Thursday, April 7, 2011

Baggage: Lost and Found

Oh, Singletons, Singletons, Singletons... remember when I said that my blog had taken a hit because I had successfully eliminated most of the avenues previously providing material opportunities?  Remember when I was contemplating jumping back into online dating just to have things to write about? Oh, my friends, have no fear.  I have no need to get back into online dating at all, nor do I have anything to complain about.  The next time I complain, remind me of this post and I'll smile in recollection, nod my head in agreement and shut right the hell up. 

So, last night I was sitting around enjoying a quiet evening and putting to good use my superior multi-tasking skills (got to keep them sharp if they're going to be a focal point of my resume) by watching an Atlanta Braves game (funny coincidence...we'll get to that later.) and chatting on Facebook.  Of course, my phone was within arm's reach and I was not too surprised when I heard the melodic jingle of my text message alert.  I picked it up and noticed that the message was from a number that was not stored in my phone, but from a local area code.  This is significant.  I think we've talked about this before.  Since I didn't grow up in Atlanta, my phone is from the area code of my hometown. I haven't changed it simply because most people who call me are calling from a cell phone and honestly, who cares what the area code is?  My parents can call me like a local call from their landline, so it's my gift to them.  Everybody else can dial the 1 beforehand and zip it.  So, it's very rare that I get a wrong number call or text from an Atlanta area code. Usually that person means to be contacting me.

What did the message say, you ask?  Happy to oblige.  The message said "Hey, are you going to Opening Day?"  For those of you either outside of Atlanta or with no regard for baseball, the season has started, but the Braves opened on the road and will play their first home game tomorrow night.  Usually it's sold out in a matter of days and I (although I do consider myself in their Top 10 list of devoted fans of all time) have never been to an Opening Day game simply because I realize it's coming up entirely past the point of any hope of purchasing tickets.  Or I've just been flat broke at the time.

Given the familiarity of the text, I immediately assumed that this was someone who I didn't communicate with often who had fallen victim to my stupid attempt to upgrade my phone in late December that resulted in the complete deletion of my entire address book. I wrote back and apologized for not knowing who it was, explained my situation, asked who it was and, figuring that I probably knew them well enough for them to know my devotion to the Braves, replied that I was not going to Opening Day.

The following exchange was not what I expected. He wrote back with his name and said "Do you want to go?"  Let's call him... James (which I promise is not his real name.  I change names to protect the guilty.)  James?!, I thought.  Dear God, of course his name is James.  I've known ten Jameses in the last five years!  One of which was my former boss at my former job who, let's just say, I didn't quite get along with, but I think may have been under some strange apprehension that I would have been friends with him had I known him beyond an incompetent, credit-stealing, manipulative, micro-managing waste of space.  Would he ask me to a game?  Surely not.  Maybe...?  I sucked it up and told him that I'd known several Jameses with yet another apology.  After the standard "LOL," he simply said "Ur brother."  Huh?  Is this a tease?  Most men I know take great pleasure in torturing me with strange jokes and ridicule, but being the oldest of three girls, this is biologically impossible.  I wracked my brain to think of male friends who I might refer to as my "brother," but wouldn't have his number in my phone in the last four months.  Nothing.  And this instantly eliminated my former boss.  I told him that I was confused.  I asked him which James he was.  He told me his last name and being moderately technologically savvy (and a bit of a part-time stalker), I immediately typed his name in the Search box in Facebook.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.

I recognized his face instantly, sat back in my chair, took a deep, somewhat sarcasm-filled breath and said "Well, hellooooooo, Mr. Baggage."  Ten months ago (ten months...keep that in mind.  You won't forget, I'm going to mention it a lot.), Mr. Baggage was one of the men who made Sprint reconsider their Unlimited Everything plan with his incessant text messages.  I liked him well enough, but we never moved beyond a text message interaction.  And amazingly, he was one of the ones that I grew a pair with and outright told that I was interested in, but would no longer continue communicating if we were just going to restrain our conversations to messages of 150 characters or less.  Although looking back, I knew very little about him beyond the fact that that he is a huge Braves fan and that his live-in fiancĂ©e of four years had just moved out a few weeks before he messaged me. Oh, and all the details about how, why, and when she left and what she did and didn't leave him with, how heartbroken he was and what a classic female dog she is, but how much he loved her.  Hence his moniker.

I sat there for a minute before I responded and contemplated exactly what my reaction would be.  As a devoted Braves fan who has never gone to Opening Day, was I willing to sit next to a virtual stranger who, for some reason, had saved my number in his phone for ten months and somehow felt compelled to ask me to join him for three plus hours after we hadn't communicated in ten months?!  We could have had a baby in ten months!  You know, physiologically.  I mean, it's possible.  You know what I mean!  I know that baseball isn't necessarily a social sport, but I would like to have something to say other than comments on the weather in between innings.  What could possibly have stirred within him to instigate communication almost a full year later?!?  And with absolutely no interest in him whatsoever (I was hardly interested ten months ago) at this point, would I be bordering on prostitution if I went to the game just because it was Opening Day with absolutely no intention of seeing him again?  A prostitute for baseball.  Lovely.

So, I played dumb.  "From," I asked him.  A few minutes went by and he said "Wait...what?"  Suddenly, I felt relieved.  He had no idea who I was!! I said "I think we're both confused!"  He asked my name, I told him (hesitatingly with my last name, but I figured I knew his now too, so sharing mine would make it a level playing field.) and he said "Oh, wow.  I thought you were a friend from high school!"  I told him that it was okay (really?  How many Melanies can one person know?!) and figured that would be the end of the conversation.  Whew.  Narrow escape.

Wrong.  The texting continued throughout the night.  But thankfully not into today.  I'm assuming that the invitation to tomorrow's game was rescinded, but why am I so damn polite and feel the need to continue texting conversations that I don't want anything to do with?!?  One thing is stuck in my head:  would I have gone to the game?  I don't know.  Probably not.  Hopefully not.  Would I have regretted it since the only space available as of now is Standing Room Only?  Probably.  Would I have regretted it if I spent three hours sitting next to someone with whom I could have absolutely no conversation?  Probably.  I can talk to a lamppost, for goodness sake, but I've got a feeling this guy would be a challenge.

OH!  Ask me what we texted about.  Oh, yeah, you're right.  The Braves.  At least Mr. Baggage is consistent.  Even ten months later.


  1. Maybe he really did mean to text you, but when he thought you didn't remember him he tried to save face. Not to mention he kept texting you even after he claimed that he thought you were a friend from high school. That is kind of weird that he would wait nearly a year to contact you again, though.

  2. Maybe... the more I think about it, the more I think you're probably right, Neurotic. Here's how my brain works: If he did think I was a friend from high school, he obviously doesn't text/call this friend very often. As in ten months. So, why would he ask her to go to a Braves game? And wouldn't you do a bit more small talk prior to a direct ask if you hadn't talked to a friend in 10 months? Is it just coincidence that BOTH Melanies in his address book are Braves fans?

    This line of questioning kind of makes it sound like I care. I don't... I just hate things that don't make sense! :)

  3. Why didn't you just go? It wouldn't hurt anything.

  4. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective!), I'm pretty sure the invitation was rescinded following the clear-up of the "confusion." It wasn't mentioned again and considering how awkward I'm sure it would have been, I don't that I would have enjoyed it as much as I usually do Braves games!


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