the small car, the smaller phone

Dear friends

So our small car broke down a couple of days ago.  It’s legally my car but my dear husband uses it to get to work – I use it when I’m chauffeur (for the children) and to get to/from church on Sundays (or another day if necessary).  Last weekend, when I noticed something electrical not quite work … maybe the interior lights – and I said to the children – I hope this doesn’t break down on my shift!  Fortunately it wasn’t.

My dear husband drove to work in small car, dropping off in town myself and our daughters for work and school respectively, and all seemed well.  The day before I had noticed the car not start first time when I was driving back from early morning seminary with Daur1 who mentioned, “sometimes it does that with Dad.” [Me] – ” Really?  He’s not said anything to me.”

However, after the design team meeting I returned to my desk and almost immediately my private mobile rang – it was my dear husband.  Since I was still speaking with a colleague I picked up the phone, ready to go out to call back, and he rang back again, and again.  Sensing some urgency, I headed out to the main stair and called back.  (I really need a new phone since the person at the end can’t hear me unless I put it on loud speaker and I’m not doing that in an open plan office!)

Did you get my messages?  The car won’t start – I’m getting a taxi to the [girls’] school, the girls [our daughters] are still there!

My response (as I notice 3 or 4 text message notifications…)

Oh, sorry, no.  I’ve been in a meeting all afternoon.  My phone was on my desk.

There was some discontented words about how I can never be reached via my MOBILE phone in an emergency.  I felt that was a little unfair since if I were a surgeon, in an operation, I would not be expected to pick up a call.  Also, what could I actually do, except maybe, go to the school now and pick up the girls.  My dear husband’s feeling of being unable to communicate with the women in his life at such a crucial moment was further compounded by the fact that Daur1 has mislaid her (well, my husband’s) old mobile phone.  So, they were also incontactable!!  (is that a word?)

“I’m sure they’ll wait for you,” was all I could say and he rung off.  I called Son1 at home to let him know why they all weren’t home, in case as a 17 year old boy he was concerned for the whereabouts of his sisters (!) – [Son1] “Oh yeah, Dad called.”  {As it was, a neighbour friend whose daughter attends the same school saw them waiting and brought them home – and contacted their Dad to let him know, that must have been after we spoke, but I didn’t know that until I reached home}.

You might be beginning to get the sense of how laid back the rest of us are, compared to my dear husband, about the need (or not) to have a mobile phone permanently fixed to our bodies so we can be contacted every minute of the day.  This is one of the areas of opinion that my dear husband and I do differ on – why not keep it in a pocket?  I don’t really have pockets in my skirts/ dresses/ trousers!  I thought it was a generational thing but we’re both of a generation to remember when mobile technology of any sort was not ubiquitous… after all, we both pay phones during our university days.  Maybe it’s actually a gender thing… mmm… in which case, there’s little hope for me!

The small car is still sat in a school car park on the other side of town. 😦  It’ll be safe, I’m sure.  Fortunately, I did renew the corporate car recovery service at the start of the year and I’ve emailed the number to my dear husband since he will take charge of its recovery!  I was told they tried to jump start the car, but nothing.  We’ll see if the school has activities on Saturday morning so we can call the RAC out – what fun! – that’s probably a new battery or some other part to be bought.

We’ve begun making contingency plans for Sunday – I should check the weather, maybe we can walk home from (my dear husband always has to stay later than us at church for commitments after the meetings and lessons finish), it’s less than an hour and downhill all the way – we’ve done it a few times before when we were not fortunate to have a car, let alone two cars – the children are much bigger and it’s not fast Sunday!  Time for me and the children to bond!

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