A couple of weeks before I got married to Poor Kyle, I went to Canada for a little visit. You know, just to make sure that I really wanted to take the proverbial plunge.
While I was visiting, my husband-to-be took me to sign up for a cell phone on his account. [Some might call me a money-grubbing woman of the night. Others might say Poor Kyle was my sugar daddy. But the way I figured it, we were getting married in a few weeks, and I needed a Canadian cell phone number. It only made sense.]
Right away, I took the phone home and sat down with the manual, determined to figure out what all the buttons and cords and icons meant. I turned it on, and to my delight, realized that Poor Kyle had already left me a voicemail. (Little did I know that once we got married, his voicemails would almost immediately turn from “Hello, gorgeous—I know I just saw you five minutes ago but I just wanted to hear your voice,” to “Cuhmeal, where are you? I called twice already. Listen, I need you to bring me something for lunch—I forgot it again. Also, could you put my black hoodie in the wash today? I know you already did seven loads yesterday, but it’s my favourite hoodie. Oh. And I’ll be late for dinner—don’t wait up.” Oh, to be young again…)
Hardly being able to contain my joy at finding a new message, I pressed and held “1” to retrieve it, assuming that—along with every other cell phone I’d ever owned—voicemail was pre-programmed into the phone as speed dial #1.
It rang once, but instead of connecting me straight to the Voicemail Lady, it continued to ring a few more times. Suddenly, I heard a voice.
“Hello?” it greeted. He sounded about my age, and with a Canadian accent. He was no recording.
“Umm…hello? Is this…is this my voicemail?” I was dumbfounded. Surely it was a joke. Were Canadian voicemail systems set up with actual humans? “Is this guy sitting in a call center somewhere taking messages for me?” I wondered.
“Uhhh…pardon me?” came his equally perplexed–though very polite–reply.
Finally coming to my senses and realizing I must have simply dialed incorrectly, I apologized and hung up. I was so flustered, I didn’t even wait for him to say goodbye.
I checked my “Sent Calls” menu, and found that I’d just made a call to a number I didn’t recognize [and not just because I’d gotten a new phone number myself]. “How odd,” I thought, “I’d better try that again.”
Sure enough, the second time I tried to call my voicemail, I was met with the same human guy. Luckily, though, I [sort of] had the presence of mind to explain myself.
“I’m really sorry to keep bothering you,” I apologized. “I’m not an idiot. It’s just…I got this new cell phone today, and I’m trying to check my voicemails, but for some reason my phone thinks its phone number is you.” Even to myself, I sounded like a fool.
“Oh, sure,” he replied understandingly, as if that sort of thing happened all the time. [And as if I actually made sense.] “Well…I hope you get it figured out.” And then, in parting, “Talk to you later.”
Hanging up, I decided two things: One, that I had just made a new friend whose name I forgot to catch, and two, that Poor Kyle would know what to do. So I called him next.
“Hey, babe,” he answered.
“Hi. Hey, so a few minutes ago I saw I’d gotten a new voicemail, so I went to check it, but instead of the Voicemail Lady answering, it was a guy. And at first I thought he was my own personal assistant, but then I just realized my phone thinks its phone number is his, and now I have a new friend. He’s the guy whose number my phone stole, and we’re friends. What should I do?”
He didn’t believe me of course, until he saw it for himself later.
We still haven’t gotten the problem fixed, and it’s been a nuisance the entire time I’ve had this phone. I can’t text Google™, for one. Rather, I can text Google™, but Google™ thinks my cell phone is the other guy’s number, so Google™ replies to him. It took me nine months to figure out why Google™ never texts me back; I can only imagine how strange it’s been for my friend to receive random texts from Google™ these past nine months. Things like “Definition of onomatopoeia,” and “Linens ‘N Things. 1235 S. Arizona Ave. Mesa, AZ 85679 (602) 898-1234.”
Sometimes when I’m in a hurry and try to check my messages quickly, I forget my broken speed dial. When that happens, and my friend answers, I always chuckle. “Oh, hi. It’s me again—that girl whose phone is struggling with an identity crisis. Sorry to bother you.”
“Oh, no bother,” he assures, the smile in his voice transmitting itself over the telephone signal. “Talk to you later.”
I really like my nice friend–it’s almost like we’re pen pals, but without the pens. Maybe someday I’ll get to meet him.