He was a striking middle-aged man well versed in exotic foods, international affairs, and opera, and I was a young twenty-something just starting out. Roger swept me off my feet and before I knew it, I was doing things I never imagined myself doing: taking trips to Napa, attending swanky galas, and checking my voicemail regularly.
The first time Roger brought up voicemail, I was nervous. I’d never checked a voicemail in my entire life, and neither did anyone I knew. Roger calmly explained it would take no more than 20 seconds, and was part of phone communication etiquette. Hearing him talk about voicemails was so exotic! Finally I felt ready to delve into the unknown and check the hundreds of messages that I used to be so afraid to acknowledge.
Truth be told, I didn’t remember how to check my voicemail but apparently you use the numbers just like you do during a phone call: I just had to press “1” then “3” then “4”, then “7” and then my password, which was still 1234 from a default setting. It turns out I had about 115 voicemails from various job recruiters, parents, grandparents and Uber drivers. I deleted all of them. It was scary at first, but then I felt so free!
Soon I became obsessed with leaving voicemails… and listening to them, too! It was a vacation from my busy life to cozy up in coffee shop, put my phone to my ear, and hear Roger saying, “Hello, it’s Roger. It’s 4:30 PM on Saturday. I wanted to ask you a quick question so call me back when you get a moment.”
My friends think it’s strange that I love voicemails. “Leave me a message with the address of the happy hour bar,” I’ll tell them and they don’t get it. “If I text it, you can just paste it right into a maps app and see where you’re going,” they say. They’re so uncultured. Hearing someone say absolutely nothing while just asking you to call them back is something they’ll never experience with their immature millennial boyfriends.
Before Roger, I was just a twenty-something with voicemail notifications and no way to respond to them. Now I am a twenty-something who crouches on a street corner plugging one ear so she can hear a voicemail clearly. Even though Roger will eventually dump me for a younger Russian model, I’ll always be grateful for introducing to my new favorite cell phone feature: the voicemail.