The Witching Hour

The other night at 6 o’clock sharp our home phone rang. Because I recognized the unknown number as a call I had blown off earlier, I decided I’d better answer it. Maybe we’d won an all-expense paid Carribbean vacation?

The caller was a pleasant sounding woman who asked if I had a few minutes to complete a survey about health care services in my community.

Did I have a few minutes? Is sweet tea a Southern summer staple? Is Target retail heaven on Earth?

Didn’t she realize she was calling at dinner time, otherwise known as the witching hour? Was she nuts? Or just plain rude?

Because I am too nice an idiot, I told her “yes,” and she proceeded to ask me about a thousand questions about our local health care system.

About 30 seconds into the phone call, several cosmic forces aligned to make it the worse phone episode I bet the survey lady has had, and ever will, encounter.

The hubby and Caitlin walked in the door. At the same time, a client who has figured out how to buzz the hubby directly, buzzed him about a computer issue that apparently was so dire that he felt the need to contact the hubby directly after hours at home. Because you know…the issue. It’s sooooo dire. So dire, the client waited until dinner time to talk to the hubby about something that needed to be done for the next business day.

But I digress. Obviously people have the impression that we are lounging in the evenings in our silk pajamas, sipping martinis, listening to jazz, while the girls play contentedly with their nanny, our personal chef is whipping up dinner, and the dogs are having their auras read at the corner doggie spa.

As I was trying to answer survey questions and the hubby was trying to talk to his client, Caitlin looked at the cereal bar that Amelia was eating and asked for one. Actually it was more like she whined incessantly and tugged on my arm until I told her we didn’t have any more cereal bars and that couldn’t she see I was on the phone and to please sit down and I’d be RIGHT WITH HER!!!!

You would have thought that I’d just told Caitlin that Dora and Boots had perished tragically in a hot lava incident because she cried hysterically for a good 10 minutes while I was freaking bound and determined to finish the phone survey. Then Amelia started wailing. I’m pretty sure Bailey also started to bark at something but by then I was in a stress trance and ignoring everyone and wandering aimlessly down the hall to our bedroom where I could lock the door. 6 o’clock would have been ushered in even more perfectly if someone had knocked on our front door to see if we wanted to buy replacement windows.

Any way, it was so bad that toward the end of the call, when the woman asked me if I had children under the age of 18, that we both started laughing.


  1. jag says:

    The only reason we have a home phone is so our alarm system is connected and I deal with solicitors all day at work, so when they call me at home I have no mercy. A woman called me two nights ago to ask me questions about radio stations – I told her that I was having dinner with my family, but if she’d like to give me her home number I’d be happy to call her while she’s having dinner with hers. At that moment I wished for a two year old that I could hand the phone off to.

    I DESPISE solicitors.

  2. Mrs. Schmitty says:

    At least you had a little comic relief at the end of the call. I hate those kind of phone calls. When W. was little I used to tell the person on the other end to hold one. Then I gave W. the phone and let him talk to them to his heart’s content, I think he was 2 at the time. They usually didn’t call back.

  3. Anne says:

    you are too nice. if i had been in that position, i’d have had to cancel the whole deal once it all turned into a sh7tstorm.

  4. Liza says:

    at least you (and we) got a good laugh out of this – LOL!

    Eventhough I am such a pleaser, I have actually learned to turn down (shut down) the telemarketers and surveyers calling our house. When they ask if I have a few minutes, I say NO. And the pat myself for that huge accomplishment. But like what I said, at least you got a laugh out of this 🙂

  5. Holly Schwendiman says:

    Oh so true. I’ve been guilty of much the same scenes more than once. Additionally, what IS it about being on the phone that sparks the extremes in our kids? It’s like they know our butts are tied to the phone so they turn on every annoying behavior times two!


  6. Richie Ann says:

    My family is totally guilty of this. I mean, they should know by now that the only time to call me is about 7 p.m. I work people!!! We have to eat…clean up the mess before we even get to relax for the evening. Geez…
    You are super nice because I never would have taken a survey at that hour!

  7. Blonde Mom says:

    I usually screen telemarketer calls but it was an odd number and I thought it might be important. Right. 😉

    Then it was the principle of the thing because…”MOMMY SHOULD BE ABLE TO TALK FOR 10 MINUTES ON THE PHONE DAMMIT!”

    I’m stubborn.

  8. Bluegrass Mama says:

    Since we have a primary election next week, I have gotten really mean. If I see an 800 number or unknown caller, I pick up the phone and hang it right back up. If I’ve won a Caribbean cruise this week, it will go to the runner-up.

  9. Renee says:

    That’s a great ending. And I’ve done the same thing before. Of course, most of the time, I just hang up from the get-go.

  10. Big Pumpkin says:

    How insensitive they are! I’ve had those calling my HOUSE number at 9pm – how rude? Like Hello?! They obviously recruit a very specific IQ/EQ range of candidates.

  11. Pattie says:

    Oh, Jamie, we call the hours between 5-7 pm the witching HOURS…it is truly my least favorite part of the day. Your story just reminded me why! *LOL*
    Oh, and I can’t seem to say no to those surveys either.

  12. Dawn K says:

    I have discoverd the most wonderful thing – the off button on the baby monitor. I am becoming increasingly adept at ignoring just about everyone and everything. I am also getting pretty good at starting sentences and leaving the room halfway through leaving my husband in a complete stupor trying to figure out what he is about to be in trouble for not doing. I thought my brain would grow back the closer we got to Harper’s first birthday. I didn’t realize it wasn’t like the lizards tail – once it’s gone it’s gone!

    I hope you have a good week. BTW – I was just kidding about the baby monitor – I really only turn it down. 🙂


  13. Mrs Mogul says:

    Was the woman ont he phone deaf? Hehe Dora always has the same sort of songs but it’s catchy. This is why I DO ONLINE SURVEYS! you can always turn off the computer if you don’t want to continue 🙂

  14. Selfmademom says:

    I hate when the phone rings at dinner time… it seems that the clock is always somehow two hours behind at the location where these folks call. UGH. But at least she and you had a sense of humor about it.

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