Please don't take it personally, but I am screening my calls. It's not that I don't like you. Well, there's a small chance that that is the case, but most likely I just need to know where your call fits on my priority list in that moment in time.
If you're my Agent/Editor/Publisher, I promise I'll trample kittens and babies to get to the phone.
I'll drop an overflowing laundry basket in a second to take a call from an old friend. If I talked to you an hour ago, I may put the laundry first. Not always. Just sometimes.
Even old friends (those IN CRISES not included in this statement) need to wait if I don't want to interrupt good writing Mojo. Writing Mojo is delicate and hard to hold on to. There's nothing like the anguish of breaking good writing Mojo to answer a call from the teen clothing store at the mall. Instant Mojo neutralizer can be found in the insanely cheerful prerecorded message - "HI! IT'S JESSICA FROM JUSTICE AND I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT OUR 40% OFF SALE..." Argggggggg! Someone please snuff out Jessica and her happy, happy, voice. Please.
Usually, there is some sort of event that triggers a full-blown screening. The latest? My mother-in-law has failed her driver's test. She is 74 and is not functioning very well, mentally or physically. Everyone is thrilled she failed. Everyone except my mother-in-law. She is not thrilled at all. Her stubbornness has overruled any common sense she may still have left. She wants to drive, dammit.
Some of the driver's test questions she answered incorrectly were:
When do you need to look behind you while driving your vehicle? Unfortunately, she did not select the answer that included, "backing up and changing lanes."
When entering the freeway and traffic is moving 35 mph, you should drive at what speed? 35 mph is the correct answer, by the way. She checked off 25 mph. I'm shocked a road rage incident hasn't finished her off before any one of her many illnesses.
She thought it was okay to drive a little bit drunk. She also checked the box indicating it was okay to drive OFF THE ROAD to pass another vehicle. Holy crap.
She has recruited me as her personal assistant and driving tutor. I don't want to do it, really. But she is persistent. And she is calling, and calling, and calling.
So if you are trying to get ahold of me, please, just leave a message and I really will get back to you. Unless you're my mother-in-law, then I'd suggest taking a nice walk followed by bed rest.