What's worse than receiving a threatening call from an angry, drunk stranger? When that angry drunk knows you by name.
Humor Life

Why Caller ID and Voicemail Made Me Paranoid

What's worse than receiving a threatening call from an angry, drunk stranger? When that angry drunk knows you by name.

By Laurie of A Square of Chocolate

Our household is still hanging indecisively to a land line phone connection. We use it for about 2 or 3 personal calls a month. Otherwise, it’s all incoming sales calls, political surveys, or requests to donate to some charity.

Also, I’m SURE you’ve had these random calls where you’ve supposedly won a “FREE” and awesome vacation. Of course, only after you’ve paid for the flight to get there first!

Umm…what? Then it’s not FREE, is it, Jacknut?!

Or somehow they’ve discovered “someone” in the household could be menopausal and would like that “someone” to participate in an unusual hormonal experiment. If that “someone” just happened to be me, then unfortunately, they could NOT guarantee I’d lose 20 lbs., stop sprouting chin hairs, lower my appetite or raise my tits. So buh-bye, quacks.

Have to say, though, it’s been years since I received a prank call. You remember the ones. Is your refrigerator running?  Do you have Prince Albert in the can?

One uneventful Friday, I received a message in my voicemail from a guy who was noticeably intoxicated and proceeded to leave the following slurred and irate message…

“If you don’t contact me, Laurie, within one hour, I never want to see your piece of shit again. I’m serious! And, if you do, there will be legal aspects.  So, fuck you, and guess what? I guarantee you won’t contact me in one hour…I guarantee it! Good day, assholes.”

Shockingly, this rant was clearly directed at me. So I saved the message. I had to know who this was! What did he have against me?

It couldn’t possibly be an old boyfriend. That’d be a long time to hold a grudge.

What did he mean by “legal aspects?”  Was I in legal trouble?

It didn’t sound like anyone I knew.  It wasn’t a relative, co-worker, or bag boy from the grocery store. I do usually request paper, not plastic. I don’t know, maybe I messed with the wrong bag boy. It could happen!

In any case, it upset me. Since we had caller ID, my husband was able to call the number back and, with any luck, get this guy’s story.

He denied ever calling us. He told my husband that he didn’t know him and that maybe it was his brother that called.

Ahhhh, the old it was “my other brother, Darryl” routine. (Old sitcom joke – his name wasn’t Darryl).

This stupid message was driving me crazy.  I had to know who and why me? The whole thing haunted me for weeks. I checked messages obsessively. I ran to every call to check caller ID.

Somebody had it out for me. I analyzed, with a skeptic eye, every slow moving car passing our house. I was constantly looking over my shoulder and dodging shadows.  I even found myself in the grocery checkout peering suspiciously at the damn bag boy!

What happened to me?  I became a paranoid, hormonal, maddened middle-aged woman.

Then it happened. My weeks of living like wanted prey were finally over.  The call I’d been waiting for was came. It was him…his name came up on caller ID.

Answering with an uncertain but firm “HELLO,” I was stunned that it was a woman on the other side. She asked for me by name.

In her kind and sweet voice, she introduced herself with MY name.  What in blazes was going on?

She went on to explain that her name was the exact same as mine. It was a case of mistaken identity. She had broken up with her boyfriend, and in a drunken angry stupor, “Darryl” had called me instead of her that night.

She must have changed her number to cut all ties with him, and thinking he was being clever, he looked up her name in the directory.  However, he had picked MY name and called ME by mistake.  Remember, the guy was pretty liquored up and, most likely, so cross-eyed he could probably see the front and back door at the same time.

Apparently these two love birds must have gotten back together and when discovering the mix-up, they decided to call to apologize for the nasty messages.  Holy turnaround!

My paranoia was simply all over mistaken identity.  So instantly, I was able to stop analyzing every look, stop panicking over every phone call, and stop scrutinizing the caller ID.

And that bag boy? Well, he’s clearly off my shit list.

PAPER please.


About Laurie

Laurie is a wife and mother and determined to uncover the second half of life with zest and zeal. She has a background in marketing and accounting for the last 25 years and recently discovered that one can’t live by adding machines and numbers alone. Therefore, she created an easy meal and humor written lifestyle blog. Visit Laurie’s blog, A Square of Chocolate, and join in for a smile at A Square of ChocolateTwitter, and Instagram.