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There’s a lot of things I wonder why my parents didn’t teach me. Sometimes I think there should be the ultimate etiquette book or life for dummies and then I think – I can do that! And the next thought is I wouldn’t even know where to start!

But the latest wondering is if I’m not interested in talking on the phone because it was a “forbidden” activity, to an extent, growing up. My sister and I used to hope we were out of milk. Out of milk meant our dad had to go around the corner (literally: down the street, turn right, up the street) and pick up milk on Saturday morning. It wasn’t so much of a big deal during the school year on weekend visits; but in the month visit of July, we craved those mornings so we could call our mom.

One of us would stand by the window and watch. The other would dial and talk for a bit and then we would switch duties until the sudden “he’s back! we have to go! we love you!” and return to the Saturday morning cartoons in the living room with our heart racing, but content. We got to talk to our mom.

Last year I made the commitment to actually answer the phone when people call. Its not that I screen calls, I just have to put myself in the mindset to talk on the phone. I’m always okay after the conversation, but there’s such high anxiety getting there. It usually takes a few days to convince myself to call the phone company. Where as, at work, it was put on your big girl panties and make the necessary phone call, immediately, all the time, when needed.

So this year, here’s to taking the next step: I will, somehow, become a better family caller.

How could my parents have not taught me proper phone etiquette to stay in touch with family? Oh wait, they were too busy fighting each other or their parents to even try to understand that we needed to talk to both sides of the family. Do parents really realize the complications divorce builds in for their children later in life?

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