Tuesday, April 7, 2009

And then my brain fell out: or, Why I love text messaging

I wonder if I'm the only one who does this..

Do you know the moment in sappy movies when someone says “Penny for your thoughts” or “What are you thinking right now?” Invariably the response is some deep and romantic thought. I live in fear of these moments. At least my husband has realized my secret. At any given moment there is nothing going through my head. Absolutely nothing. It’s worse if I hear a song, then I can’t even try to think of something else. I admit there are a few times when my mind wanders into really bizarre territory, but this is not very often. I believe this is one of the reasons I’m not a very good driver, or gardener, or pick my son up from school-er.

Leaving a message on an answering machine is a particularly obvious instance of this. If you’ve ever gotten a message from me, you understand what I’m talking about. This is how it goes:

  • I think of a reason to talk to someone long enough to get the phone in my hand.
  • (if I can’t find the phone or I have a wrong number, I completely stop the process and probably never try again, also explaining why some people who should have gotten messages from me never did.)
  • I find the number in my phone and dial, contemplating any weird spellings or funny patterned numbers. If, at this point, I don’t start chanting the reason I am calling, all is lost.
  • (if, however, I text at this moment-hallelujah-I sound like an intelligent person)
  • (chant reason in head, i.e. babysitter at 3, babysitter at 3, babysitter at 3, babysitter, that’s a funny word, why don’t they say baby watcher, or baby holder, or...)
  • The phone begins to ring, I count the rings, don’t ask me why, I don’t know, I must count. I like it when the rings are multiples of four, but it never is.
  • I listen to the greeting message, I wonder if I need to leave my number, I wonder if the person knows what they sound like on the phone, I wonder a lot of things and at this point my mind is completely blank
  • I am always surprised by the beep, I forgot it was coming.
  • stunned silence, I can’t remember why on earth I have made this phone call.
  • I stammer, I say something about calling me back and possibly needing a favor as fast as I can, I remember to say my name and I think I say my number, but at this point, it could be anyone’s number, then if I piece anything together I am cut off by the answering machine.
  • Mission accomplished.

I like to think of myself as a pretty rational individual, I can usually make intelligent comments in my classes at the U--not Sunday School, however, I can never read scriptures in church because I am always on the wrong one. My attention is always captured by dust motes or a dirty mark on the back of a chair between when I hear the scripture reference and when I get around to raising my hand. When I actually focus, I manage to write coherent sentences, finish the dishes, and change the laundry before it mildews. I like to think that most days I manage a respectable amount of focus, but I know there are times when my mind just falls out, takes a personal day, leaves me like the scarecrow stuck on a pole. The worst days are those days when Spencer comes home and asks me what I did all day and it’s a blank. I try to remember, but the best I come up with is a lot of giggling and cereal stuck to my socks.


KATIE said...

I would like to leave a transcript of a message from you that I still have saved on my phone to back up this post. "OK...This is Candi...I'm callin you… cause I said I would but my message is kinda on handicap so it's not actually any pertinent information. I'm just gonna text you. Ok. Bye!" All with ridiculous giggles by Ike in the background which is actually why I like to keep it. Also is the title of that post a quote from Georgia?

Megan D. said...

I'm laughing. Like a lot. Seriously. Can't stop. :) You are funny! I hate it when my brain falls out. It hurts.

Stephanie C. said...

Best post ever. Really -- this is epic. I think everyone has moments like these (albeit not a lifetime). Mike is also really really bad at leaving voicemails... he'll start rambling and going on and on when you know the person is just going to have to call back to clarify the matter. Anyway I'll sit in the back ground telling him what to say "Hey ________, this is Mike, call me back when you get the chance, thanks." or perhaps something less casual, if appropriate.

The best part about reading this is I could really envision you in my head... that look on your face when someone asks you a question and you're completely thrown off that you're being spoken to, let alone that you are actually visible to the world around you. It's really amusing actually. I'm pretty sure I've put you through that a few times.

Terra Zobrist said...

i love this post!

Sariah said...

Seriously, this is the funniest thing I've read in a LONG time! I totally relate about the answering machine message leaving business. I'm almost as bad when it comes to leaving comments on blogs. But with blog comments I start typing what I want to say, lose focus, can't get my thought out in a sentence or two, ramble for a couple of paragraphs, then delete so no one can see what I've done. On an answering machine, I just sound stupid and lost.

Life out Here said...

That just makes so much sense now. Thank you.

Life out Here said...

Oh man, and Stephanie's comment... the latter portion SO TRUE Stephanie!! Doug and I laughed and he said he has seen that look several times.

One experience I've had with this is when we were staying at that little one-room tiny tiny cabin in Moab and you were sitting on the bed. I walked in from outside and about 6 feet away from you said "Good morning, Candi" three times before I gave up.

Susan said...

I just love you. You are perfect and the Candi I have always known! Thanks for being you. Love Mom

Marie Livsey said...

Candi... I have the opposite problem when Jake asks what are you thinking- I don't know which random thought to divulge because my brain doesn't seem to stop. This post is hilarious though but I have word association vomit going on constantly in my head so when you have that random thought on babysitter and then baby watcher I can totally relate except at that point my brain dialogue goes on and on until somehow I am wondering about the daycare situations in ancient Egypt. Seriously my nonstop brain dialogue drives Jake batty.
Have you written anymore of your story- Jake and I love your writing style (so fun and tangible).

McKeon Clan said...

ha ha! Just wait til there's four plus baseball, dance, violin, etc. the brain cells just go...loved the post!!

Trevor Criddle said...

Awesome. Although it still doesn't explain why you refuse to answer the phone... haha. All you have to do is answer questions.