Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Am I on The Truman Show?

Strange Call
Monday morning I answered the phone.
"Is Tracey there?" I heard a middle-aged sounding man ask.
"No. I'm afraid you must have the wrong number."
"Sorry!" click.
About ten minutes later, the phone rang again.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Is Tracey there?"
"No. You still have the wrong number."
"I can't believe it. She must have deliberately given me the wrong number."
Like an idiot I asked, "Who?"
"Tracey, or whatever her name is - a woman I met at a bar last night."
"Bummer" I said.
"Maybe you can help me. What is it with women these days? Why would they be so cruel as to give some poor guy a wrong number? And, of course, after I'd bought her and her girlfriend drinks all night."
That's how I got into a 45 minute with a complete stranger. We discussed male vs. female, what it's like "out there" after a divorce (it turns out Mike, yeah I asked his name, who's in his 50's was married for 26 years and has been divorced for two), and how do you know if someone is "interested" vs. "lying through their teeth for drinks." And, why are all the beautiful women 'high maintenance?'
"I don't know, Mike," I said, "I run with a pretty good looking crowd, and they're not high maintenance. They're really great gals. I think that's too much of a generalization, like all Jews are this way or all blacks are that way. People are people. Everyone's different."
"Yes," he said, "but it seems like the beautiful ones are the least trustworthy."
"Then, don't go after the beautiful ones," I said.
"But I don't want to lower my standards."
"Look, Mike, you can't have it both ways. You need to figure out who you are, what you want, and go find it. You're way over-analyzing this."
He couldn't believe I judge a guy on things other than his looks. Like sense of humor, views on politics and religion, how interesting he is.
"You mean to tell me a guy gets better looking to you if he has a good sense of humor?"
"Are you kidding? Hell, yeah! In my eyes, Jerry Seinfeld's almost as good looking as Ashton Kutcher!" Not really, but I was trying to make a point.
"I can't believe you're spending this much time talking to a stranger on the phone about his love life, or lack thereof."
"Me neither. I guess you just caught me in a good mood."
"Can I call you back if I have more questions?"
"Sure, I guess."
"When would be a good time."
"There's no such thing. I'm in and out." This was getting tedious. "Look, Mike, I gotta go. I've got a potentially life-changing submission to an agent I've got to get in the mail. Good luck with the girl thing. My best advice? Lighten up a little."
"Thanks. You're amazing. Too bad your married."
"Yeah, my husband says the same thing. Take it easy, buddy, and don't dwell on the bad stuff."

Then I checked my e-mail. My daily Kabbalah greeting that some crazy friend of Madonna's keeps sending me arrived. (Kidding - I don't know how I got on their list, but they send daily words of wisdom that sometimes blow my mind) It read:

Monday, December 8

What were you doing before you opened this email? How was that action helping another person? Heavy question. But if you truly understood what Kabbalah is about – accepting the responsibility of being a channel of the Light – then you’d be thinking only of how to share and care for others.

I looked up at the ceiling and asked out loud, "Am I on The Truman Show?"

Has anything like this happened to you? Or, am I the only idiot who spends 45 minutes of precious writing time on the phone with a complete stranger?


Keith said...

What a great story!
That was fun to read.

Miss you guys, well at least I have your Blog.

Keith H

DebraLSchubert said...

Glad you enjoyed it. It was pretty weird. I miss you, too. Chuck just left for work and he'll be heading to LA in a few hours. I'm glad he doesn't travel much. Love to Joanne, and we'll have a blast in NYC next month!

Pen Pen said...

I found IT!!!!!
THis would be SUCH a great SNL skit-deep conversations with "wrong numbers"!! :)

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