Before my first cell phone, a college graduation present, I had at most three telephone numbers. My private line in college had voicemail where I would record silly greeting each time trying to outdo myself. The succinct and efficient, “hello….No she’s is not here can I take a message” would catch veteran callers like my parents.
The second number was for my parents’ houses. My father did not have an answering machine and despite his desire for detailed and delivered messages he did not reciprocate. He might scribble something resembling a message that would lay by the phone for days without acknowledging the recipient. That left my mom’s house complete with an answering machine and a favorable chance of me receiving information of an actual call. As a result, family members could destroy more relationship attempts unconsciously than if they had attempted to an actual sabotage.
Unlike today when we can track contacts over Facebook, Linkedin, email and text, I would entertain the idea that someone did indeed could not figure out how to contact me. Nobody had warned me that he was just not into me.
The benefit of the anonymity meant that it was easier to give false numbers that would not be immediately verified. I’m sure the equivalent exists now, but as married mom I am not familiar with such brush-offs.
Through poor handwriting, I had discovered that my phone number resembled that of a local hotline. Dial my number except replace a scrawny “7” a “1” and reach Eddie, or Brenda at the Hamptons Transsexual Hotline. Twenty years ago this was even more taboo making adults and college kids snicker with amusement and so my sister and I discovered our false number.