Birthday Call in the Twilight Zone

Birthday Call in the Twilight Zone post page

Stephanie Landmann

By Stephanie LandmannJune 15th, 2019

Birthday Call in the Twilight Zone

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by Stephanie “Teffie” Landmann, COTA/L, DOR,
PAC Support Mentor


The latest conversation I had with my grandmother on the phone went something like this:

Me: Hi Grandma, this is Stephanie.

Grandma: Oh, hi. How are you?

Me: I’m good. Happy Birthday. How are you doing?

Grandma: I’m good. The weather is nice today. We have a blue sky.

Me: That’s great. It’s a blue sky here, too. 

Grandma: Oh good. Where are you?

Me: I’m in Texas. Did you go out for lunch today?

Grandma: Louie, did we go out for lunch? (We went to the club, remember!) Yes, we went to the club.

Me: That’s great. I’m sure you enjoyed it.

Grandma: Yes, we had a good time. Lunch was good. It’s always good.

Me: That’s wonderful, Grandma. Did you get a piece of cake for your birthday?

Grandma: No, I think I was too full. We had a good time.

Me: I’m glad you had a good time.

Grandma: Your dad was here a couple weeks ago. It was nice to see him. When are you going to visit him?

Me: I’m not sure yet. Sometime this year.

Grandma: Yes, good. Well, we have a nice day here. It’s a blue sky.

Me: It’s nice here too, grandma. Blue sky and sunny.

Grandma: Where are you?

Me: I’m in Texas, Grandma.

Cue the Twilight Zone music. I have now entered the emerald loop with Grandma on the phone. The conversation went on like this for 15 minutes. Same questions over and over again. Thankfully with my Grandmother, she has a Master’s Degree in Special Education. This means she has a bit more language skills than a typical emerald. 

What I have noticed about my conversation with Grandma was that I continued to let the loop repeat. This might have been because I was a diamond in that moment. I was also trying to fold laundry at a laundromat while talking to her and rushing to get to an appointment. I have noticed the busier I get, the more diamond I get. There are days that I feel like the circus clown spinning ten plates, each on top of these skinny poles. I run from one to other to keep each one spinning so that none of them fall down. What happens when they all fall down? Is it failure? I have to be perfect right? Do you feel like you have to be perfect?

Ask yourself what is the opposite of perfect? Imperfection? To answer this question, I looked at a list of antonyms and found, unique!

So, my diamond moment and my grandmother’s emerald moment are unique. It’s the uniqueness that makes us special. Next time I find myself in an emerald loop I can bring up a fond memory of a unique time with my grandmother. “I remember when you took me to a Broadway show for my birthday.” We can share a new loop together in our unique way.


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