URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, IL — Disaster struck Alana Rappaport this Tuesday afternoon when the University of Illinois sophomore was rushing to her biology midterm and her phone chimed.
“My dad texted to remind me that it was my Bubbe’s 86th birthday, and to make sure I remembered to call her before she went to bed at 4:45,” Rappaport explained. “Obviously, I had already texted her this morning, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to call her for like five minutes.”
The call lasted 22 minutes and 34 seconds. However, only 9 of those minutes actually consisted of conversation between Rappaport and her grandmother, Harriet Fishman of Long Island.
“I FaceTimed her to say happy birthday, but she answered on her iPad, which was connected by bluetooth to her hearing aids, which were on the counter in the other room. Then she got those, but she didn’t want me to see her face because she hadn’t washed her hair, so I tried to switch it to phone, but that was charging and she didn’t know where.”
While this may sound relatively tame to the casual observer, passersby report being shocked at the volume and ferocity of Rappaport’s conversation.
“I was working on a paper when I heard this yelling outside my door,” said Bryan Alvarez, one of Rappaport’s neighbors. “So I open the door and just see Alana going ‘IT’S THE TOP RIGHT BUTTON, BUBBE! BUBBE! CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?’ She looked defeated.”
Eddie Marks, Alvarez’s roommate, was walking through the hall a while after Alvarez had already gone across campus looking for a quieter place to work. He reported, “When I saw Alana, she was sitting against the wall in the common area, screaming something like, ‘I’M FINE, BUBBE! NO, I’M NOT IN HIGH SCHOOL ANYMORE. YES, ILLINOIS. COLLEGE IS GOOD. I SAW YOU AT THANKSGIVING, REMEMBER? YES, HANUKKAH. I’LL SEE YOU THEN!’”
When asked, Rappaport said, “I honestly didn’t realize I was being so loud until my RA came outside to tell me. At that point, my Bubbe had just realized that I was me, not my 29 year old cousin who lives in LA. Honestly, I think next time, I’m just going to email her.”
Rappaport had no comments on when she thinks her grandmother will stop calling her by her mother’s name.