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Each time my mother calls me, I’m expected to answer right away. If I don’t answer the home phone, she immediately calls my cell phone. If I don’t answer my cell phone, she leaves me a voice mail accusing me of not answering on purpose, because I knew it was her. I’ve told her that I don’t “not answer because it’s her”, because I’d prefer not to listen to the accusatory messages she leaves when I don’t answer.

Yesterday, she called me at work.

Mother: Are you at work?
Me: You called me at work.
Mother: I just thought something was wrong.
Me: What would be wrong?
Mother: I thought something was wrong because you hadn’t called me.
Me: Tell me when, in the history of our relationship, something has seriously “been wrong” and I haven’t called you.
Mother: …
Me: Because any time something has been wrong, you are the first person I call. An absence of a call from me should be taken as a clear sign that absolutely NOTHING is wrong.

I thought I’d gotten my point across, but clearly not, because she just called me at work again today.

Mother: Are you at work?
Me: …
Mother: Hello?
Me: Who is this?
Mother: I hadn’t heard from you today, so I thought something was wrong.
Me: I’ve sent you three e-mails already.
Mother: I didn’t get them.
Me: I can’t be held responsible for slow e-mail delivery.
Mother: You could’ve called to let me know your e-mail was slow.
Me: …
Mother: Though some people here have said they’re having e-mail problems, so maybe that’s it.
Me: May. Be.

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