Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I was just reading something that reminded me of an experience I had back in my "younger motherhood" days.

Some details are vague and sketchy, but the gist of the afternoon in question is that that Spouse o' Mine attempted to make an international phone call.

We have been married 28 years.  For the better part of the first half of those years, he was unable or unwilling to learn how to make an international call.  He made it sound like Australia had a direct-dial to anyone anywhere in the world: no 011, no Country Code, no nothing.

Back to the afternoon's experience:  He attempted to make an international call to someone, and mistakenly dialed 911 - not 011, which is the "international calling code".  He realized his error and promptly hung up.  He announced that he was going to his office on campus to do some work.  I announced that I was going to have a quick shower.  The three kids, perhaps grade-school-aged? were left to their own entertainment.

Apr├Ęs shower, as I was just drying off with my towel, our older daughter knocked on the bathroom door.  She said there was a policeman at the door.


I threw on a bathrobe and headed downstairs, soaking wet, dripping-wet hair and all.


I arrived at the stairwell landing and the front door to see TWO police officers.  The police woman was standing on our front porch.  The police man was standing off the porch, two steps away.

The police woman introduced herself to me, the dripping-wet woman standing, dripping, in her bathrobe.  She explained that the 911 people had received a call from our address, and, "Was everything all right?"

I stood there, stunned, dumbfounded, for a minute or so.  Our three kids huddled behind me in my dripping wet bathrobe. 

And then I burst out laughing.  I remembered that that Spouse o' Mine had mistakenly called 911 and immediately hung up, irritated that the American phone system was so ridiculous.  (REALLY?!  My gosh.)  I laughingly explained to the two officers what had transpired.

They stared into my eyes.  They did not move.

I moved.  I shuffled around nervously.  I was not used to greeting guests in my bathrobe.

They continued their stance for an uncomfortable time, it seemed to me, who really just wanted to scamper upstairs to my bedroom and PUT SOME CLOTHES ON.

After an amazing amount of time (it probably was only seconds, maybe a minute or so..) they somehow sent each other a mental message that perhaps I was a young mother of three young kids, who had an Aussie husband who couldn't take time to learn how to make a international call (011) without mistakenly dialing  911 instead.

Have mercy.  28 years, and we are still married.

1 comment:

Louise Plummer said...

I think it's funny that he went off to his office, probably to make the call privately.

My children called 911 once, and we got a stern lecture from the police.

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