A couple of years ago, I needed to call my little brother, Scott, on the phone.
I can't remember the reason, I wish I did, because it might shed some light on why I said what I did in the message. I can remember distinctly what I said, because of what happened when I figured out that I had dialed a wrong number.
Anyway, I dialed the number that I had pulled out of my mental Rolodex (big mistake). I got a generic answering machine message (which I think should be outlawed, by the way) so I left my message.
The message went something like this:
"Scott, this is Holly. I need to talk to you. I forgot to ask you something when I saw you last week and I need to talk to you soon because Todd (one of my other brothers) is being a jerk. Give me a call back soon. Thanks."
Now this message by itself wouldn't be that bad, except for the calling my other brother a jerk part, which I really, honestly don't do very often, and only for very good reasons. I really do wish I could remember what was going on at the time and why I said that.
Okay, so here's the rest of the story.
After I hung up the phone, something didn't seem right. Then I remembered that Scott's answering machine always had his daughter talking on it and it was always the same message, even after the power had been out. I must have mis-dialed, though I knew that I knew the number that I had called.
We have the kind of phone book where you can look up a number to see who it belongs to. So I looked it up.
I had just called my old high school boyfriend's parents.
Did they have caller i.d.?
Who doesn't these days?
Do they know my married name?
Probably not, but maybe. They had been invited to my wedding and had met my husband so they would have known my last name at one point.
Ok, well that shouldn't be too big of a deal.
Then I started thinking about the message I had left.
Let me just put it here again for reference:
"Scott, this is Holly. I need to talk to you. I forgot to ask you something when I saw you last week and I need to talk to you soon because Todd is being a jerk. Give me a call back soon. Thanks."
Sound innocent enough? Well let me fill you in on a couple of minor details.
My old boyfriend's name: Scott. I was his girlfriend for about three years, all through high school. When his parents hear the name Holly, it's probably me they would think of.
Name of his best friend: Todd. (Todd hated me and was very mean to me in high school because I spent so much time with Scott. Todd was very close to Scott's family. Their families even shared a cabin at Bear Lake, so Scott's parents would naturally think of him when I said the name Todd.)
Can you see where this might be a problem?
Let's just look at this one more time in the context that Scott's parents might take it in:
"Scott (their son), this is Holly (old girlfriend from 25 years ago). I need to talk to you. I forgot to ask you something when I saw you last week (why would we see each other last week?) and I need to talk to you soon because Todd (Scott's best friend) is being a jerk. Give me a call back soon. Thanks."
I wanted to cry! How do I get myself into situations like this when I'm just minding my own business?
Well, I guess that didn't matter right then, what did matter was how I was going to get myself out of the situation.
Here's what I did:
I called the number back and left another message that went something like this:
"Hi, this is Holly. I think I accidentally left a message on your machine by mistake. I was trying to call my brother and I think I must have mis-dialed. Please disregard the previous message."
One thing I learned from this whole episode is not to call anybody a jerk on an answering machine, even if they deserve it.
The other thing I learned is to always look up Scott's (my brother) number before I call him. I'm rather paranoid about that part.
I don't want to have a repeat performance of what happened the first time. (Seriously, am I the only person things like this happen to?)