Phone Tag

Somebody’s been calling me every day from the same number once a day for the past 18 days without leaving a voicemail. I never pick up. Usually, I just look down at my phone and see a missed call. However, there are some days where I see it ringing and I summarily ignore it. As with most things I find peculiar, it’s made me think a lot about how I feel about phones and other things.

I feel like there’s a growing anxiety towards the phone. Most people hate voicemails, and I too am uncomfortable when ANYBODY leaves a voicemail because I assume it’s bad news or somebody asking me to call them back because they want to tell me the bad news in real time. Why do I think that? It’s actually never ever happened to me. Do other people feel that way?

From what I’ve gathered, an almost equally large group of people don’t want phone calls at all and would rather just get a text. I somewhat understand that, as texts provide immediate information that phone calls and voicemails do not and give the receiver control over whether or not he or she responds, but I like phone calls! I spent my entire high school talking on the phone. When I was in high school, asking people out on AOL was a huge faux pas because it “wasn’t real” and I for some reason have not shed that idea.

Which brings me to my next point - whenever I believe there’s a chorus of people who feel anxiety about the same thing, I want to go in the opposite direction. It’s like - so many people hate voicemails that I kinda want voicemails. So many people hate talking on the phone that I want people to call me. “Dude just text me.” Oh ok then fuck texting.

So I think about all these things every time this phone number calls me. In my head it’s one of two people: a robocalling service that calls numbers until they pick up, or a person who is tied up and who has been hitting dial on a cell phone when her kidnapper takes his or her daily afternoon nap.

But today I just decided to block the number. I just felt like, no matter who was calling, if I picked up after 18 tries, they won and I lost. I really did feel that way and it’s embarrassing to admit that.

But this is the internet and this ain’t real.