This afternoon I called Gary because I had two questions:
a) Did his parents have plans to celebrate the fourth of July?
b) Was he planning to pick me up at work? (He drove me in because the Mini wouldn't start.)
So, here is that phone call, verbatim.
(Ring ring) Gary answers the phone with:
"Ellen! I was just thinking about you! I'm at the grocery store!"
"Oh, don't forget --"
"I got the eggs and croutons."
"Oh, thanks. I have two questions. First, are we going to your parents on the four --"
"I don't know! I'll call them right now!"
Five minutes later he calls back with:
"No! The day is ours!"
"Gary, just slow down and lisssssten. I had two questions --"
"Well fine. Ask your other question."
"I wanted to --"
"Can this wait until I'm done shopping?"
"Ugh, fine. Bye."
========= End Scene =========
After this phone call, in which Gary did not listen, in the manner of a man coated in word-resistant lacquer, I tried to analyze why this was so frustrating.
I realized that when he's directly in front of me and not listening, I make outrageous faces that say, "DUMBASS SERIOUSLY LISTEN TO ME," and, "HELLO? HELLO? ANOTHER PERSON OVER HERE TALKING." I got this face vocabulary from my father, who could make a three act play out of being interrupted while he was READING. (Act I: Sigh. Place finger on last word read. Act II: Pained expression. Swivel head slowly. Act III: Raise eyebrow.) At any rate, silent-film facial expressions and noisy body language are useless on the phone.
What I need is a key on my phone I can tap so his phone will vibrate or deliver a low-level shock. Just enough to remind him I am on the line and might have something to say.
Another invention opportunity awaits.