The Phone Effect

Hagar and I honeymooned in South Africa. We stayed in Cape Town, and visited the majestic Table Mountain. Hagar, being an aviator is a met geek (weather geek) and I, being a sailor, is not adverse to the odd met (weather) conversation myself, and we are both a bit partial to a nice looking cloud.

Table Mountain is famous for it’s cloud cloth, languishing gracefully over it’s flattened top. The cloud that lays on the table is a really good example of The Foehn Effect, when a dry wind coming down a mountain warms up as it descends. An aircrew gag, (because they are hilarious *shakes head in shame* at forthcoming lack of humour) is, for example, when someone is talking on the handset of a telephonic device, their hand is pulled away from their ear quickly, forcing the said hand to spring back and then bash them in the head. When the puzzled victim looks at the gagster with an understandably perplexed expression, the gagster replies, ‘just demonstrating the phone effect.’ ROFL – NOT!!!!

However, really, The Phone Effect is the constantly walking-on-edge, twitchy-ness it causes us military partners to endure when our other halves are away. The Millitary mistress is a structured and organised wench when it comes to delivering the job; but at the price of chaos when it comes to domestic contact. I understand why because of the volume of the military consorts-to-comms kit ratios but suddenly, I am tied to my phone in an unnatural, and unwanted, manner.

When I betrothed myself to an absentee military man I promised myself that I would not waste my life waiting for him to come home. The absences are frequent and prolonged and I have one life, one chance to live in this body, with this mind and so I knew I couldn’t sit at home waiting for him to return and waste this precious gift of life. I am a roamer, an adventurer, a traveler and so I was happy to have the freedom to wander when Hagar was away. The Grenade was born and he came too and together we trotted around the globe, then came The Menace, and she too is reasonably well traveled. With all of this busying around, living life as well as the general domestic admin that needs to delivered it’s hard to keep the phone pinned to you at all times, plus a ‘watched kettle never boils’ and a ‘watched phone never rings’ so you look away, don’t think of the absence and carry on with your life, focusing on not pining for the contact.

Last night, I had my head in the airing cupboard, The Grenade was chuntering at me, and I heard my phone ringing.

‘Shit, where is it?’ Aaargh, panic!! I knew that I had 10 rings to get from where I was to where it was otherwise, I would miss the call, and miss opportunity to speak with Hagar, and that would mean, I wouldn’t know when the next opportunity would arise. In my slippy socks, I raced across the landing of the upstairs, grabbed the bannister, leapt down the stairs, two at time, trying to identify the room the ring is coming from. I lunged into the kitchen, slid across the floor, grabbed the handset, slid the button and shouted, “HELLO!”……….

I made it this time. I got the call, and actually what followed was a very dissatisfying conversation, where Hagar talked at me for 5 minutes and then had to go. This is another edge to the double edge sword, the awful phone call, but I’ll save that for another blog. We are just building up to any serious absence. We are just practising at being separated. It’s all part of the preparation. At the weekend a milly wifelette friend was visiting, her hubby is deployed and she missed his call 3 times. She asked me to blog this topic; The Phone Effect. The love/hate relationship between the milly wife and the phone.


  1. We have the “two minute rule” in our house – i.e. if I do not pick up the phone when he rings (in the bathroom, dealing with mini Homer, juggling work with domestic admin) then he leaves it two minutes and calls again. This usually gives me time to finish what I’m doing/find the phone/not yell at him when I pick it up for making me sprint round the house. Its also not long enough to hold him (or the guy in the phone queue behind him) up too much. It works to a degree. There are obviously still the times when I miss it anyway, and those are horrible. I hate seeing that number as a missed call as the next one might be weeks away. Gah.

  2. Oooo! A new blog home! Great!

    Now – phones. I’m terrible at getting my mobile out of my pocket /handbag where ever! I don’t get many calls so I always get really cross when I miss them. I’m able to call back most times though!

  3. This resonates with me so much, when hubby is deployed, if the phone rings you lunge for it. I fell down stairs when pregnant racing for the phone ( all ok and nuisance call to boot!), just so I could hear his voice. I remember weeping uncontrollably when I missed a call many moons ago (4 week old baby, no sleep and desperate!). Emails are even rarer and eblueys – even rarer but a 10 min phone call is wonderful but too short by the time everyone has spoken! When I got married my friend bought me an answer phone so hubby could leave me a message, sometimes that was the only communications for weeks at a time! The joys of a military wife.. Sorry rereadthis and it is a bit of a jumble. But have to dash off to do motherly duties.Ciao.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: