Phones and bedrooms; a cautionary tale
With regard to the bedroom issue; I recall one specific incident where we had forgotten to turn off all telephonic communications. One Saturday morning around nine, fairly early in our marriage, my wife and I were feeling physically amorous and indulging our mutual lust. The children were both at friends houses for sleepovers, doing their usual trick of watching some silly teen slasher movie. Friends daring each other to look at the really gory bits from behind the sofa and closed fingers, squealing like piglets and pigging out on popcorn and sugary drinks. So, as we were not expecting them to return before ten, did not take our usual precautions.
In our little English terraced town house bedroom, with the curtains mostly closed, bedclothes all over the place apart from on the bed, pillows shoved into supportive positions, my wife and I were, to put matters delicately, doing what comes naturally. Quite vigorously too. Me upright, grunting, her supine and gasping. Oh for God’s sake – do I have to show you the photographs we didn’t take? Use your imagination – but please, not too hard.
To cut a long story short my cell phone began to ring in our downstairs office. As it happens the call in question was some bloody auto dialled cold sales call, a highly virulent plague on all the houses of those who think this constitutes reasonable marketing practice. May God consign the perpetrators to a particularly unpleasant circle of hell. Red hot staples in the nethers springs vibrantly to mind as being one possible form of restorative afterlife justice. Perhaps forcing the CEO’s of said companies and those advocating the practice to wear red hot callcentre headsets, while up to their necks in a lake of raw sewage and forced to listen to the greatest hits of Little Jimmy Osmond, Justin Bieber or worse, Lena Zavaroni, forever. I think that might go some way to redress the blood boiling their unwanted solicitations have caused over the years.
Now the timing was quite critical here. As all married couples, and quite a few unmarried couples are aware, there comes a point in matters sexual where the thinking part of your brain quite literally shuts down completely and nothing really matters but the task in hand. To remain relatively circumlocutory; we had passed that point some minutes earlier, and were both ‘heading down the home straight’ as it were with our frontal lobes (but not our loins) disengaged.
That unexpected call could have been a lawyer saying that I had just inherited gazillions from a long lost relative if I answered in the next thirty seconds. It could have been a genuine offer of free money for the rest of my life. It could have been an emergency call saying a close family member was dead / kidnapped / having a nasty episode with the Toaster / the house is on fire. To be quite candid, neither my wife nor I were in a (physical or mental) position to give the proverbial monkeys. The phone could ring until the end of eternity and neither of us would have cared.
Unfortunately we weren’t the only players in this little drama. Downstairs and unbeknownst to us, having returned early from aforementioned friends house where she had been at the previously hinted at slumber party, Younger stepdaughter was downstairs watching television. She heard my phone ring, and being of that mindset that hates ringing phones, decided to deliver it to me with the peremptory demand that I answer the bloody call. Now. Because the ringing was interfering with her viewing of Saturday morning kiddies TV.
Completely ignoring the obvious loud rhythmic grunting and wailing noises coming from our bedroom, which were probably audible out in the street, Younger stepdaughter stomped into our downstairs office, picked up my ringing phone, stormed up twenty two stairs, pounded four metres along the corridor, straight into the unlocked door without a pause, bursting into the bedroom to witness her mother and me quivering in the throes of mutual thingy, my hairy backside poised for a penultimate wossname, all else exposed to her horrified twelve year old gaze. For a moment everyone froze.
Then with a strangled cry Youngest dropped my still ringing phone on the bed and fled downstairs, horror in her eyes and heart. Needless to say, the phone call went unanswered. My wife and I collapsed in howling fits of laughter, all limbic orgasmic impulse forgotten.
Now there is a post-script here, as there always should be. Having taken the time to clean up, shower and dress, I elected to go downstairs to make some tea and see if there was anything to be said or done. Youngest was curled up on the sofa, dog at her feet, watching TV as I passed by. The dog looked up at her, then over at me for his cue, tail thumping. “Heya.” I said gently. She seemed not to be able to look at me. “You okay?”
“’s.” Came a little voice like a three year old. I put the phone down pointedly on the kitchen counter, she gave it a slightly horror struck glance before turning her gaze back to the TV.
“You really need to knock in future.” I said mildly, smiling to show there was no hard feeling.
“It wasn’t an important call.” I reiterated. No harm, no foul, right?
“Maybe we ought to lock the door in future, huh?” I suggested.
“Yes!” This time the ‘yes’ was emphatic.
“And I’ll switch my phone off.”
“’s.” Back to being little Miz three year old.
“You fed the dog?”
“No.” She said distractedly, back in the hypnotic thrall of the idiot box.
“Okay, I’ll take care of it.”
So the dog was fed and went back to sit down at her feet. Leaving her to idly scratch his ears for comfort, I took our hot drinks upstairs to where my beloved was in a post coital Saturday morning snooze.
“I think she’ll knock in future.” I said, waking my spouse from a happy post coital doze with a kiss and handing over the tea.
“I think so too.”
“She seems a little put out.”
“Not surprised.” We carried on chatting for a while before there was a tiny knock at the door.
“Come on in.” Youngest slipped into the room, and I decided to err on the side of diplomacy to let the girls talk without my presence.
The thinking behind this little withdrawal tactic is to keep the Mother / daughter bond strong. Especially without bozo the clown (Me) opening his big stupid wug and alienating the poor girl. She’d already seen more of my hairy sweaty body that morning than either she or I were comfortable with, and I wasn’t stupid enough to try putting out a metaphorical fire by chucking a figurative bucket of gasoline on it.
It’s worth noting that one of the areas where a step parent can score serious brownie points is never to stand between children and their natural parent when they want to talk (Even if ‘Natural’ parent is being a total arse). Make yourself scarce. Go fishing, go shopping. Sit out in the garden and read. Go wash the car / dog / windows / whatever. Just get the hell out of Dodge and wait to be summoned to clean up the blood.
Which leads rather nicely onto the next subject heading…..
Or on to Part 3 to learn about ‘Dad magic’.