It didn’t happen recently. It happened about ten years ago. I don’t remember what the issue was. I don’t know what I did or what I said. But I believe it is the only time I have ever hung up on someone. BTW, we had a landline, a phone on the wall, attached by a coiled cord, that could be “hung up.”
She was a member of our church and she was hot. I honestly don’t remember what I had said or done, but I hit a nerve. From the moment I said, “Hello,” she launched into a tirade of verbal attacks that allowed me very few chances to respond. She was angry, offended and irate. Her words were pointed, vicious, and bitter.
In vain, I tried to interject, “Can we talk about this sometime when you aren’t as upset?” In response she just loaded a new clip and let loose with a fresh round of verbal artillery.
At one point, I actually put down the phone on the kitchen table and walked away. When I returned five minutes later, the onslaught had not stopped. She had no idea that I had left and returned. It didn’t matter. I didn’t even need to be there.
Finally, I said, “I’m going to hang up.” The torrent of words did not abate, not even for the briefest of moments.
And then I hung up on her.
I don’t think we ever had another conversation, if you could call it that. But I know I never heard anything like it before or since. Not during a highly contested election. Not from a couple of boxers facing off at the weigh in. Not from the non-stop, dish-throwing, fat, ugly, arguing couple who lived in the apartment below me in New Jersey. (I promise I’ll tell that story soon.)
And I don’t think I’ve ever hung up on anyone else, either.