I read and reviewed the short story, A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker, a few years ago. The story made me laugh because it is so relatetable. The story is written by a woman, so I thought I would present it again for Women’s History Month.
Introduction: A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker
At some point in your life, have you sat by the phone waiting for a call that never came? Most of us can relate to that experience. As regular readers of The Invisible Mentor blog know already, each day I have been reading a short story to practice my speed reading drills. I read A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker, and I laughed so hard because it is so funny.
Perhaps someone who is going through the experience, wouldn’t find the situation funny, but as an adult reading the story, I laughed a lot. It could very well be that I read a few depressing books over the weekend, so I needed something lighthearted to pick me up and A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker delivers.
UPDATE: First Published May 2014
The Story: A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker
The main character is female, her age is not given, but I suspect that she is either in her late teens or early twenties. As the name of the short story suggests, it’s about a telephone call. The protagonist is waiting for a call from a young man, and she is wishing that the telephone will ring. At some point she had called him at work and he tells her that he is busy, but will call her at 5:00 pm. In their short conversation, he calls her darling twice, and she is thinking that he must care for her.
She prays, pleads and makes all kinds of deals with God, if only He would let the young man call her. She wants to know if God is punishing her because she did something bad. She desperately wants the telephone to ring. She moves through a range of emotions, and sometimes she wants the guy dead because he isn’t calling her.
She is wondering if she should call him again and decides that she will count to five hundred in multiples of five to while the time away and restrain herself. Five o’clock comes and goes, and she is still making up stories and pleading with God.
What makes this story work is that it is very human and we can relate to it. We were young once, and at that age we are dramatic and we amplify things so that they are bigger than life. The other thing is that even though the story is about a young lady waiting for a young man to call her, it could be about a job seeker waiting for a call from a hiring manager. The story is relatable because we rationalize our behavior all the time, and there are times when we know what the outcome is going to be, yet we ignore our instincts and want things to go the other way. Unfortunately, in life, we do not always get what we want or deserve.
Conclusion: A Telephone Call by Dorothy Parker
If you are having a bad day, take 10 minutes to read A Telephone Call (Can read on the American Literature site) by Dorothy Parker because it will bring a smile to your face. If you love this short story, you will find more in Here We Are, A Telephone Call.
The Portable Dorothy Parker (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?Complete Stories (Penguin Classics)Dorothy Parker: In Her Own WordsComplete Poems (Penguin Classics)