When I was a sophomore I was in love with a boy a year older than me, and he was a twin. We went out for a while, but then his stupid desire to like, “see the world” won over, and he was soon off to live in Brazil as a foreign exchange student.
I was all kinds of devastated, so I did the obvious thing and started dating his twin. His twin was not quite as cute, not quite as outgoing, but he had two things going for him: he had shared a womb with the boy I loved, and he was in love with me. Like, foolishly in love with me. I feel terrible about the whole affair now, really, but that is for another day.
So it was the first night we were going out on a real date. I was all done up and ready to go, and he was late. I kept walking up to the door and looking outside, expecting him to be there any minute. An hour later, and I was Pissy McFumerson. I called The Best Friend, and was like, “Woe, woe, woe, dire, dire, woe, what should I do?” and she suggested actually calling him to see where he was. This was before cell phones, so I called his house and got his answering machine and didn’t leave a message. For whatever reason, just hearing the stupid answering machine message made me more angry, so I called The Best Friend back and didn’t really even let her say hello before I launched into a tirade that was something like this:
“Who the HELL does he think he is? What the FUCK is he doing? HE IS TWO HOURS LATE RIGHT NOW. What a DICK. I should have have known he would be like this, he probably knows deep down inside that it’s his brother that I love and he is doing this to get back at me. Well! WELL! He is stupid! And UGLY. And I hate his ASS FACE. And I’m pretty sure I caught of whiff of bad breath when he asked me out. SICK. Like, brush your teeth LOSER!”
Then there was a really long BEEEEEEEP.
“Do you have another call?” I asked The Best Friend.
“No, do you?”
“That sounded like . . . ”
“I think it was the . . . ”
“DON’T SAY IT!”
“Dude. That was the fucking answering machine beep.”
See, it was back in the day of three-party calls. Remember those? When you called Friend A and then “hung up” and called Friend B and “hung up” and then you were all magically connected?
I had basically hung up when the answering machine picked up and in my huff, called The Best Friend, therefore connecting us and recording my entire sixteen year old bitchy teenager rant.
Oh. My. God.
There was nothing I could do. I mean, it was on his parents answering machine. I didn’t even know where he was.
So about five minutes later, he pulls up. His hair is disheveled, he face and hands are dirty, he has no jacket on, and he is apologizing profusely. He got a flat tire in the middle of nowhere and had never changed a tire before and had to do it in the dark.
Just when I thought I couldn’t be a bigger asshole, right? I mean, the least he could have been doing was a bunch of hookers and some blow or something, so that my angst had some justification.
So I’m like, “Oh, your poor thing! It’s ok, come in, get a glass of water*, and hey! Why don’t you call and erase your messages because I had a private conversation on your answering machine by accident, and it was PRIVATE, and I don’t want you to hear the things I said, so can you just be nice boy and erase it? Or punch in your code and let me erase it?”
He agreed to do it, and I was so happy. I was just breathlessly waiting for him while he called his answering machine and then his mom answered. I could only hear his end of the conversation which was, “What? Really?”
So yeah, his parents heard the message. They played it a lot. I was totally the butt of the joke. He still wanted to date me (yikes!) but the twin, the one I loved, was not so enamored. What was the point anyway? I wouldn’t have ever been able to show my face in front of those people.
*As I tell this story I don’t know where my parents or his parents were. I mean, my parents were never gone, and this story all plays out like a Gossip Girl sequence or something, wherein there are no adults and we are pouring ourselves a drink of brandy from the crystal decanter on the sidebar. I assure you, my parents were lurking around somewhere. HANGING THEIR HEADS IN SHAME, no doubt.