Two weekends ago, my parents and I almost wound up in the ER. Diagnosis: lack of communication.
The situation all started on Saturday morning when I took the dog to the park to let him run off some steam before I left him with a dog sitter for the weekend. As I often do, I tossed my cell phone into the interior pocket on the door of my car. And, when we got home, I forgot to grab my phone — as I often do.
I had slept in late and still needed to pack for the weekend and tidy up the house before I left. The downstairs bathroom was atrocious due to an unfortunate toilet clog earlier in the week, so I felt like I wanted to scrub the floor on my hands and knees. Since I was already running late, I, of course, proceeded with the logical step of also scrubbing the upstairs bathroom on my hands and knees.
I think somewhere in the midst of inhaling the vinegar shower cleaner and being utterly grossed out by the accumulation of hair and dust under the bathroom vanity, I did think that perhaps I should go get my phone out of the car just in case my mom was trying to reach me. But, since I just kept falling further and further behind my tentative schedule for leaving the house, I pushed on with my to do list, not wanting to take a time out to retrieve the phone. Besides, I felt like I had been pretty vague with my mom about my anticipated departure time, so it wasn’t like I was officially late.
I finally got to the car, and when I reached for the phone, I saw that I had five missed calls: strange number, mom, mom, dad, mom. For a moment, my heart started beating fast. But, before I could get too far into imaginative trauma scenarios, I also noticed a text. It was my mom asking if I was ok. So, then I knew that the phone calls were to check on me and not to tell me that something terrible had happened.
I called right away since for my dad to call meant they were serious about trying to find me. Dad makes about 5 cell phone calls a month. Obviously, he doesn’t call for frivolous reasons. My mom picked up the phone, and I could tell her mood was triangulated somewhere between annoyance, relief, and fear. It turns out she and my dad were over half way to my house by the time I called. My mom was afraid I never made it back safely from Bourne Legacy the night before or that I had fallen down the stairs while I was getting ready.
So, in the end, all was fine. Mom and dad turned around and headed home, and I arrived at their place shortly thereafter. If I hadn’t thought to check my phone until I got to their place or had forgotten my phone (an entirely possible scenario), it could have been quite the different ending. Fortunately, when they got here, the dog sitter would have answered the door, so my parents would not have called the cops to kick down my door. But, when I got home, I would have found notes on the countertop and the refrigerator telling me to call them as soon as I got in. Notes plastered all over the house probably would have sent me into a panic.
I can see it now….me searching the local ER for them. My parents finally getting in touch with me and asking where I am. Me responding that I’m in the ER. Them making it from my house back to the ER in record time because my mom would have panicked.
I’d like to say that the moral of the story is that I’ll keep my cell phone handy from now on, but I know I won’t. Maybe mom will learn to go with her calm side since she did guess that maybe I had left my phone in the car before she flew to my dad in a panic. But, she probably won’t. She’s a mom (though she did opt to take a shower before launching out to search for me while my dad was ready to jump in the car even though he was all yard work grungy). Probably the moral of the story is that I should just give mom my friend/dog sitter’s number, so she has an alternate way of reaching me.