Thursday, January 15

not the post I lost earlier today*

* The title refers to the fact that I wrote a completely different post earlier today but it's gone.  I started it offline and then, like a tool, I finished it online, pressed publish, and Blogger promptly ate it. And I'm sure it tasted great with that side of fava beans and nice chianti you freakin' cannibal of a platform.  So instead, I present you with a completely different post that bares no resemblance to the highly probable oscar winning screenplay of a post that is currently somewhere in the pits of hell known as the error log on Blogger.  This one has been screaming to get out for a few days, so I unleash it, raw and all crazy-like.  Blame Blogger if you don't like it.

Remember back before we all had a mobile phone implanted in our head and used the interwebz to communicate every single brain fart 24/7?  Now we twitter when we pass gas in hopes that it amuses the masses.  What... that's just me? Well that's embarrassing.

Anyhow, do you remember when a PDA was something that made you uncomfortable if it was overused in public by friends - or worse, by strangers on the bus?  These days a PDA just provides amusement or frustration.  Like when you see some wired idiot chick walk into a lamppost because she was all caught up in twitting that she just grabbed grande caffe latte from the rudest little punk ever, and she needs to share it with the world.  Because I never do anything like that anymore, I don't think my plastic surgeon could save me again.  Or worse - when you see a caregiver on the playground answering something on their device that is way more important than stopping little Johnny from thumping all the other kids on the head because he's so desperate for attention, he'll do anything to get it.

We are so instantaneous these days, I find it kind of funny remembering the excitement I could barely contain the Christmas Day I received an answering machine, one that used  a microcassette *ooh ahhh cool 80s technology*.  I could leave the house and not miss my calls! WE WERE GETTING SO CLOSE TO THE SPACE 1999 ERA,  I could feel it in my the seat of my acid washed jeans.

Not sure why I have to say this but for the record, I actually never owned anything acid washed.

We now live in an era where you if you want to be found, you can be which is something I'm very thankful didn't exist when I was in my twenties.  GPS back than was probably just a STD.

Anyhow, when I was scraping the recesses of my poor overtired brain, trying to remember the details of the apartment from the Truffle post, I for no particular reason, suddenly remembered a weird incident that was creepy and pathetic.  And it made me think about how it would have panned out in this day and age of rocket ships, robot vacuums, and tiny portable telephone machines.

So begins my next rambling story:

After surviving the aforementioned small demented historical group of Katie's roommates from hell, I moved into a place on my own.  I lived in that same tiny split level studio for many years and loved having my space - albeit teeny tiny - to myself.  Though during times of extra creepiness, like the story soon to follow, it would have been nice to have someone around.  Thank goodness for security buildings is all I can say.

At that time, I had a friend, who I will call Carver for no other reason than I like the name, and he was from a super large family.  Carver had over twenty siblings, and being one of the youngest, he often hung out with his nephews that were older than him or the same age.  The ones I met, lived in the same tiny town and they loved to visit their big city Uncle.  Some would come down for weekends to party and every so often, I'd join in on the fun.  Well evidently, one of his nephews, who I will call Blaine, took a shining to me and decided he was going to try and woo me.

So one weekend, he came down from his rural home to get him a mountain bride take a chance at me.  It happened to be the same weekend I had decided to go camping with some friends.  When we went camping, we did back country, involving lots of portaging and walking ridiculous distances to be rewarded with kick ass nature, both stunning and painful. Worth every damn bug bite.  So I was gone probably four days, and when I returned I was pleased to see the blinking message light. Then I realized I had fourteen messages. That couldn't be good.

I remember thinking "who is this?" when I listened to the first message, which went something like this:

"Hi... it's Blaine... I'm in town this weekend... I was wondering if you wanted to catch a movie this afternoon... I'll try calling you back in an hour..."

Then the next message:

"Hi, it's Blaine again. Remember me? I'm Carver's nephew and I thought maybe we could catch that movie. I'll try back in an hour...."

Then:

"Hey, it's me again, I'm just across from your place and thought I'd try while I was passing by... I'll try again in an hour..."

Then

 "I'm at the theatre, I bought two tickets so I'll just wait out front here, that way we don't need to wait in line"

Then:

"Hey there, I wonder where you are? I wish you'd answer..."

Then:
"Look, I've called a bunch of times, why aren't you answering your phone? Where are you?"

This went for the rest of the messages, he was sounding pretty ticked, and way more than a little stalkerish.  Basically these calls spanned more than a twelve hour period.  Which is pretty damn wacky doodle.  And totally qualifiies as creepy in my books.  Plus, how the hell did he know where I lived?

I remember being stunned and totally freaked out.  Like someone was watching me and ohmyholyfing I need a knife.  Calling Carver was the next thing I did. He didn't even know his nephew was in town that weekend and he was super apologetic when I calmly told him what I had just listened to.  I specifically remember I couldn't believe how calm I was, because I also felt like screaming at him and letting all my terrified anger out on him.  But instead, despite feeling stunned, I calmly - in an almost threatening tone - told him that if I ever heard from Blaine ever again, in any way - ever - period - I would do something about it.

What exactly I would do, I had no idea, but I was really into Sam Peckinpah movies at that time.  My imagination probably ran wild.

And of course I know I shouldn't joke, but that is how I deal with things. And I'd be lying if I said this was the only time this happened to me, or was even the most threatening.   Regardless, I was completely creeped out and really pissed off. Pissed off because when crap like this happens, it's threatening - there's always that "what if I end up the story of the week on Dateline?"  Pissed off because "How freakin' dare he go all creep on my answering machine?"  Pissed off because how dare he make me think twice before answering the phone (because Hello, call display was still a rare feature on phones back in the olden days).

I was tempted to change my number after that but somehow I was pretty sure he'd never call again.  And I was right, he never did call again as far as I know.

But when I thought of this story recently, I wondered how that would have panned out in present day.  You know if I was twenty something now, I would have had a cell phone glued to my ear, and that makes me wonder if he would have been able to be all creepy to me more.  Somedays I hate being so accessible and in truth, I rarely turn on my phone.  In fact, I have no idea where my phone is right now.  And honestly, somedays I wonder if it was incidents like this, that made me hate the phone so much.

I dunno, this was a ramble down memory lane that made me wonder... anyone else have a similiar story?  Lots of freaks out there.  And for once, I'm not talking about me (or you).

27 comments:

bejewell said...

You had a MICROCASSETTE?

Lucky.

Michelle said...

LOL! Yep, I had one of those too. (The machine, not the stalker... oh wait... I did have one for a bit...)
I'm sorry about the other post, but I have to say, I love this one. (Oh, and my H was drooling over the Space 1999 reference -- specifically the "Eagle Transport" whatever the hell that is... actually, he just said I'll find out what it is soon... now I'm skeered.)

Haley-O said...

You never had anything acid-washed? Wow.... I, unfortunately, did. The jacket, the jeans..... Wonder if they'll ever come back in style again.... Kind of like wondering how your sitch would pan out nowadays. totally different.

I used to love going up and down the stairs in my university library. I'd always think how awesome it was that, at that very moment, NOBODY knew where I was....

Anonymous said...

I think in todays world he would have reached you with the first call,you would have said you were unavailable and it might have just ended there.Yes? No? Maybe?

K said...

Wow.

I once got like 12 emails from a guy in college when my email service went down for 2 days, but that's as creepy as it got.

Definitely wierd.

Jana said...

I have tried to convince the Mr. to let me buy us a house phone (we need one for the fax--how's that for 80s technology) withOUT an answering machine. I HATE listening to people talk to my empty house. I like caller ID, because I know who's tried to call, but holy eff do I hate the answering machine.

I remember the first week that I had caller ID. I could see that the cool guy from the club had indeed tried to call. And I called him back. And thus began a 6-year dead-end relationship straight from hell. Ah, technology.

kgirl said...

I have always, always hated the phone, and don't even bother checking caller ID before deciding that I am not picking up.
You should call my house just to hear the message - it'll make you laugh.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

*sitting on the floor in front of your rocking chair, elbows on knees, hands on cheeks*

Tell me another story? Please, pretty please?

Tell me the story of how you got through the 80s without buying anything acid washed.

TwoBusy said...

I'm sorry -- I hit the "over twenty siblings" part and my head exploded.

Super Careo said...

I have had the creepy calls like that, but the situation was a little different because he was calling me to find out where his girlfriend was and when I told him didn't know where she was made vague threats to try and get the information he thought I had out of me. Needless to say, I never answered my phone when he called after that.

And being a 20 something with a cell phone, I have developed a love/hate relationship with being so accessible. There are somedays that I make the decision not to turn on my ringer just because I don't want to be bothered, or I will purposefully leave it in another room so that I can focus on more important things ... like spending time with the people who are in the room with me.

Mary G said...

All those calls and it never occurred to the rockhead that you *just weren't there*. Good thing you went hiking that weekend.
When I was at university there was one phone per floor in my dorm. We took turns sitting with it in the common room and if someone got a call the on duty person hiked down the hall and summoned her to the phone.
And yeah, crinolines had just gone out of fashion, since you ask. Acid washed jeans? Out of the far, far future.
I'm with Chicky -- I loved this.

Tracey said...

And you let him get AWAY? Sounds like he really cared. You know? :)

I once came home to find a guy I had been dating parked outside my parents house. At 1 am. And he wanted to know where I had been... I freaked the frack out and practically ran inside. He later apologized and I told him it didn't matter WHAT he said: what he had done scared me and I wasn't about to be with someone who scared me.

So glad I had balls back then...

Kyla said...

Other than my creepy grocery store run in, I haven't had any other creeps. One was more than enough, though, let me tell you.

Reeky said...

Sounded oh so creepy, especially the part about buying two tickets and waiting in the lobby. As if there was never any doubt that you would drop what you were doing and run off with him.

I agree with Anonymous, today you would have answered your cell and told him you were A)away and B)booked forever (which = a F-off)


funny thing about cellphones. people are so addicted they feel compelled to answer where ever they are. I exercise my right not to answer and let it go to voicemail. It's only a phone.

Space 1999, watched it big time. Born 62.

Mandy said...

Ahh... I loved the microcassette, especially when it got caught in the machine and you had to carefully wind it back in so you could hear the precious messages.

Sigh.

I'm frickin' old.

Baby in the City said...

The first apartment I had I shared with my best friend and this guy would call us and leave dirty messages. We NEVER picked up our phone but would have to listen to him leave the messages if we were home. Once he said "Oh, I see you just turned on a light", which we had, going into the kitchen. That freaked us. A few calls later, he told us our apartment number, so he'd been in the building. I was 18 just, and it freaked me out - both of us. One night my roomie's boyfriend and my future husband were over and they both recognized the guy's voice (they all worked together). The caller was a day labourer and they put the screws to him. He never called again.

Heather said...

I remember thinking I was so VERY grown up when I got my first answering machine. Those little cassettes were totally awesome and high tech.

What's the next story about? Flashback Friday!

April said...

i had a caller who would call and hang up, sometimes breathing into the phone first, for two years in college. it was super creepy. i called the cops a few times and they said there was nothing they could do about it. in retrospect i know they were EFFING LYING, but i was young and naive. i can remember laying in bed wondering if i should unplug my phone so it wouldn't ring and then never actually doing it, just in case he came to kill me and i needed to dial 911. the phone calls eventually stopped and to this day i have no idea who it was.

on a side note, in florida if you're on welfare you can get a free cellphone. that pisses me off to no end. there's a commercial that runs like every 20 minutes during the day about it and in closing there's a gal saying 'now i can call my friends and family any time!'. are you kidding me???? ugh.

sorry if that was offensive.

ok, i'm not sorry, but i do hope it wasn't offensive.

for a different kind of girl said...

I had one of those answering machines with the microcassette, and here's how romantic my heart is - I kept the cassette my former boyfriend would leave messages on after I got rid of the answering machine (well, and the boyfriend for that matter, too), and I kept it for a long time before I thought "Um, duh! I don't have any way to play this, and if I did, do I want to hear him asking me where I am all the time?"

Because he would. Ask me that. And if I wasn't there, he'd call my mom's house looking for me. Even in the middle of the night, which thrilled my mom, as you can imagine, even though you don't know my mom.

Can I stalk you? It would just consist of me saying "Hey," and then giggling a lot. :)

Stimey said...

I can only imagine how you must have felt listening to message after message.

I also don't care for the assumption now that you can be gotten in touch with at any moment. Aren't we allowed any peace?

(Say I, as I comment on your blog from my computer with two different email accounts and a tweetdeck open.)

Mac and Cheese said...

You're so lucky. No one ever left me any messages. I always had to face the non-blinking light on my machine. Sigh.

mamatulip said...

I hardly ever use my phone. I don't know the number and I always look like a moron when someone asks me for it.

You never wore acid wash at all? Damn. I'm impressed.

fidget said...

my stalker freak whacked off in my bathroom using my pretty body lotion. he also used to stare at me while I worked teaching tots gymnastics.. i quit that job over him. He'd stand on my door step for hours and when I disappeared (eg quit job and moved) he hounded my roommate. Dont ask me why we never called the police... i was stupid 20 yr old idiot is the only reason I can come up with

kittenpie said...

creepy. And no, I don't tend to attract weirdos except at work. Plus, I pretty much exist as the most luddite blogger ever. I barely use my land line.

the weirdgirl said...

I used to walk everywhere because I was putting myself through college and I couldn't afford a car AND college so... I walked everywhere. At one point me and the now-hubs lived in this one apartment and it was busy season for him (taxes) so he was working a lot of late nights. For about 2-3 months during this one busy season I kept getting hang-up phone calls. Several a night, ONLY when my hubs wasn't there. And yeah, it did freak me out because SOMEONE was keeping track of our schedules and I was walking by myself to and from work most days, too. But like you, I was calmly scared. I told my downstairs neighbor who was a cop, and then I put this martial arts stick right next to the front door so I could pound anyone who tried to do more than phone call me.

However, Fidget's story REALLY makes me feel a little ill!

motherbumper said...

fidget - OH MY HOLY HECK that sounds like it was horrible. It really pisses me off that you quit your cool sounding job over him plus all the other stuff.

weirdgirl - that is totally creepy and I'm glad it never went further than the phone calls. The fact that someone would go out of their way to figure out both your schedules is scary.

Mimi said...

One morning in high school I woke up of a Saturday and Mom told me some boy had left a letter for me in the mailbox: 7 pages, handwritten, from some guy I had a the most *passing* acquaintance with. Declaration of love and all that, and also he had changed all his classes to be near to me. Ew!