21 January 2009

"I was born a ramblin' man" --Allman Brothers



I used to get messages from one particular friend that would be stream of consciousness for five minutes, sometimes more. Each message would contain whatever she wanted to say to me but also whatever thought flew into her head, a verse of the song on the radio, even her telling her kid which drawer had the good scissors. It was bizarre. Although I am not that bad, I know I can be guilty of being a little rambly on my messages.

Conversations are like tennis games... there's back and forth. And when I call someone and get their voicemail, suddenly, it's a one-sided tennis game; I'm lobbing into empty space. There aren't those little cues to let you know, okay, what you said was good or it's okay to hang up now. There was a time when I would just hang up when the voicemail came on but, in the era of caller ID, it seems a little cheesy. So, I leave a message... a message I haven't thought through.

Them: Leave a message!

Me: Oh, hi...

Me: Um, I guess you're out...

Me: Or screening, haha...

Me: It's L.A. ...

Me: You said to call about getting together and doing something...

Me: So, here I am, calling...

Me: Remember, when we were at that place downtown like a month ago? You had that huge plate of wings? Well, not huge. Well, it was kinda huge. Not like you eat a lot. Just that they brought a lot.

Me: Um...

Me: Anyway, remember? You said something about getting together like mid-January?

Me: So, it's sorta mid-January... a little past mid-January, I guess... where does 'mid' technically stop?

Me: By the way, I really thought that sweater you were wearing was a great color for you...

Me: Really great. Like the perfect color...

Me: You know, on you. I can't wear that shade of brown. What would you call that? Like baked potato brown? Not that you looked like a baked potato. Just the sweater.

Me: The color, I mean.

Me: Um, so, I'm gonna go.

Me: You have my number right?

Me: I think you have my number.

Me: So, okay.

Me: Well, why don't I just give you my number just in case you lost it. Not that you would lose it. You're not careless. That came out wrong.

Me: Anyway, it's 703-555-1234.

Me: Um, forget that thing I said about baked potatoes. Not that there's anything wrong with potatoes. Let's face it, with a brown sweater, I could have come up with something far worse than potatoes to compare it to, right? Haha... I like potatoes. Everybody likes potatoes, right? Does anybody bake potatoes anymore? I mean, not in the microwave... I don't remember the last time I baked a potato in the regular oven.

Me: Okay, then...

Me: Um, bye.

26 comments:

AbbotOfUnreason said...

You do realize you left her the wrong number, right? You're gonna have to call back.

*Jac* said...

Lol, that sounds exactly like a message I would leave, except it would probably be about 10 pitches higher than that pitch only dogs can hear. I talk really high on the phone for some reason.. geez, now this comment is starting to sound like your phone message. Word vomit. Sorry, lol.

f.B said...

yeah. I'm horrible at this, too. but people tell me it's mildly entertaining so I haven't stopped. it's positive reinforcement. i.e., their fault.

Kristen said...

I bake potatoes all the time!

And I think I'll do it tonight too.

As long as there's sour cream, it's on baby.

LBluca77 said...

That is why I don't listen to my voice mails.

Kate said...

I would have deleted it after the um... hi... it's LA. I mean, that's all I really need to know, right?

Although I've saved and resaved a message from my friend Tiny for a whole year. Because he says on it like five times that I'm a miracle. Sometimes I need to hear that. Try throwing that in sometime.

fiona said...

Phones make me nervous, leaving voice mail is torture. I just start talking faster and faster as my accent gets thicker and thicker. Always get call backs though, always like this,
I knew it was you by the accent, but I have no f#$&ing clue what you said!

Liebchen said...

I actually hate when I'm all ready to leave a voicemail (because I know, for whatever reason, that the person won't answer) but then their message sound like they've picked up the phone! It gets me every time and totally throws me off. Gah.

Herb of DC said...

Try microwaving your potatoes and then put in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes so the skins will be crisp.

Sean said...

You can only leave these kind of messages for close friends, so it's fun to do once in a while. Can you imagine leaving this kind of message for a work call or to a business?

Lemmonex said...

My ex roomie would be like this with stories. She could NOT wrap them up. She was all over the place. Luckily we were close and I felt comfortable making a rotating arm signal and telling her to "bring it on home."

Shannon said...

I hate telephones - I tend to zone out within two minutes of the conversation. When it's a two-minute voicemail, I'm completely sunk.

Reya Mellicker said...

My sister and I call this "rambling message mode." Both of us love each other's rambling messages. We find it charming. Perhaps others wouldn't!

LiLu said...

I'm guilty of this as well. It's partly the reason I don't really "do" voicemail.

The other part is everyone ELSE who's guilty of it.

"Hi, this is-" DELETE. Call back.

Works for me.

restaurant refugee said...

My mother does this, not that I am comparing you to my mother. Many years ago (during my "I am a big shot IT guy who doesn't have time for long voice mails" phase)I made the mistake of telling her that I delete every message after 30 seconds. The look on her face was worse than when she learned I had returned her wedding present (same phase, and I know, I was a real arse.)

I mow listen to even the really long messages she leaves. I figure I owe for the whole pregnancy, labor, raising me thing.

rs27 said...

Usually when I leave a v/m it will be with the accent of a 74 year old Hispanic lady.

No one is any the wiser

Mike said...

How about your friends that sound like voice mail when they answer the phone? You start talking like your leaving a message and suddenly they go "are you alright"?

Matt said...

This must be a girl thing.

My messages are short and to the point.

Me: Dude. Poker. Five O'clock. Later.

lacochran said...

AbbotofUnreason: ARGH!!

*Jac*: Perhaps we need to form a support group.

f.B: So we've decided to find it charming?

Kristin: MMmmmm, sour cream.

LBluca77: I bow to your superior intellect.

Kate: I can see where you'd want to save that, yeah.

Fiona: At least you have plausible deniability.

Liebchen: Tricky bastards.

Herb of DC: I might just do that!

Sean: "You can only leave these kind of messages for close friends..." Clearly, you don't know me well.

Lemmonex: Really, those signals are a public service.

Shannon: If I zoned out, heaven knows if I'd ever end the call.

Reya Mellicker: At least it works for the two of you!

Lilu: Can you just not "do" voicemail? Where do I sign up for that?

Restaurant Refugee: Was it a duplicate item, at least? Like a third waffle iron?

Rs27: Your secret is safe with me.

Mike: This may or may not be an automated responder comment.

Matt: Must be nice.

Erin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin said...

I HATE long messages. In fact, I hate voicemail in general. At times I have protested against voicemail by passive aggressively not listening to my voicemail, but that has bitten me in the ass too. Turns out that some people get mad if you don't call them back. My mom even gets mad if I don't call her back even if she DOESN'T leave a message.

As a message leaver, my problem is that I try to talk quickly, then end up sounding young and nervous.

Maybe I should try more rambling...

Erin said...

Finally remembered to add you to my blogroll. Don't know what took me so long.

Love your show, babe. :)

lacochran said...

Erin: How kind! :)

emmajames said...

I actually love getting voicemails like this. It's one of the many reasons I never answer my phone.

And I'm guilty of leaving them too.

Scenic Wheaton said...

I highly recommend the use of a pre-written script. Also, make sure you are showered and nicely dressed before you dial, because people can usually tell by the tone of your voice that you're only wearing one sock and the wrinkled clothes you passed out in the night before.

lacochran said...

EmmaJames: A partner in crime.

Scenic Wheaton: Uh, oh. If that's true, I'm in a lot of trouble.