If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck… Then it’s probably a duck. (Where Duck = Voicemail)

Today I checked the voicemail on my land line. This hardly seems blog-worthy, except that it was the first time I’d checked the messages on my land line, ever. And by ever I mean, never before. As in Comcast connected our phone service a year ago and up to today I had not once, ever, checked the voicemail that apparently was part of our service package (who knew?).

Ever since we got the phone, I thought it was odd that in the display window of the phone, there was an icon of an envelope and it said “New Voicemail.” I assumed this was some sort of default setting. My goal was to pay as little as possible for the phone service. We already had an answering machine, so there was no need for bells and whistles, like voicemail. 

Also, there was this annoying tone instead of a dial tone. I’ve used voicemail systems before and it sounded just like the tone that indicates messages waiting. But we couldn’t possibly have messages waiting if we didn’t have voicemail, I told myself. I was sure it was some kind of glitch. A very annoying glitch, but nothing with which to concern myself.

Then there was the pesky issue of people telling me they’d left me messages I’d never received. I could only assume these people were full of crap or that they had left messages on my cel and somehow Verizon wireless ate the messages before I could listen to them. Because Verizon wireless totally does that… right?

And all the people who were supposed to call me back, but according to me, never did? Luckily my gargantuan ego prevented my feelings from becoming hurt over these slights. Thankfully, all friendships have come through this voicemail problem intact, as my reactions to unreturned phone calls ranged from indifference/ingorance to mild surprise.

Finally I opened my eyes to the fact that all the signs pointing to a years’ worth of ignored voicemails were indeed adding up to the simple truth: There were actually a years’ worth of ignored voicemails on my phone. Once I called Comcast and cleared things up,  I had the pleasure of experiencing at least a dozen epiphanies, all within the time it takes to listen to dozens of new messages. It was almost worth it just for the joy of all the A-Ha moments, that just kept coming, one after another, fast and furious.

I learned that my BFF is something of a phone stalker because half the messages were from her, and yet I never felt neglected by her, not once, ever, as she had the good sense to leave messages on both my land line and my cel.

I discovered my optometrist wasn’t a lazy slob, like I’d thought. He had indeed called to say my glasses were ready this January. Same thing with my eye doctor’s office- it turned out they did call to say my contacts were ready for pick-up in February.

I found out six months too late that one of my girlfriends really couldn’t say when she could get together that week because her husband hadn’t gotten his work schedule yet. In February another girlfriend was just so happy that we’d had a healthy baby and was excited to stop by and see us. In July the girl who would later become one of our favorite babysitters called to say she was sad that she wouldn’t be able to do Fridays (good thing I persisted despite her supposed failure to return my call). Last month, our cleaning lady was sorry she’d accidentally broken a glass.

I guess the lesson here is just if it looks like voicemail and it acts like voicemail, it’s probably voicemail. And I suppose the other lesson is don’t hold a grudge when people don’t call you back. Not that I held a grudge, as I said, I barely noticed. I’m just saying I would have had a lot of explaining to do if I had been a grudge-holder in this case.

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