The serenity of bathroom time is a throwback to simpler days when you didn’t need to be on call to hear about a funny movie your mother just saw.
You wouldn’t want to miss a plot spoiler while you’re washing your armpits. I never do.
Mundane tasks like flossing are more tolerable while listening to a restaurant review my mother reads aloud. She has such a lovely speaking voice.
After discovering the cellphone’s 24/7 umbilical connection, my mother’s a fan of the convenience but not of the reception, which can be glitchy at times.
“You’re on your cell. Aren’t you?” My mother asks.
“Yes, mom, you just called it.”
“I can’t hear you when you’re on your cell.”
Then don’t call my cell!
But instead, I say: “It’s all about location, location, location!”
Something she should understand since she was a real estate broker.
Yet, she still doesn’t grasp the nuances of cellphone reception, and how the quality of a call is based on where you stand in relation to the number of bars on your phone.
So I defer to simple logic.
“Cellphone service is affected by sunspots,” I tell her.
“Oh, that makes sense.”
After finally grasping the rudiments of cellphone connectivity, my mother embraces its portability and gets mad if I don’t have my phone with me 24/7.
“Why did you miss my call?” she asks.
“I was in the shower.”
“You should take your phone with you into the bathroom.”
No, I shouldn’t.
“I should always be able to reach you!”
My bathroom is my sacred space.
But rather than pursue a “who’s on first?” argument, I humor her.
“I’ll try to remember to bring my phone into the shower next time.”
Perhaps she understands the lunacy of her request even though it is possible, a detail I choose to omit. — I have a waterproof iPhone case that comes with a strap.
I wore it every day my husband and I were in the Caribbean several years ago. It was great for rainy days and snorkeling.
Though I must admit I never thought of wearing it in the shower. I suppose it would make a great photo opp for when I’m overcome by suds.
But that isn’t what my mother meant.
She wants to be able to reach me immediately and not wait five or ten minutes before I return her call. Anything could happen in five or ten minutes.
I could miss a call about what she had for lunch. It’s important to know that she likes salads and is eating healthy. Critical news I need to hear about as the salad works its way through the intestine.
Just one of many reasons to wear my phone in the shower along with the evocative memories it brings.
I do miss using my waterproof iPhone case but had always considered it vacation centric. But maybe wearing it in the shower would bring back memories of our Caribbean vacation. I could pretend I was snorkeling or taking pictures of a wave, pretend to be blinded by seafoam instead of shampoo.
I’d put my phone on vibrate so I won’t get startled when it rings and accidentally drop the soap, slip on it and hit my head. Then I could call 911 right away and not wait for my husband to find my body 12 hours later.
Keeping my phone with me in the shower would ensure I’d never miss my mother’s sage advice about turning on the bathroom fan so I don’t get lost in the steam.
Something I would never think of if my mother didn’t tell me.
Thank God we can talk about it while I’m in the shower to alleviate the boredom of rinsing the soap from my skin, which can be so tedious.
Though my mother would probably complain about the difficulty in hearing me through the rush of cascading water.
“What’s that sound?” she’d ask.
“I’m in the shower!”
“You should really do something about your connection. It’s horrible!”
“Yes, mother, I probably should.” And that’s when I’d say. “Hello! Hello! I’m losing you. I better hang up and call you back. So I can wash MY back!”
Then I can hear all about the TV show my mother just watched while I’m drying off. I wouldn’t want to inconvenience her.
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Follow Lauren’s controlled chaos at her blog Think Spin
Also published on Medium.