Last month, on Chanukah, I caved. Months and months of kvetching and pleading from Flash and Wonderwoman led me to finally agree to add texting to their cellphones. I had resisted up until that point (despite the fact that all their friends have it and this is so unfair and OMG, Ma, it's not like it's still 1923 like when you were a kid) because I felt that they had enough high-tech distractions available to them already. Of course I was right, but like the good indulgent soft American parent that I am, I finally gave in and called our cellphone provider to add a text messaging bundle to our family plan (I was surprised at how inexpensive it is). The kids agreed to the rules that I laid out (no texting at the table, during homework, or after bedtime, and if I EVER hear that you were texting during class may God have mercy on your souls) and have, to their credit, stuck to the rules without a problem.
Then last week, I got the cellphone bill. I opened the envelope and was shocked to see that my balance was $1715.63!!! My mouth dropped open, I let out an expletive, and I grabbed the phone to call the customer service number. The representative who answered the phone made the following genius statement:
"Good evening, this is Maryanne, thank you for calling T-Mobile. I see that your balance last month was $84.72 and your current balance is $1715.63. Now what can I help you with?"
Take one freakin' guess, Maryanne.
Anyway, after nearly twenty minutes, I managed to convince the cheerful but dim-witted Maryanne that I did indeed add texting to my plan before allowing my children to send over 3000 text messages and that I did not, after 8 years of being a good customer, suddenly decide to go crazy and run up these insane overage charges. She agreed that the omission of my order from their computer system was their fault and not mine, and adjusted the balance and fixed the mistake. We eventually parted on good terms.
But the next morning, I couldn't resist. Knowing that most of the text messages were Wonderwoman's (she's got very little impulse control), I quietly laid the phone bill before her at the breakfast table, pointed to the $1715.63 figure and whispered ominously "What did you do?!" She gasped and spilled her milk all over her shirt. It meant more laundry for me, I suppose, but it was worth it to avenge the months of pleading that she and her brother had subjected me to.
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