Honest to God, I just had THE MOST surreal experience of my life.
As I spend, literally, about 40 hours a week on the phone doing work crap and radio stuff, I decided to get a land line. Does anyone under 35 even know what one of those is? This is what the one on my mom’s nightstand used to look like:
So, I knew I had an old cordless phone system in a bag somewhere, so I dug around in the Closet from Hell and finally found it.
It is an answering machine/phone combo and when I plugged it in I saw I had 21 old messages.
Well, of course I had to listen to them! I hadn’t used that answering machine for almost 10 years and was dying of curiosity.
Wow…what a blast from the past that turned out to be.
The first few were from a guy I used to work with a million years ago that tried everything possible to get my knickers on the floor, to no avail. It didn’t matter how many times I told him to go fuck himself, he just would NOT get the hint. Just hearing his voice again made me want to go take a shower. Thank God I haven’t had to talk to him in over a decade. Ugh.
Then there was one from my oldest friend on earth, Brenda. We’ve known each other since we were toddlers and her message made me laugh and laugh. Apparently, I’d left her some hideously obscene and funny message on her answering machine and she was just getting home from the hospital and heard it. Her laughter at hearing my message warmed my heart. There is no greater thing in the world than making someone giggle. I’m going to save that message forever.
Next was a message from a dear old friend of mine–with whom I might have been naughty many, many years ago. Again, hearing his voice was wonderful. He’s the kind of guy that most of the time has a smile in his voice and it’s always such a blessing to be on the receiving end of that kind of warmth.
Then came the guy I met at the Phoenix Art Museum. Good grief. We’d exchanged a few calls, then he disappeared for a couple of weeks and by that time I’d forgotten he existed. Apparently, he didn’t care for me not returning his calls upon his return. It was so funny listening to his, “Sorry, I was out of town…love to hear back from you…” to “Remember me? I’m the great looking guy you met at…” Ugh. It was like listening to a used car salesman giving his best pitch. Total riot.
After that was the guy who I was really good friends with, but never “did anything” with. This is a quick story I’ve gotta tell. An old girlfriend of mine and I were at Alice Cooperstown in downtown Phoenix when we met these 2 totally hot guys. We sat together all night and had a blast. Then they walked us out to my car and, like always, the first thing I did when getting into the car was to put on some music. So, we shut the doors and I turned on the headlights and all of a sudden one of the guys appears in front of my car in the beams from the headlights and starts STRIPPING to the sexy music that was pumping from my car’s speakers.
HOLY SHIT! It was one of the single most sexy things I’ve ever seen in my life. My friend and I both just sat there, drooling down our chin and totally stunned. Who’d have thought that would happen? It was AMAZING and when the song was over he left and we didn’t even know what to do. We were both dumbfounded and quite randy. My friend didn’t even smoke and looked at me and said, “Lemme have one of those.” Ha! Now that made me laugh.
So, Mr. StripperPants and I hung out all the time and while said hanging out was occurring I had to be admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery. Totally not fun. While I was there he called one time and said to look out for flowers coming my way the next day in the hospital. They never arrived and neither did any more calls for about a week. WTF? He and I hung out about 5 times a week and now that I’m down for the count, no calls? Well, to me that’s not a friend. So when he did start calling back I ignored him. Never took one more call. All his messages were apologizing, making excuses, blah blah blah. I have no patience for that shit. And the thing is, I don’t give a rat’s ass about getting flowers. What bothered me was that if you say you are going to do something to someone who is literally holding hands with the Grim Reaper, then fuckin’ do it. It was the disappointment that hurt. Apparently he didn’t do well when other people weren’t perfect, healthy and available on his terms. Can we all say it together, “Fuck that!” I don’t and never did have time for fair-weather friends. (That may make me sound like a bitch, but the relationship was deeper than 3 paragraphs can describe and that kind of abandonment was not appreciated one bit. I forgive super easy, but I learn from my mistakes and I know when to run away from a bad, one-sided relationship.)
Next, were some random calls from guys whose voices I didn’t even recognize. That’s nuts to me because I rarely gave out my number to men. How on earth can I not recognize their voices? Totally weird as apparently I knew them well enough for them not to say their names on my machine. But the calls were sweet and reminded me of what it’s like to be single and how crazy navigating single men can be.
Lastly, was the ex-husband. I won’t go into detail on those messages because they are private and hurt my heart to hear. But they were right after the divorce and not easy to listen to. I hope with everything I have that he’s found love and joy in his life.
What a crazy 15 minutes listening to those old messages. I’m so glad they somehow still exist because they remind me that I’ve had one hell of a fun, crazy, exciting, maddening, loving, and lunacy-filled life.
They also remind me that I’m so very thankful to have wonderful friends and a spectacular husband. Even though some of those old days are dark and grim, I wouldn’t trade one of them because everything I’ve ever experienced has brought me to where I am today–and for that I couldn’t be more blessed.