We have reached a new level of frustration in our ongoing mission to converse with our son. Even Mr. Neurotic Parent, who previously advocated waiting until CJ called us, finally caved after a few weeks of very limited communication, and ordered me to contact our MIA offspring.
Success! Moments later, I heard his collegiate voice…along with a cacaphony of ambient background sound effects that sounded like a combination of a rock festival, a space shuttle landing, and a post-Thanksgiving sale at a New Jersey mall. CJ seemed amenable to speak with me, but it was impossible to decipher his words. "I can't talk now," he said, "I get terrible reception all over campus." "Maybe you could answer my Blackberry messages once in a while," I screamed. "The Blackberry doesn't work in, like, half of the dorms," he answered, then added, "Listen, it's my turn in a Madden tournament…Love you!" and hung up abruptly.
Our next attempt to reach CJ resulted in an even more garbled dialog. This time it sounded as if he were at a tailgate party, although he said he was working on a project in his dorm room "with a partner." "I CAN'T TALK NOW…LOVE YOU," he let me know sweetly but firmly.
Disheartened, I waited until 11:01 p.m. his time on a Sunday night, the hour I had always called my parents from college, because 8:00 p.m. was when the long distance rates went down. (Obviously there is no such thing as long distance rates any more, but I thought the Sunday evening timing could result in some nostalgic good karma…and maybe a regression to the technological conditions of the '70's, when you could actually hear people on the phone.) Presumably CJ would be winding down from the weekend, finishing up his homework for a Monday class. Instead there was no answer. I tried sending a BBM, but although a "D" appeared, letting us know my message was delivered, there was no "A", indicating that it had been read.
"Stop bothering CJ," said BH, his younger brother. "It's Sunday night, so he's probably watching football, or he could be at a frat party or at a club…And besides, *nobody* gets service on campus."
Nobody, that is, besides the girls, who dutifully call home three times a day with crystal clear coverage. They must all have enhanced fiber option network plans, unavailable to members of the male gender.