Cellular disturbance: It pays to have the ringer on

Alex Wilson

Sometimes keeping the phone by bedside may add to the passion. Photo by Randy Rataj.
Sometimes keeping the phone by bedside may add to the passion. Photo by Randy Rataj.

It’s been a fun night, drinks have been had, and the two of you have safely gotten back to the apartment. Things are getting hot and heavy — real hot and heavy. Ten minutes go by and then you both suddenly hear a ringing noise.

It’s your cell phone, and your mother is calling. Looking at the clock, you realize it’s only 12 a.m. Not late enough to know for sure if it’s an emergency, but just late enough to make you worry. Do you pick it up?

Nearly everybody has encountered this situation, and everyone reacts differently. No one wants to answer the phone. And if you can’t see who’s calling, you can be sure of two things. The person is either drunk or something bad has happened. So what to do? If you answer the phone, what will the other person think? If you ignore it, you could miss out on something important.

More often than not, ignoring the call seems like the best idea. If you can check to see who it is without ruining the mood, look and do a quick mental check of all the things that could’ve gone wrong with this person. If you can assume with confidence that the call is not a life or death matter, feel free to silence the ringer, and chuck that crap across the room. It’s okay if it breaks, it just adds to the passion.

If, on the off chance, the call seems important, I would inform the partner that it could be an emergency. In the likely scenario that the phone call isn’t dreadfully important, I generally end the call as soon as possible. If it is, well, the mood is already ruined anyways. This is also known as a better-luck-next-time scenario.

When I was a freshman in college staying with my parents for the summer, my dad and I developed an unspoken understanding. If he knew I had a girl over, he’d text me on his way home. One time I had forgotten to turn my phone off “silent.” As I heard the garage door start to go up, the girl and I both sprung out of bed. Clothes flew across the room as expletives were muttered under our breath. Soon, in what I assume to be world-record time, we were dressed and running down the stairs. We barely had the TV on before my parents walked in the door. As we greeted them, my step-mother politely informed me that my shirt was on backwards.

So sometimes, picking up the phone can be a good thing, too.