Cardiogirl 19 percent body fat 100 percent fun


the telephone should not be a weapon


My family (parents and siblings) has a major issue with control. I'm quite sure it comes from my parents' childhood because we all know shit rolls downhill but this is getting old. I'll try to condense the back story to just a couple of sentences. Here we go.

My mom and dad got married in 1954 and immediately had a lot of children (four in five years and eventually six in the course of 13 years). We grew up with strict discipline which included no talking back, no nasty looks on our faces and no tears lest you get another beating that actually warranted tears (also known as the "stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about" approach).

So it stands to reason that when one is raised in such environment with total control coming from one parent, the offspring will grow up to have control issues. That should come as no surprise, right?

Each of my siblings (with the exception of Kim, sister number three) and my parents routinely use hanging up on each other during a phone call as a form of control. It drives me up the wall. I understand that arguments, or if we want to be high brow, a difference of opinion, will happen occasionally. I'm just asking the other person to actually announce to me, "I am hanging up now. Good bye."

That's part of the control issue, in my opinion. They never announce it; they just hang up while I'm in the middle of a sentence. So I keep going with my point and then I pause to hear a response. What I get is silence. Then I start with, "Hello? Hello?" I then pull the phone from my ear to look at the timer. Did it stop, which means someone just hung up on me! Invariably the answer is yes. Yes, they hung up with no notice.


Is it so much to ask that the other person say something like, "I don't want to talk about this and I am hanging up now"? Is that so much to ask? Again, with my family the answer is a resounding yes. Yes, Cardiogirl. It is too much to ask. When will you learn?
Okay, now I'll give you the scenario of what happened yesterday.

Kim and I talk with our brother Jack daily at 1:30, during Kim's lunch hour and my baby's nap. We call it our three-way (get your mind out of the gutter.) Jack has MS and is bedridden so he really enjoys our conversations as do Kim and I. But Jack likes to also call other family members while we two are on the line. Our oldest sister Caroline hates that. Yes, she has asked us not to do it. Yes, we have continued to do it anyway (I admit it, I have control issues too.)

But I really thought she didn't like the three-way because Jack was on the line. He's hard to talk to and he interrupts a lot. I can understand that she doesn't want to talk with him because he talks over you and it's hard to hear what's going on.

So Kim and I called Caroline yesterday and after Kim explained that we had one question for her and I was on the other line. Caroline asked, "Is Jack on the line?" "No," we answered. Then we heard nothing. Silence. We went through the "Hello?" routine and decided Caroline's cell phone must have dropped the call, so we called her back.

This time I spoke first and said, "Hey we just have a quick question." Caroline asked in her most condescending tone evah, "How many people are on the line?" I said, "Me and Kim." Silence. AGAIN!


Okay, I know you are saying, "C'mon Cardiogirl. You are not respecting her request not to do a three-way." To that I respond, "Guilty. You are correct. However, couldn't she just SAY "I'm hanging up now"?

I just feel like hanging up without announcing it is like a double whammy. Not only are you being hung up on which is effectively slamming the door in your face, it's also being done in a quiet, underhanded way which leaves you talking until you discover you've been hung up on.

I don't plan on calling Caroline anytime soon. As you may recall, she announced to me via an e-mail that we are estranged anyway, so what the hell. I'll just take a break from her and her control issues for a while. Good day, sir.


2007-01-26 at 6:48 a.m.

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