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Family Phone Ties

August 4, 2009

phone burningI am either a candidate for sainthood, or the looney-bin. Maybe both?

I am a pretty good kid (in my family, I will always be the kid, regardless of my advanced age). But it occurs to me that my family phone habits may be somewhat abnormal. I was just teasing my friend because even though she is an adult with a dog, a live-in  boyfriend and an actual career, she has to call her parents every day when ever one of them is on vacation – just to let them know she is alive.

I thought that was a little excessive, but I know that not everyone has a family quite like my own. And the truth is, I probably contact my mom, either by phone 0r e-mail every other day or so. I probably see her about once a week, and I consider that pretty good.

Because my dad lives in Florida, most of our relationship has been over the phone and our contact varies depending on his depression-cycle. Sometimes its every day, and sometimes weeks go by without a peep. But, I also stay in touch with my step-mother and two younger sisters in Florida by phone. Everyone has their own phone line, and the contact schedule is kind of all over the place (but the little ones have discovered texting  – which made me have to upgrade to an unlimited plan – it’s how I get all of my Jonas Brothers gossip.)

Then there is my younger sister in New York. That’s more sporadic. I say we have some sort of weekly contact – usually email, and an occasional social visit.

I call my grandparents in Florida about twice a week, although my goal is generally “every other day.”

The grandma in New York is … well, I have decided to aim for once a month.

Then sprinkle in a few calls to Frank’s parents, an occasional call to my Great Aunt Dot, birthday calls to my aunt, cousins and assorted family friends.

Most of these calls get made during my 10-15 minute walk to and from the subway every evening. Sometimes when I get home at night, and sometimes during the weekend.  Is this crazy? Do I call my family more than most people? I never really considered myself a “family person” but I guess I am! Sometimes its obligation, sometimes its either the right thing to do, or touching base, and some of its just because my family just cracks me up.

Am I abnormal here? How old are you, and how often do you contact your folks?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. jake permalink
    August 4, 2009 6:19 pm

    Once a week, tops, but it’s usually a pretty long call.

  2. August 4, 2009 8:48 pm

    I don’t think it’s so abnormal, but I’m probably in the same boat. I’m 27 and I talk to my mom all the time, at least 2 times a week – she recently got a Blackberry so now all of my emails are answered with phone calls. I’ll also see her and my stepdad a couple weekends a month b/c they live near all of my friends. My mom will talk to my grandmother once a week and then she’ll pass along the “family news” like it’s in a newsletter form or something.

    My dad and stepmom live in CA, so we’re always battling time differences. My dad likes to talk late at night, only I prefer to sleep when it’s 2am my time.

    The weirdest thing is that I spend more time finding out about my siblings’ lives from Facebook than I do from actual emails or phone calls. Let’s just say I’ve learned more about them from social networking than I ever did in 27 years of being actual siblings.

  3. The Rickster permalink
    August 5, 2009 8:11 am

    I call my best high school friend who is in peace corps at least once a week (she’s in South Africa). I call my parents once every two weeks or so. Ever since the wonderful inventions of Facebook and Google latitude my mothers need to hear that I am still alive has been satisfied without direct constant contact. Thank you interwebs. The sad part: I use more megabytes on my phone than minutes.

    -R

  4. Steffi permalink
    August 5, 2009 8:22 am

    I just realized I haven’t heard from my mum since last Sunday which is very unusual. Normally, we e-mail once or twice a week. I see my mum and brother and his little family almost every Sunday at my mum’s. This has become a tradition every since my dad got seriously ill (unfortunately he then died two years ago, but we keep up the Sunday meetings of course) and my niece was born. I should call my grandma more often (I only seem to when there’s a thank you to say or a birthday call to make). I think it is blissful simply to have a family to be in touch with and it’s vital to do so – one of the things that should be done TODAY because tomorrow we might be sorry we didn’t.

    Thanks for this post, I will call my mum today!

  5. August 5, 2009 10:51 am

    It depends on the week, but I’ll talk to them a couple of times a week usually. Sometimes more, sometimes less. And I’m 27.

  6. August 5, 2009 11:16 am

    It’s been over a year since I last talked to mine on the phone. A sweet, sweet blissful year!

  7. August 10, 2009 3:17 pm

    I talk to my mother 3 or 4 times a day. She, like your friend’s mom, worries if she doesn’t talk to me at least once a day. She will leave tons of messages until I suck it up, sneak into a bathroom (if I’m a suitor’s), and call her back.

    In her defense, I am now living on my own after 3 years of living with my (ex)boyfriend. I am a single girl living alone in a not so friendly city. So it’s for safety reasons more than anything else, or so she tells me

  8. Donna permalink
    August 11, 2009 9:50 am

    When my mom was alive, I talked to her every day. Of course, we were really good friends apart from the mother-daughter relationship. I rarely talk to my brother, who is depressing. So I guess for me it depends on how much I like the person and little on how we’re related.

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