Is there a specific signal you get from your wife or significant other, when it is time to end a phone conversation abruptly? Some people probably just get hung up on, or hastily told “bye” and then get hung up on. Not me. Mrs. H. and I kind of have a certain protocol to follow – specific words that must be spoken and properly responded to in order to end the phone conversation without an undesirable rude feeling.
I’m not sure when exactly this started. It was probably many years ago because it seems like we’ve always done it this way… or more accurately put, she’s done it this way. What way is that?
It is polite to let the other party know that they are loved before hanging up. One never knows if/when something terrible might happen to them, so we’ve always made it a point to end all phone conversations with an expression of love – just in case these words are the last ever spoken between us.
Over time however, these words began to be less true from the heart, and more of just a protocol. The words are “I love you.” Or that is how they started out, anyway. Now, when I’m on the phone with Mrs. H. and she wants or needs to end the conversation abruptly, she’ll tell me “love you.” This “love you” has a specific tone to it. It is spoken in a manner similar to that of “I have to go now.”
When these words are spoken, it is expected that I simply reply back “I love you too” and then we both hang up. Of course, sometimes I continue talking. After all, there are times when she drops this on me mid-sentence. I’ve got more to say, and usually do so. If the first “love you” is not responded to in time, a second one will be fired off. The second “love you” is spoken louder and a bit more forceful. Remember – she’s not professing her love for me with these words, she’s telling me she wants to go now.
If the second “love you” is not met with the expected response from me, a third one will soon be dropped (like a bomb). This one is the final warning shot across the bow. This “love you” is forceful and absolute. She doesn’t use the word “dammit” in the third “love you”, but I can really feel it in there. It doesn’t need to be spoken, because I know she’s thinking “I told him ‘love you’ dammit – what’s taking him so long to say good bye!” There are only a few moments after the third “love you” before Mrs. H. begins to become angry with me or simply throw out the final “LOVE YOU! Bye!” and immediately hang up and be done with it.
Yesterday, I called up Mrs. H. while she was in the checkout line at a local store. No one wants to be bothered in the check out line, right? Almost as soon as I called her, I got the “love you”, meaning she couldn’t talk. But… I just called. I couldn’t end the conversation that quickly. She explained the situation, but I was in a silly mood and kept talking. She skipped over the typical second “love you” and went right into the forceful third, as if to say “Are you some kind of idiot? I’m paying for merchandise and need BOTH hands and if you don’t let me off the phone RIGHT NOW, I’m going to wring your pathetic little neck when I get home!” Yeah – that’s what I got out of that “love you”. It’s a married thing. I can tell.
That’s Mrs. H. in the photo up top, by the way. She’s pretty cool. Even after explaining that I wanted to do a write-up about her “love you” phone call ender, she was happy to pose for a photo. I annoyed her on purpose while taking some photos – to get the just right pose out of her. Thanks, baby! Love you. heehee
What’s your “time to hang up right now” signal? Do you follow any special protocols with your wife or significant other? What special code words you use? Tell me about about.