Life's a bastard...but sometimes it lets up

The life and times of an ordinary Dublin girl. Follow her journey as she finds out working from home really ISN'T about watching Oprah all day and that perhaps men aren't really all bastards.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Oh how the tables have turned!

THEY say that what goes around comes around and no one is feeling that more right now than muggins here.

As you might remember from earlier posts I’ve recently moved back home and so being the generous soul that I am, I’ve taken over responsibility for the phone bill.

Mammy and Daddy Dunne are frugal folk who make long distance calls with the same trepidation as Bill O’Herlihy goes into a television studio with Eamon Dunphy, so I figured I’d be safe enough.

They usually call relatives in England or the States with a rushed ‘can’ttalknowtooexpensivejustringingtosaywe’reallsafehereinIrelandbye’ so bi-monthly phone bills usually total about €35 give or take.

Combined with €60 for my broadband, I figured I’d get away with a €100 bill every two months, which is reasonable enough.

Until last night….
……..when I got home to find the bill had arrived and the folks were studiously avoiding my eyes.

“Hello love” they greeted me brightly in a slightly hysterical tone, bustling around taking off my coat, putting the dinner on and in short doing everything to avoid mentioning the dirty big bill almost shouting at me from the table.

“What’s going on? Why are you being nice to me” I asked suspiciously, picking up the envelope and noticing the Eircom stamp on it.

I started to open it slowly until I realised the folks were guiltily backing away from me and trying to get through the narrow kitchen door at the same time (a scuffle ensued and Daddy Dunne won, he can move when he wants to).

The penny dropped and I quickly ripped open the rest of the envelope suddenly desperate to see how much this was going to set me back.

The first thing I noticed was the ‘page one of 29’ line at the top of the bill (not a good sign, we’re itemised) swiftly followed by the grand total of €202.32.

In two months my normally sensible parents had almost quadrupled their phone bill, drunk on the knowledge that they wouldn’t have to pay for it and so had taken to ringing all in sundry gleefully proclaiming “we can talk for aaaaages, sure it’s freeeeeeeeee”.

I have to admit, when I was a teenager I spent literally hours every day on the phone, talking to friends I had literally just left (“Hi, it’s me. What are you doing? Nothing? Me too.”) so I guess it’s just God’s way of getting me back. Damn you Jesus!

Well, no more. I let them away with it this month because they were so contrite and fearful but not anymore.

I’m off now to buy a coin operated phone. With a padlock. And an alarm. And I’m barring all long distance numbers.

Parents eh?


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