by Melinda Gallo

Unplugging the house phone

Only a few days have I seen the sun shine for most of the day without raining. And, of course, it would be a day when I'm stuck inside sick. I sit at my computer because I've got no real excuse not to work and look out at the sun shining outside. I look at the plants on our terrace and the other rooftops while I work.

This morning, I realized that I've left my phone unplugged since Saturday. When I take a nap in the afternoon, somehow the Italian telemarketers must get a special signal and call us at that time. Many times, I've stumbled down the steps half-awake trying not to sound like I just woke up.

At those times, I'm a bit curt. I respond in short sentences like, "No grazie," and hang up. I've had a few too many phone calls from TelecomItalia who continually ask me if we'd like to change our telephone plan. I tell them each time that Simone is fuori Firenze

But without fail, they continually call and I continually tell them that we're not interested. A few times I've asked for their phone number so that he can call them back, but they don't want to do that. So, I tell them the same thing. The last time they called, I told them that I would prefer it if they didn't call me any more. I'm sure I wasn't asleep that time as I had some time to think about it while they talked to me about how much money I'd save by changing plans.

And since then, they haven't called back. My fingers are crossed since it's only been a few months. Lately the calls are about new shops opening in town and charities. To them, I politely say, "No, grazie, signora." (No thanks, ma'am.) And generally they are polite enough to say, "Grazie a Lei. Buona sera." (Thank you. Good night.)

I haven't plugged my phone back in yet, but I will do that tomorrow since I know that as I write this at midnight, I won't be waking up early enough to run down the stairs to pick it up and not break my leg. Besides, all my friends call me on my cell phone or better yet, send me SMS messages so I can respond whenever I get up.

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