I don’t talk on the phone while driving (nor do I text, but that should be a given, right?).
However, I find the hands-free option that comes with my cheap phone very useful while my fingers are caked with cream and espresso from the tiramisu I made this weekend (recipe to come!). My phone is not a smart one. I have – at best -a remedial phone. My phone is in the bottom of her class, barely able to hold it together in her shiny, red dented case. The screen is difficult to use, the texting laborious. But the kicker is the voice-activated feature. Siri might be made in China but mine is made on Mars.
Me, trying to phone my younger brother: Call Jon.
Phone: Did you say Donna?
Me: No. Call Jon.
Phone: Did you say Juan?
I don’t know Juan. It gets worse because now I’ve done this enough that when I want to call Tania on her new phone I don’t say “Tania-new” as it is listed in my address file. I don’t “Yamala” because that’s dials “Tim” or “Bill’s Pizza.” To get Tania I say “Dan-YAN-new.” When I want to reach Jon I say “Jew-wanna.” When I need to call “Caroline” I can’t because it will call “Jerome K” who is a professor of religion who helped with book research. If I need home? Just say “Tova.” If I want Tova? Just say “Moam.”
Really, I am getting smarter because I AM LEARNING ANOTHER LANGUAGE! Every person and number has an alter-ego. Josh Weiss meet Yoshie Mayes. The good news? If I put on a deep Northern English accent and ask for “Moouum” I get my mother on the line. And after all, sometimes that’s all you need.*
*Sometimes, you need your brother, and this is problematic because when I finally reach him I wind up calling my brother Jewanna instead of Jon. And if it’s his cell number, Jewantosellme. Luckily, he is so sleep-deprived with little kids that he doesn’t mind. Thanks, Jewanna!