right. They go on the end tables at each end of the loveseat.”
“So, are you saying you need both of them?”
Needless to say, I found I didn’t as both ended up getting smashed.
I thought, however, that a cell phone would be a different story. I could not be more wrong however.
Of course, the cell phones of just 10 years ago were made differently. They weren’t as fragile.
Lamar talked about how he was once up high — way too high for me to think about — on a construction job, when I called. I didn’t know he was up in the air; I just wanted to know what he wanted for dinner.
When he went to put the phone back in his pocket, he missed and the phone fell, smashing below.
By the time he got to the ground, another guy on the job had picked up the pieces for him. “Think you’re gonna need a new one.”
Lamar shook his head and popped the pieces back together. “Nah, works fine.”
But that was before cell phones were basically miniature computers and high focus cameras shrouded in glass. They could survive a drop. Now, not so much.
As Lamar opened a brand new phone one day, I watched in horror as he commented, “It’s so thin” and it slipped from his hand to the hardwood floor.
“It’s OK,” he said, picking it up with a grim smile on his face.
I used to think insurance for phones was the silliest thing I had ever heard. “Just another way to rip us off,” I thought. Now I know. My husband is why they make insurance for phones.
But yet, that was not the time I added insurance. Nope.
It took about two — make that three — more phones that would meet early replacement charges.
There was one where I ordered a refurbished one that never worked correctly, and another one that was just one great big shattered screen.
“This is why I didn’t let him hold you as a baby,” I’d tell Cole.
“How does one drop their phone so much?” I asked, partly out of genuine curiosity and partly out of frustration. “Seriously. How do you do it? You drop your phone all the time. How?”
He’d shrug. “I don’t know. They just slip out of my hand.”
“Just slip out of your hand, huh? Really?”
My phones have lasted a long time, with me never needing to upgrade unless something was wrong with the port. Each time I keep saying we will switch carriers once the contract is up, low and behold, we get locked in again to get a new phone.
I finally added the insurance.
And here stood our son, telling me he dropped his father’s phone and it had shattered.
They both thought I was going to be angry; the phone was only about six months old. But this time, I was prepared.
“OK,” was all I said.
I filed a claim and got the new phone in two days.
I’ll admit, I was feeling a wee bit superior in my knowledge that he has broken every smartphone he’s had, and that this time, I was finally one step ahead of him and had the insurance.
Was it petty? Oh, sure it was. But I try to find my victories where I can.
He’s had that replacement phone three weeks before he dropped it and shattered the screen.
“It’s still usable,” he said, frowning. I didn’t have to say a word; he knew what I was thinking.
“Did you get insurance on this one, too?”
“Yes,” I replied. “I knew this was going to happen.”
Of course, I am never allowed to gloat too long. As I showed him a photo on my phone the other day, my phone slipped right out of my hand, and slammed onto my work area.
“How did that happen?” I asked, alarmed.
By some small grace, it wasn’t broken.
Lamar had watched the whole brief event with a look of amusement.
“They do just seem to slip right out of your hand, don’t they?”
Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.