Friday, January 5, 2007


I know people, usually women, who feel guilty if they aren't multi-tasking.  Especially when they're on the phone. I cut them some slack, even though their end of the conversation tends to sound distracted and disjointed, with long pauses to answer questions that only require a simple YES or NO,  

Usually they're taking care of kids at the same time, so I just chalk it up, except when I hear a toilet flush. TMI thank you very much. Could you maybe wait until we're finished our chat?  Not that I haven't tried to multi-task while sitting on the throne. Just last week I tried brushing my teeth at the same time, thinking I might be ready to go to work sooner. I don't know about you, but brushing a long time makes me gag, so I found myself trying to spit toothpaste into the sink from my perch on the porcelain. I missed, which meant my attempts at multi-tasking took more time than the actual tasks themselves.

Last week, I was on the phone with someone who was getting dressed, someone else who was wiping the mud off her dog's feet, a third person who was pumping gas, a fourth who was at the drive up for McDonald's. 

Why do one thing, when you can do two? Remember the woman who robbed a bank while talking on her cellphone?

My personal multi-tasking favorite is driving, talking on the phone and putting on make up. I am the poster child for every annoying female driver on the road,  One knee on the steering wheel so I can do my eye shadow, eye liner, mascara and lipgloss at every stoplight and in between, while talking to what seems like no one in particular via my earpiece. Sometimes, just for the thrill, I also eat a sandwich and fumble for the chips at the bottom of the bag.

Multi-tasking on the phone isn't a new phenomenon, of course. Nor is the range of tasks people choose to do. I remember one languid Sunday afternoon spent under an old boyfriend on his bed. He was, uh, taking me to task when the phone rang.  It was his mother calling for her weekend chat.  He couldn't just let it ring. He picked up the phone and actually held a conversation with her, while finishing what he had started with me, even putting his hand over my mouth when I started laughing at the absurdity of it all.

Now that I think about it, to this day I don't trust what men are doing on the other end of the phone. Which may explain why the folks who invented Phone-O-Vision could never get their idea off the ground.


swibirun said...

Now THAT'S a new version of phone sex....

Have a great weekend!

onemoretina said...

 Puts an entirely new spin on the term 'menage a trois.'  Tina

suzypwr said...

Eating is a multi-task that is not done best on the phone. I offer to call back people at the point I realize I am sharing the sounds of their meal.

Anything else is fair game!


gaboatman said...

Mrs. L
Too funny about the old boyfriend.  I knew there was a reason video phones never took off.

mombzbe said...

I don't feel guilty if I don't multi-task, I just don't have a choice.  It's multi-task or hide in a dark room and wait for the storm to pass.  I don't think I could stay hidden for 15 years, seeing as how I can't stay hidden for 15 minutes.  

I had a similar situation to yours with your boyfriend happen earlier this week when the kids were at a friend's house and um, we took advantage of having only one kid (napping) at home at the time.  Wouldn't you know it, they weren't at home and STILL found a way to interrupt via a phone call.  Needless to say, I breathlessly told my oldest I'd have to call him back, as I was in the middle of something at the moment.  Thank God there's no Phone-O-Vision.

I'll be paying enough for his therapy as it is.