“Should I answer it?” Maga said as Caregiver M handed her the phone.
“Yes. It’s Abby,” CM said.
“Hi, Maga. It’s Abby!” I said.
“Hi, Abby dear.”
“How are you?”
“I’m good. I’m eating dinner. Have you eaten yet?” She sounded good, chipper, and alert checking in to see if I was taking care of myself.
“I’m making dinner right now!” I sounded good, chipper, and alert too, but inside I was panicking. How was I going to follow a recipe and talk to Maga at the same time? (#silentchef)
“You can hear me chewing, can’t you?” Maga said as I’d taken a minute of silence to double check the next steps of the recipe.
“Well, yes,” I said, “but I’m so glad you have an appetite!”
“What did you do today?”
“I worked from home because the office is closed. I went for a walk. And now I’m cooking dinner. Nothing too spectacular,” I said.
Some crackling noises ensued on her end, as CM came over to help unleash dessert.
“Ooh, what is it?” I asked.
“Stupid rice isn’t done!” I muttered under my breath, setting the timer for 5 more minutes as the chicken and sauce cooked and cooked and cooked.
“What’s that?” Maga said.
“Oh, I was just talking to my rice. It’s not ready yet, but the chicken is long since done.”
“Sometimes one is faster than the other.”
“True enough.” And vague enough to be applicable advice on a lot of other fronts. I’d have to tuck that nugget in my apron pocket.
We covered my daily activities approximately 5 more times, but that gave me time to get my dinner finished and dished up.
“Who are you eating with?” Maga said.
“Myself,” I said, “And you!” I moved everything around on the countertop and finally sat, ready for the first big bite. A beep beep beep sounded as the phone call dropped.
“What happened.” Maga commanded once we’d reconnected.
“I’m so sorry! I accidentally hung up! I was moving my phone and grabbed the hang up button by accident.”
“[Uncle T] is calling in and he’s been waiting,” CM said.
“Oh, okay. Maga, I’m going to hang up for real this time so other people can talk to you.”
“It’s been great talking to you!”
“Who’s crazy about me?” Maga asked.
“I mean I am, but I said it was GREAT to talk to you!”
“Oh, you too. I’m glad you called and so on and so forth.”
Looks like she’s still got her dinner party etiquette at the ready.