In-language support

An early 20th century candlestick phone being ...
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The thing that I forgot to mention yesterday, is that the boy called me on Saturday, just before the ladies left.

My cell was in my purse, and my purse was in my bedroom. I was nowhere near it, but I could tell he was calling because he has his own ring. My family all have a ring, my office has a ring, my girlfriends from church all have a ring. People I used to work with who have this number but that I Never, Never, Never want to talk to have a “no ring” ring. The boy is one of 3 people who have their own unique ring on my phone – people who are categories unto themselves – and he is the only one of the three who calls with enough regularity that I can actually recognize the ring when I hear it.

So the boy calls. I know he’s calling. But I have guests and can’t talk right now, so I ignore my phone in the next room.

The boy does not leave voicemail. What he does instead – and this is not like him – is call my house number.

Now the phone is ringing three inches from where I’m sitting with the ladies. Much harder to ignore. I look at the caller ID. It’s the boy. I look at the clock. It’s a little after 10. The boy is an insomniac at night, so he doesn’t usually get up before 11 on a weekend. Something must be up.

Now I am alarmed. I take the call. We chat briefly. It’s not an emergency (Augh, then why are you calling me on all my numbers like this?) so I promise to call him when the ladies leave.

When I do, it turns out that he just needs some help drafting some letters that his would-be mortgage company would like. Well, more like, he wants to confirm his English. He speaks beautiful, very-slightly-accented English (at least, it’s beautiful when I can hear it; he’s a bit of a mumbler at times).  But whenever there’s an official letter to be written, he likes to be sure that his writing is clear and his English is correct.

Enter: Gringita.

It’s actually very odd to try to edit a letter by phone. He explains to me what he’s trying to convey. He reads a sentence to me. It sounds fine. He confirms with me the spelling of one word, “lives.”  (I can guess that the fact that it’s the same spelling for two different ways of saying the “I”, as in, “He LIVES at this address” versus “Their LIVES were never the same after that” is what troubles him. Spanish doesn’t have this kind of vowel nonsense, so he likes to be sure.) We discuss an opening sentence.  I ask him to send me the final letter via email. I need to see it, in order to be helpful.

It’s fine. It’s totally fine. The boy really doesn’t need me for this stuff.

The second letter he hasn’t even started and isn’t sure where to begin. So while we talk, I draft something. I send it back to him to proofread. We tweak. Done.

I can do so little for my friend, the boy. He knows more about more things than I ever will. But in this one thing I’m helpful, and happy to be helpful.

1 thought on “In-language support”

  1. I don’t have a home phone, so I’m guessing I wouldn’t have been as alarmed under the circumstances – unless the person called twice in a row. I suppose that’s the equivalent.


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