How I Scared the Crap out of a Stranger

I am a complete jerk, and this is my new favorite story.

This past weekend one of my good friends got married, and her wedding was in Rochester, New York. A few months ago, one of our mutual friends, Brendan, returned home to our area and as such could come to the wedding, so we decided that he would join us for the 8-ish hour drive, then share a room with us to save money. Since Brendan had been living and studying abroad, his return home precipitated several changes in how he communicated, the relevant change being that he was getting a new phone with a new number.

I had mostly been communicating and planning with him via Facebook messenger, but I had also texted with him on his old number. In the meantime, I upgraded to Apple Music (which I have since turned off, because it was the worst), and in a bid to clear out extra space on my phone to make room for more music, had deleted old text message conversations.

The night before we were to leave, we had some last minute schedule adjustments to pick up another mutual friend, Lisa, whose flight had been cancelled. I messaged Brendan to see if he could meet us earlier but he wasn’t answering, so I decided to text him. I checked my phone and didn’t have our old conversation (because I deleted them), then remembered that he was getting a new phone anyway, so I asked Lisa for his new number, which she supplied. I copied the number and pasted it into his contact page, then opened the messenger app and started a new conversation with him.

Me: Hey boo how ya doin?
Brendan: ? Who is this? Boo hoo : (

GOLD! I had struck solid gold. Brendan had not yet added my number into his new phone, and he had no idea who I was. This particular group of friends loves to screw with each other at every opportunity more than anything, and as the most passive member of the group, this was a golden opportunity that I could not pass up.

Me: it’s your stalker, Alrad 

My name spelled backwards. I gave him about five minutes to figure it out.

Brendan: Alrad? Sorry? Refresh my memory…
Me: Oh I know you from an age long gone
A past life one might say
We were tailors together
In a port town by the sea
Ours were the finest garments…

I went on like this for a while, like a madwoman, receiving flabbergasted but typically Brendan responses. I showed my mother and my sister (I was at my mom’s house at the time) and they thought it was amazing. I left their house to go pick him up since we decided he would stay over, and I figured he would mention some weird texts he was getting. But nothing. I showed my husband the next day and he couldn’t wait to see what happened. Brendan didn’t mention the texts at all the next day, but since we were with him for the drive up and sharing a hotel room, I didn’t want to text him again and tip him off. My preferred scenario was that he would realize he didn’t have my number, ask for it, then see my name pop up on the conversation and we would laugh and laugh. But that didn’t happen – Brendan’s pretty irresponsible when it comes to keeping in touch with people, so this wasn’t exactly surprising. I texted him again when he was out visiting a college friend:

Me: Are you safe on this night my son

But didn’t get an answer. The next day, we visited the beautiful Letchworth State Park. We were driving to the lower falls when my phone started ringing and my car’s caller ID said it was Brendan calling. Which was weird because he was in the car with us, but he’s notorious for not calling his mother so I figured it was her attempting to reach him. I asked him to pick up the phone and he did.

Brendan: Hello? Who is this? … What do you mean you’ve been getting texts from this number? … A stalker?!

WHEN I ADDED BRENDAN’S NEW NUMBER TO MY PHONE I DIDN’T DELETE THE OLD ONE, SOMEONE ELSE I DON’T KNOW NOW HAS THE NEW ONE, I HAD BEEN TEXTING A STRANGE WOMAN THE WHOLE TIME. That’s what happened. I told a complete stranger I was her stalker and was a total weirdo to her for like two days. I’m lucky she didn’t call the cops on me! I even ALREADY HAD BRENDAN’S NEW NUMBER AND HAD TEXTED HIM ON IT BEFORE, compounding the sheer stupidity of the situation I put myself in. I sent my strange target an apology explaining what happened, and received an ambiguous “No problem ;-)”. The cops haven’t showed up at my door yet so I guess she bought it.

Complete stranger, if you’re out there and you read this, I am sorry. I am so sorry I scared the shit out of you. I’m assuming I scared the shit out of you because if it was me, that’s how I would have felt. I am not stalking you, and I know you never had silks, damasks, or serge, or lived in a port town by the sea. Please know that you made Lisa laugh so hard that she couldn’t breathe and made the cutest little squeaking sounds in lieu of breathing when I showed her the conversations during the reception. Worth it?

Full transcript of our conversation:

Convo 1convo 2Convo 3convo 4

Manwich

If I ever open a sandwich shop, I’m going to have a sandwich called The Manwich, which will have turkey, ham, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and smoked mozzarella on a roll. Then I’ll have a sandwich called The Womanwich, which will be the exact same thing plus olives. My employees will detest me.

The List’s List

What I’m Drinking While I Type: 2014 Starborough Sauvignon Blanc, approximately $10. A white wine kick in the face that gets me more drunk more quickly than any other wine. Who knows why.
What I’m watching While I Type: Season 2 of The Guild

So I’ve been busy brainstorming different things I could write about and I’ve got some fun ideas, fun pictures fun times. But then I tried to think about my approach to new blogs, which, as a person who is a weird subtype of procrastinatory and perfectionist, often involves going back to the beginning a blog and reading every single post, in order to get the full experience of the author’s blog journey. And I thought, hey, I think I’d like it if there was a post at the beginning telling dear reader about the author!

Here are some things about me:

  • Things I covered in the first post: I’m a children’s librarian, I read a lot, I craft inefficiently, I love video games and board games. I think that was it?
    • Specificity: I like literally any book, there is no discernible pattern to my reading habits.
    • My favorite video game is anything that starts with The Legend of Zelda, and beyond that I look for games with a good story. Have you played 999? You should play 999. I love weird indie games and their excellent price points.
    • Don’t ask me what my favorite board game is unless you want to stare at a person going “uhhhhhhh” for ten minutes. I’ll play anything at least once.
  • I got married two years ago, and the husband, whose name is Stefan, and I are best friends (<obligatory puking noise>) who like to hang out a lot and be lazy nerds.
    gwahir 2

    Gwahir the Windlord

    We live in a crooked but sunny apartment we rent in a suburb with our parakeet Gwahir the Windlord and our guinea pigs Bernard and Manny. Bernard and Manny have only been living with us a few month, and we’re in a stage I’ve come to think of as “resentful mooching,” which amounts to ” hay betch, we acknowledge your existance, now feed us but don’t you dare touch us!!”

  • I hate long walks on the beach. That’s what large rocks, board walks, and pavement are for, dammit. Take care of your ankles.
  • Disney, food, cute stuff.

    Manny Pig

    Manny Pig wants to enjoy his lettuce in peace, goddammit

  • I like spending time outside?

    Bernard Pig

    Bernard Pig wants you to back the fuck up

  • This list is the worst and it’s going to end now.

Lists are so inefficient, but so alluring. You can’t successfully fit who you are into a list – it will either be excruciatingly long and boring or too short to get your ideas across. But I do love bullet points!

At least you got to see my pets, right? They’re adorable. That’s why we’re all here in the end.

BEEP BOOP

Hello!

I wrote three different things before settling on that as my first line. Now you know what kind of a person I am.

BelgianWaffles2

She closed her eyes as she took the first bite of her scrumptious waffle and sighed a small sigh of contentment. She was home.

So I’m Darla, and I’m starting a blog. Why am I starting a blog? Here are a few reasons:

  1. I have an unshakable habit of narrating my life in my head and obsessing on what the best phrasing for that narrative would be. This brings me anxiety because I feel like it’s a waste of time and energy, to stress over, say, the best way to describe the way I’m eating a waffle while I’m still eating it I want to know what will happen if I write it all down rather than focusing energy on getting the little voice to shut up.
  2. I used to think that I was a little old to start something as presumptuous as a blog – in my head, all bloggers have been blogging since their preteens. apparently. Then I read Felicia Day’s book and learned that she was 28 when she made The Guild, and look at her now, you guys. Look at her now. I can at least try to write a goddamn blog and see if I get anything out of it.
  3. I’m always taking pictures of shit I do but then not posting them anywhere. If I have a blog, maybe I’ll post them. And write about what they’re pictures of. And then I’ll go out of my way to have more meaningful experiences so I can photograph them and blog them. Soon I’ll be eating foie gras caviar on a river boat in the French Alps, all because of this blog, right?

There are a few things you might like to know about me and my blog to keep you reading. I haven’t told anyone I know about it. My husband knows I’m writing something because I asked his advice in setting it up, but not what. So if you’re a stranger reading this, please let me know that I’m not alone on this cold and distant planet. I hope you brought Chex Mix and vodka. If you’re my friend and you’re reading this, then LOOK OVER THERE, IS THAT CHEX MIX AND VODKA? *runs away*  I’m eclectic, which is a kind thing I tell myself to describe what is probably some form of ADHD. I couldn’t keep a single-subject blog if I tried. I could be the ultimate master craftsman in, say, topiary design, but if I started a topiary design blog I’d eventually decide it’s pretentious and hate it and myself within weeks, quit my job and become a barista. Which I would also hate. Good job, blog. If I keep it diverse, maybe I’ll keep writing. Here are some topics that could appear soon at a this blog near you:

  • Books! I read a lot – not CRAZY a lot like real book bloggers, but enough. My love of books contributed to my becoming a children’s librarian.
  • Crafts, which is the other half of the children’s librarian thing. But I’m really bad at keeping up with crafts and perfecting my abilities, so don’t expect Renoir or anything you guys. Expect lumpy felted Pikachu. You also might find descriptions of programs I’m doing for work, so that could be fun and educational, I guess.
  • Video games and board games, because I’m an adult and I do what I want with my life now.
  • Cartoons and stuff.
  • Baby animals?
  • The looming presence of mortality in the life of the American adult.
  • Food I like.
  • LISTS, APPARENTLY.

That’s enough listing. I’m super tired because I was sitting around at a hospital all day – why is sitting around the most exhausting thing? My city grandmother was crossing the street and got hit by a car that backed into her because he saw a parking spot he wanted. GOOD JOB DRIVER, you shattered her kneecap and she needed surgery. I took a shift keeping an eye on her because she’s adorably out of it. The adorable part was how she’d do stuff like ask a really deep question (“did you always think you would marry young?”) but fall asleep before I could even start to answer (“is 25 young all of the sudden?”). The not adorable part was how she couldn’t figure out how to call the nurse then forgot she wanted to even though she still needed a bedpan. WELP. Good thing my awesome other family members will be watching her tomorrow, because mama needs a new pair of sneakers. I’m so tired I’m nauseous. Goodnight, first blog post.