Declaring bankrupcy

At first I was pretty good about staying on top of things.

Then they just kept coming, faster than I could keep up.

Then came the shameful day when I decided to ignore them entirely. Ignorance is bliss, right?

There was no going back after that. Did they stop? No. The debts kept piling up while my head was planted firmly in the sand.

But now I owe too much! It's hopeless!

Today I declare phone message bankruptcy and wipe the board clean. I hereby absolve myself of any owed messages on my voicemail but, in exchange for the clean slate, I promise to return calls from now on. Ahhhhh....It feels so liberating to come out from under the weight of owed phone calls and ignored callers. Free at last! The shackles have fallen from my...wherever shackles are placed!
I really must apologize to any of you who ever left a message on our answering machine in the last nine months or so. It's very misleading, that message that says "...we'll call you back as soon as we can." Not entirely true. I should have said "...we'll call you back if we ever listen to this message. But it's highly unlikely. Frankly the chances are zero."

It's not you, callers, it's me.

First, I'm not a big phone talker. Love to chat in person, I'll even join in on a good text conversation, but I'm not so great on the phone. I can't hang up fast enough. [I can't count how many times I've told G "...okay...yeah...well, let's talk about this tonight when you get home."]

So when we moved into this house last summer, I noticed that the message indicator on the phone didn't work anymore. I used to come in, glance at the phone, dial in to voicemail and listen. But with no indicator, I could go days without listening to messages and then when I finally checked there would be an insane number: "You have...1498 messages." If you think I proceeded to listen to each and every message, you are sadly wrong. Better people would have done that. Me? I just hung up.

At some point, somebody told one of the kids that our voicemail was full. I was so happy! Now when people called, they wouldn't be able to leave a message and would call back instead. People wouldn't be roaming the country believing that I was spitefully ignoring them! [Quite often I would tell people our phone message system was "broken" and to use my cell phone if they needed to reach me but unfortunately I'm sure there are some people who thought I was giving them the cold shoulder. My shoulders are warm, I promise!]

You might ask why didn't I just cancel our voicemail system? That's a good point. Well, that would involve making a phone call to the phone company, wouldn't it? And, even worse, waiting on the phone for hours! So on and on it went.


We bought a new phone this last weekend with a built-in answering machine, an old-school solution of listening to the taped messages out loud. It works! It really really works. I listen while I put away the groceries or putter around the kitchen and it's almost like the caller's right there in the room. Sometimes I even talk back. But--so far, fingers crossed, wood knocking--I've returned every single one.

And that's why I had a chocolate banana shake for lunch today. It was Phone Message Bankruptcy celebration day. Feel free to raise a glass in my direction today and join me!