Crank Up Your Ringtone; Don’t Miss Your Spouse’s Call

Turn the volume of your phone to the loudest possible setting, preferably something that sounds like a submarine alarm or a wailing ambulance.

When your mom calls you at work and the noise echoes through the cubicles, pretend not to notice your office-mate spill his coffee when he jumps. On the way home, double check to make sure it hasn’t accidentally been silenced while in your purse—but then again, never put it in your purse; place it in your lap on the drive home.

At every red light pick it up and stare.

In your home make sure you have quiet appliances. Buy a garage door opener that slowly whisks the door open and shut. Get the Quiet Series dishwasher that softly hums itself clean. Don’t turn the TV or radio up too loud, in fact it’s better to do silent activities such as reading or painting your nails. Relax. Try to enjoy the absence of sound.

The silence will be a relief, but not as comforting as his voice.

When you get home from work, put your phone on the kitchen counter and test the ringer to make sure it still sounds like an air raid siren. The counter is a nice height and central location; if the phone falls into the folds of the couch or under a blanket, the ring could be muffled. Double check that you didn’t accidentally put it in airplane mode.

One can never be too careful.

As you plug in the phone to charge at night, make sure the screen is facing the bed so the light will wake you if the ring and vibration against the wood dresser aren’t enough. Wake up every few hours and sleepily swing your arm over to your nightstand and blindly knock over your water and anything else that happens to be upright as you squint into the bright screen.

You will need reassurance that you didn’t miss a call in the night.

In the morning, stumble to the shower and place your phone as near as possible without getting it wet and leave a towel handy so you can quickly dry your hands in the event of a call. Do not turn the fan on—this could drown out the noise of the phone ringing. When you hear the sound of a distant train or the dryer buzzing, stop the water momentarily to make sure it wasn’t the phone. Every minute or so turn the water off and poke your head out to make sure he’s not calling.

Do not think the worst about why he hasn’t called.

When he finally calls as you are pulling in to work, five minutes before you need to clock in, try not to drop your phone as you answer. Wait three seconds after saying hello so the delayed sound of his voice can travel the thousands of miles to reach you. Keep talking until you are 10 minutes late for work and then, in the exhale of a deep sigh, tell him you need to go.

Make sure the ringer is still loud.

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