Long-Distance Relationships Before Social Media

, , , , , | Friendly | April 14, 2020

In college in the late 1980s, I had my own private phone line set up in my dorm room. However, I guess the number was close to a couple of others because I kept getting phone calls for Mark, Rick, and Mike.

They were always on my answering machine, but that meant they weren’t actually listening to my message because it was, “Hello, you’ve reached [My Name] at [Phone Number]. I’m sorry I’m not here…”

I eventually got tired of the wrong numbers and changed my message:

“Hello, you’ve reached [My Name] at [Phone Number]. This isn’t Mark. This isn’t Rick. And I’m sorry, Melissa, but this isn’t Mike. If you wish to speak to one of them, please hang up and dial again. If you wish to leave a message for [My Name], please do so after the tone.”

Melissa called. It seems she had finally paid attention to the outgoing message, as she left me one, and I could hear her trying to keep from laughing the entire time.

“I’m sorry, [My Name]. I didn’t realize I had been leaving all those wrong messages. Maybe one of these days, I’ll get on out to California and I can finally meet the wrong number.”

However, finals week was upon us, so I changed my answering machine message to indicate that I was going to always be studying, so people should leave a message and maybe I’d get back to them sometime.

Melissa called again. It seemed she liked being called out on someone’s answering machine and I guess she called so she could show it to someone. Again, she was trying to keep it together on the phone:

“[My Name]! It’s Melissa. What happened? Don’t you love me anymore?”

I think I still have that cassette tape somewhere.

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