I’m sorry. Because by the time I listen to your message I’ll either already know it, have gone to the funeral, it won’t matter anymore, the election will have passed, you’ll contact me another way, or you’ll forget about it.

I know I’ve already listened to a few of these 13 messages. They were appointment reminders I kept in case I forgot the day/time.

Then there was a “how come you never call me” message from my friend in TX. (Because you’ll just give me sh** about never calling you!!) And one is a “note to self” about something I didn’t want to forget to write about (the dog maybe? I forget).

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I just never listen to my messages. And it’s gotten worse since I got rid of caller id a couple of years ago—at least then I could see who had called.

Don’t ask me why having the caller id could possibly make a difference, but clearly it did. Or I’d never have 13 messages on my machine now.

To be fair, I never answer the phone either (even when I had caller id). In fact, it rang the other day and because I’d accidentally changed the ringer (3 months ago, to an organ-grinder-like version of “be it ever so humble, there’s nooo place like home”), I yelled to my sister that her cell phone was ringing. 

I guess not recognizing it isn’t so surprising: the machine pick up after 2 rings, almost everyone I know uses my other #,  and I can’t hear the ringer unless I’m in the kitchen.

That and I only give out my home # if I think it’ll be used by fundraisers or an online vendor that wants it “just in case” they “have a question about my order.” So chances are good that if you call my home # I won’t want to talk to you anyway. (Except some relatives who probably don’t have my other number.)

If it’s not obvious by now, I hate talking on the phone. If you call me and I hear it and I can answer it, I will. And it will probably be a brief conversation.

Leave me a message though, and all bets are off. It just becomes another “thing to do.” I don’t mean that rudely, but sometimes I am just overwhelmed by “things to do” and then every little thing seems like it’s too much.

And it’s not like I hate people and avoid all human contact. But sometimes I just am bombarded by talk and noise. Like right now: The a/c is running (has always been offensively loud), the dog is playing with her toy (ramming into corners and ‘throwing’ it so she can get the food out), tv is on low in the background, and the cat is whining about nothing. And now the dryer just buzzed at me.

So even if I did hear the phone ring (HA!) why would I pick it up? So I can fight the noise in my own house to hear you talk? Nope. So I just let the machine get it, and remain blissfully unaware of everything except the chaos of my immediate environment…

The only down side about this approach is that sometimes I get burned and a circuit will break or the power will go out. And then I lose my messages and will never know who called and yet will obsessively wonder who called.

That’s only burned me a couple of times though, so I’m sticking to my approach. If you don’t like it you can call my home phone #. And leave a message.

PS to LS: Yours was one I did listen to and I’ll be in touch soon. xx