The cost of a long-distance relationship can surprise you

What’s $1.99 between friends?

It’s exactly $43 for 21 and 1/2 minutes of transatlantic phone conversation, according to Verizon Wireless. That’s if you talk at prime time.

So why was I chatting away with my friend in England at the most expensive time of day as if money was no object? The answer is that I did not know I was doing it. If that sounds odd to you, imagine how I felt when I found out.

Marian, my friend of 50-some years, and I call each other on WhatsApp, the cell phone app that enables free phone calls. So I thought nothing of calling her one afternoon recently for a catch-up. It had been a while since we had talked so we had a lot to discuss. Family. Covid. Politics. The rising cost of, well, everything.

At the time I had no idea our phone call would be included on that list. Then a few days ago I received a whopping high bill from my cell phone provider. Whatever misstep I took, which neither Verizon nor I could figure out, I definitely didn’t call her on WhatsApp.

Not that Marian’s friendship isn’t worth the high phone bill. I am still indebted to her for rescuing me from the hallway of my building when I locked myself out of my apartment. Actually, it wasn’t exactly an apartment building. It was a couple of floors of flats over the old Press Box restaurant in Manhattan.

Two young women from opposite sides of the world, we had both followed our dreams to live in the big city and wound up as next-door neighbors who would become lifelong friends.

On hot summer nights, we would walk over to the Seagrams building on Park Avenue and dangle our feet in the fountain to cool off. Sitting there we shared our dreams and secrets.

Related Articles

Things to do |

Remembering a mother’s lifelong commitment to voting – and chocolate

Things to do |

Senior Moments: Wily coyotes return for mating season in my yard

Things to do |

Senior Moments: The man on the moon could have many on the moon soon

When Marian returned to England and got married, we continued our fountain talks in letters. One summer I visited her in Norwich at Wedgwood, the charming house she shared with her husband George. Later, when I had found a George of my own, the two of them visited us many times in California. After her husband died, Marian continue to visit and become part of our family sharing holidays, weddings, grandchildren and loss.

Now, with both our husbands gone, we continue sharing our dreams and secrets on WhatsApp. At least we did until last week when I wandered off the path. Just to be safe, maybe next time, Marian, you should call me. I am waiting by the phone.


Share the Post:

Related Posts