Okay, so I swear this happened. I think that perhaps in the retelling I may have condensed some sentences but almost everything went as I’m relaying below.
My husband was travelling and I was in the shower. I had just put the boys to bed so I had a few moments to myself. Just as I put suds in my hair, the phone rang. Since it was after nine at night, I jumped from the shower to grab the phone before a child got out of their bed. After tripping over the dogs, dropping the towel and wiping soap suds out of my eyes I answered:
“Hello” I said, thinking to myself “if this is Steve he’s dead.”
“Hello”, came the voice from the other end, “Who this?”
“What do you mean”, I said, “Who’s this?”
“Um, this is Daryl. Do I know you?” he said.
“Well Daryl, as a quick reminder you called me. I suspect that is an answer you already know.” I returned.
“I’m sorry” Daryl stammered, “Look, I’ll…I’ll be honest with you. My fiancé found your number on our home phone and now she’s locked herself in the bedroom screaming and crying. She won’t speak to me ‘cause she doesn’t recognize your number.”
“A few trust issues Daryl?” feeling a little bad for the guy. “Why doesn’t she trust you Daryl?”
“Oh I don’t know”, he replied, “but she won’t even listen to me.”
“Daryl, do you want me to talk to her?” I offered. What the heck, I didn’t have anything else going on.
“I can’t even get her to open the door, so I’m just trying to figure out why this number is on my phone.” He replied.
“Daryl, I don’t know why this number is on your phone. Do you have children?” I asked.
“Yea,” he said, “We’ve got an 11 year old boy”.
“Well I have a few boys; maybe they’ve talked at some point.” I offered.
“Yeah-maybe that’s it.” “Honey” I heard him call, “they’ve got boys. That’s gotta be it.”
“Daryl…hey, Daryl”, I said into the phone.
“Yeah.” said Daryl.
“Um, maybe you guys should talk about the deeper issues here buddy. Getting married to somebody who feels this insecure may not bode well for your future happiness, you know?” I offered.
“Yeah, I don’t know why she don’t trust me.” Daryl said sadly.
“Well,” I said with a bit of sarcasm; “what if she was actually calling my husband and was using this as a cover for the numbers in the phone. I mean he’s still a pretty good looking guy”, I said a bit devilishly.
“Naw,” he protested, “that can’t be it.”
“Well Daryl” I continued “All a divorce would mean to me at this point is every other weekend off, so maybe you should think about things.”
“Alright” Daryl said.
“If you guys need to talk again, you’ve got my number.” I said. “I’ll be here”.
“Thanks” said Daryl.
“You’re welcome, Daryl. Good Night.”
As I hung up the phone I had a bit of a lift. Someone considered me fodder for an extramarital affair. Of course it was someone who’d never seen me; someone who’d never seen my post baby body, my soapy head, permanent wrinkles and graying hair. In a weird way that phone call was almost a compliment. “HA,” I thought, “sure hope they call again“.
Parenting Tip of the Day: If you want your children to have good phone manners, give them a script to say and then rehearse by calling your home number from your cell phone. Whatever you want them to say, have them practice over and over. Pretty soon they’ll say it even if there’s a recording on the other end. It takes a while, but they’ll get it.