Your phone was really broken/I tried your number twice, if you need confirmation

Don't worry, it's on silent. Yes, yes, I know, as usual.
Don’t worry, it’s on silent. Yes, yes, I know, as usual, originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

This afternoon, I checked for new voicemessages on my phone, and afterward stayed on the line long enough to hear the robotic lady intone, “…and you have twenty-four saved messages…”

Twenty-FOUR? Holy freakin’ smoley, I didn’t even know my phone was capable of holding that many. It never has before, that’s for sure. My phone has a propensity to kill off saved voicemessages for no good reason, so I thought perhaps ten or so was the limit. Twenty-four? Dang.

Then again, friends laugh at my tendency to hit “Ignore” on incoming calls and blithely continue whatever I’m doing at the moment, so I shouldn’t be surprised that whenever I get around to checking messages, I end up saving a lot of the fun ones. If I actually answered my phone more often (what a concept!), I admittedly could be hearing all about these stories directly from the people who relay them. But that’s not as fun as saving the messages and then replaying them over and over, you see?

Never mind. Clearly I just have issues.

This phone business is especially amusing in light of karrvakarela’s latest post [scroll down a bit to get to the part about voicemail, but, really, you should read his entire post, I insist]. He writes:

So now I am forced to leave messages. “Hello, this is me. Please call me back when you’re free.” Quick and clean. The old puritan instinct for stoicism. My friends however seem to find this inadequate. They don’t say so but I can hear it in their trippy little messages. It’s as if they were friends with the machine itself. Crazy people. How can you talk into a machine with such frivolous abandon?

Personally, I love leaving messages. I can talk to your voicemail for minutes on end, which is another thing my friends laugh about. Discounting the people whom I actually enjoy calling [and if I’ve ever called you of my own volition, consider yourself part of this category], I’d rather talk to a machine than to a real person over the phone anyday – and, yes, I’ll admit that I breathe a sigh of relief when I call someone and the ringing eventually turns to a voicemail greeting that encourages me to please leave a message after the beep.

[My voicemail greeting, by the way, if you were to ever call me, is a terse, This is Yasmine. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you. I had recorded it over a year ago, back when I had the flu and could barely croak out the words; then I never got around to changing it, I think. I’m sure it sounds horrible. Anjum once accused me of not having a suitably rockstarish-sounding greeting. What can I do?]

Really, I’m not as anti-social as this makes me seem. Selectively social, more like. If I don’t recognize your number, I deliberately won’t answer the phone. Sometimes, I’m busy for valid reasons or already engaged in a real-life conversation that I don’t want to interrupt, and thus choose not to answer. Sometimes, I’m in my car and I’d rather finish listening to this rocking song, so why don’t you just leave a message so I can call you back…eventually? Sometimes, you’re my parents, and you choose a bad time to call and check up on me about what I’m doing. Sometimes, I’m eating, and what makes you think you’re so special that you’re more important than cranberry juice or my piping hot french fries? Sometimes, I’m lazy and can’t be bothered to talk. And, sometimes, you’re just annoying and I don’t want to talk to you because you’re all about drama, and I happen to love my gorgeously drama-free life, so tell it to my voicemail, dammit. Sometimes, it’s always a bad time.

So, yeah, I had twenty-four saved messages on my phone, kids. I went through and deleted most of them just now, either because I had called the person back and thus it wasn’t important to save whatever information was in his/her message, or because I really don’t know why I had saved that message in the first place. But there are some fun ones in there:

1. My buddy S, in his best stalker impression: “Yasmiiiiiiiiiiine. What you doiiiiiiiiiin’? Where you goiiiiiiiiiin’? How’s the weather like?”

2. The incomparable HijabMan: “If you don’t hear from me in two days, call someone.”

3. Singing from HijabMan. Then: “Wake your ass up!”

4. My creative brother, whose mohawk is back, by the way: [Regarding an impending visit from the psycho soap opera relatives.] “…And don’t forget: Don’t take any shit from anybody!”

5. Somayya, calling me for the second time on the day of my birthday because she was struck by an epiphany and laughing so hard she could barely speak: “Yaz?” [laughter] “Do you know how old you are?” [laughter] “You’re five years away from THIRTY!” [More gasping laughter] I played this voicemessage on repeat about twelve times when I first heard it, it’s that funny.

6. My buddy J, finalizing plans for a Friday hanging-out session in Oakland/Berkeley: “Assalamu alaikum [peace be with you], sister Yasmine!” (He’s not Muslim, by the way.) “This is J, just checking to make sure we’re still on for that Friday at the end of March!”

7. My high school friend SP: “Yaz, this time I’m giving you a whole week, so you have no excuse now. We all have to get together and do something fun. I don’t know what. We can go out for cheap Mexican food. Or something else, I don’t know. Cheap movies. Matinee.” [laughter] “The word cheap, Yaz. I don’t have a lot of money!”

8. Crazy lady D: “I wanna swing! Growing up is no fun!”

9. Anjum, the East Coast rockstar whom I still need to call back: “I’m actually going to Phoenix this weekend, so if you happen to be going to the Grand Canyon, call me.” [I think I replayed this one a few times, too, because it made me laugh. I shoulda just gone to Arizona, dammit! Apparently they have hella nice weather. California, you’re letting me down. What is this drama?]

10. HijabMan making fun of my voicemail greeting. Also: “I thought of you when I was at IKEA.” Something about flying down the aisles in a roller cart? I think? Regardless, I’m so flattered that people automatically think of me when they get into adventures best suited for five-year-olds!

11. Crazy crackstar 2Scoops: “I’m in a very echo-y room. But I’m also not only in an echo-y room, I’m in an echo-y room in San Francisco!” [This was saved for the following reasons: 1) 2Scoops actually in NorCal?, 2) 2Scoops actually in NorCal and letting me know while he’s here? and, most importantly, 3) 2Scoops in NorCal, not with the non-sister-friendly brothers, and thus free to hang out? No vay! Who knows when any of that combination of events is ever going to happen again.]

12. And…current award for BEST VOICEMESSAGE EVER goes to my high school friend SP again: [Inviting me along to a party being thrown in San Francisco by a mutual acquaintance from our high school days, with my favorite part emphasized in bold] “…So let me know if you want to go together. That way, if the party sucks, we can take off and…get some ice cream or something.” [This is a hilariously direct reference to the skipping-out stunt I pulled at our pointless five-year high school reunion last December. But, still, I’ll probably refuse to go to this SF party anyway, because, contrary to popular opinion, I am not much of a party-goer (I know, really, what kinda rockstar am I?), and if I went, I’d just end up standing shyly, awkwardly in some corner. And also mainly because the party is being thrown by high school people, and hanging out with any (but, oh…three?) high school folks makes me feel especially shy and awkward and prone to standing alone in the corner. So we’ll skip that. Ahh, but damn, the ice cream… That alone might have been enough to redeem the entire experience… Sorry, SP.]

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