It will probably come as no surprise to any of you that I’m very popular. Sometimes I receive up to THREE texts a day. Most of them from my mom. (I’m kidding, of course—we all know my mom doesn’t return my texts anymore.)
As a result, having what some might call an overabundance of minutes—I prefer to think of it as stockpiling for a near future in which I have to perform phone interviews with various members of the Hollywood Foreign Press—I tend to be less picky than I probably should be about answering phone calls from unknown numbers.
We all know the pitfalls of such a devil may care habit. It could be a terrorist! It could be a stalker! It could be a terrorist stalker who wants to know if you’re interested in donating to the BYU Alumni Association!
But I’m a free spirit, you know? I like to live on the wild side. Sure, it might be a weirdo calling me, but it might also be a CUTE weirdo calling me. That’s what I like to call optimism! (Also, a measure of my increasingly declining standards as I inch closer and closer to 30.)
Over the years, I’ve had some great conversations with random oddballs. I’ve had strangers call me yelling and screaming about something I didn’t do. I received an anonymous text from someone claiming that I was overreacting to him verbally abusing me. And somehow I’ve gotten on the phone list of an apocalyptic prophet who calls me every Friday, like clockwork, to tell me the world is ending. It’s kinda nice.
But by far, the most entertaining of my foray into anonymous-number-answering is Steve Rodriguez.
I first “met” Steve about a week after I got back from living two years overseas (Have I mentioned before that I lived in England? Oh, I did? Within five seconds of meeting you before I even told you my name? How strange. That’s very unlike me). At that time, I had virtually no numbers saved into my phone because I’d accidentally washed my previous U.S. phone in the laundry (about two days before I moved to London. Have I mentioned that I lived in London…?) so I was even less picky about answering unknown numbers. How exciting! Who knew what friend this unknown number was going to reveal itself to be?
Unfortunately, it turned out that I had even less friends than that carnival fortune teller predicted I would! Almost all of my phone calls were for some guy named Steve Rodriguez. And man, had Steve been a naughty boy. The messages for him ranged from overdue bill notices, debt collectors, and angry ex-girlfriends. It took some serious sweet talking, but I finally managed to convince people that I was not Steve, that I did not know how Steve could be reached, and that I would under no circumstances be paying any of Steve’s bills. Slowly but surely, the calls dwindled down. The legend of Steve faded to a faint memory, ne’er to be heard from again.
Or did it…? (Spoiler alert: The answer is no!)
A few weeks ago I started to receive voicemails for Steve from his friend Marvin. I’m sad to say I deleted most of them, but I did decide to preserve this gem for posterity’s sake:
“Steve this is Marvin. It’s past 10:00. I don’t know, where are you? What are you doing? You came last night then I’m waiting for you to be here at 9:00. So call me back and let me know what the hell is going on.”
Poor Marvin. On top of not paying his bills, accruing all kinds of debt, and breaking hearts right and left, Steve Rodriguez isn’t even punctual. In fact, Steve kinda sounds like a jerk.
Which naturally makes me wonder, is he single?
Think about it. Steve is clearly in love with me. All the evidence is there! As a girl, I’m pretty adept at finding even the most obscure of signals. That guy who wouldn’t make eye contact with me on Trax when I sat across from him? Afraid of his love for me. The crazy homeless dude who chased me through a dark park at 4 in the morning? OBSESSED! The mailman who “accidentally” creases the top of all of my envelopes? Don’t even get me started.
But I think I have a few pretty good reasons to be optimistic about Steve and me being meant for each other. Hear me out:
Reason A) He’s a resourceful con who can get out of all kinds of sticky situations. Which is perfect, because I couldn’t find my way out of a broom closet unless there was an arrow pointing to the door. Opposites attract! Just watch any romantic comedy!
Reason B) He has a heart of gold. I know this must be true, because he’s a bad boy, and all bad boys secretly have a heart of gold. Just read any fanfiction ever written!
Reason C) I used to babysit a little boy named Steve Rodriguez, and one day on the bus some kids gave him a flower and told him to give it to the girl he wanted to marry, and he gave it to me. Thus, by the laws of logic, all Steve Rodriguezes are in love with me.
Reason D) He already has my phone number. Which, you know, will save some time.
Reason E) He’s clearly obsessed with me. Why else would he keep giving out a phone number he hasn’t owned for over two years? I think he wants me to keep tabs on him. I think he’s Sleepless in Seattle-ing me, so that when we finally meet on top of the Empire State Building and I find him holding the teddy bear that my heretofore unborn son left up there, it will be romantic, not creepy. Well-played, Steve. Well-played.
So the moral of the story is… answer those unknown phone numbers. You never know when it just might be your soul mate!