Yesterday evening, my husband and I were struggling to get some packing done for the big move this weekend. My phone rings and it was MIL who’d called to see if I can help troubleshoot her iPad glitch. I was covered in dust and running around frantically, so I asked my husband to help her out. It only took a few minutes to explain how to fix the problem but then, he went on to make sure that her privacy settings were OK, activate two-step authentication, update software (techie OCD??) and so on. It took him a little over an hour to get the darn iPad to work like it should. MIL hurriedly said her byes, wished us good night and went on to quickly apologize to me (specifically). I feel bad for taking up an hour of his time especially when you both were so busy packing. Sorry, says she.
I laughed it off when she said it but her humble apology lingered around in my head for a few seconds. She obviously knows that she can speak to her son (and her daughter-in-law for that matter) if and when she pleases without the slightest limitation on the length of the call. Yet, she doesn’t take even an hour of his time for granted. Sigh, how does one manage to be so down to earth? and the thing that amazes me the most is that it comes so naturally to her, no effort whatsoever.
What do you think, politeness – an untaught instinct or a seasoned habit?