One day, several years ago, spouse and I were shopping in a Home Depot, when suddenly, my purse started to talk to me.
"Hello, hello?" my purse said. I stared at it, realizing that the voice sounded familiar...
It was someone I used to exercise walk with at work before she retired. I grabbed my phone before she hung up and we spoke for several minutes.
It was my introduction to purse dialing. I quickly learned how to set my phone so it wouldn't happen again.
Fast forward to February, 2020.
I was at work, but my spouse (retired) was home. Suddenly, the phone rang.
Spouse was watching TV, and our cable system has a really nice feature if you get your TV and phone from them - caller ID on your TV screen. Anyway, although our phone's spam filter cut off the call after one ring, the caller ID came up.
It was someone I knew who had cancer surgery back in December. (Her prognosis is good.) It's been a slow recovery for her.
She would not have called during the day, knowing I'm at work. Thinking something bad had happened, my spouse went for the phone but, as described above, the ringing stopped before he could reach it.
Then the phone rang again. Same number.
This time, spouse managed to answer. My caller had no idea she had dialed our house. She was trying to find something in her purse.
They ended up talking for over a half hour.
I'm not big into calling people but these times are not normal times. I called her and we caught up.
Now, I wonder how my New York City friends and relatives are holding up during this terrible time. This person lives in New York City.
I'm calling this person once a week now. Somehow, we end up spending almost all our phone time discussing life during COVID-19 and some of her trials and tribulations. I'm not a big "keep in touch by phone" person and I had not been reaching out to her like I should have been. The coronavirus changed that.
Is it grim? Not at all. Believe it or not, we laugh constantly. Is her situation funny? Well...sort of yes and no. But this person is a big believer that you could laugh or you could cry, and she chooses laughter. At least with me.
That purse dial? It was meant to be.
In the next few days, I'll share how I keep in touch with a couple of other people.
Here's another take on friendship in the time of Covid-19.
While we are at it, it's a little late for this St. Patrick's Day, but let's change the subject and drink to the everyday heroes in our lives.
New York City was my home for some 21 years. I grew up there. I've walked down the streets on the news reports. I've ridden the subways perhaps thousands of times. But the familiar is no longer familiar.
We watch as our world changes, maybe forever.
We need each other and our friendships more than ever.
I am so thankful for the technology that brought me together with a friend.