Some of you may recall reading about when I had to change my phone number. I gave up mine and naturally, got a new one. I was really intentional about it because for some reason I really wanted a 303 area code, but those are apparently a hot commodity, so you have to snatch em up early in the day. So I went, first thing in the morning, and out of a long list, I picked my new number. I guess I never really thought about where phone numbers come from. I guess I assumed they were regenerated by a computer and spit back out, new. But that doesn't really make any sense... eventually we'd run out, right? There can't just be infinite phone numbers. You can't retire them like football jerseys after somebody great had them. I don't know. I've never been great at math.
Needless to say, as I chose from the list of 303's, I unknowingly inherited a phone number from someone named Shelley. And I've been learning some things about Shelley. One of my favorite pastimes is to take context clues and try to piece together the whole story. It's kind of a weird habit and makes me feel a little creepy sometimes, but essentially, I want to be Nancy Drew. Or Harriet the Spy. Really either one would be fine. Anyway, here's what I know about Shelley:
After getting the new number, when I called Kansas, she came up on the caller ID as "Allen White." I know this because for months every time I called my house I was greeted with, "hello, Allen." Which was a real treat. I've decided [based on both my imagination and insinuations of information to come] that Allen is Shelley's sugar daddy. He paid for the phone, so it was in his name. Obviously.
Shelley gets constant calls from collections agencies and other angry sounding 1-800 numbers. Shelley isn't a very responsible spender, I've deduced.
This tidbit was also backed up by the fact that when I tried to change my phone number [which acts as your ID] at 24-Hour Fitness, they asked if I was Shelley, and if I would like to pay the money I owed them. I explained that I was not, in fact, Shelley, nor did I know who Shelley was, so no, I would not be taking care of her debt. That's the other thing about this whole deal - everyone who calls thinks that I should somehow telepathically know where Shelley is. I may have big dreams of covert ops, but I'm not magic, people, ok?
Shelley may or may not be incarcerated. Potentially in Washington. This I know because the other day I got a call asking me to confirm my advance pay account with which I could put money on a card to make phone calls from prison. "Ummmmmmmm, no thank you. I think I'm all set. Yep. Yes. I'm pretty surely sure."
The Child Support Enforcement Medical Support Facilitator Project would like to speak with her. That's a direct quote. I have no idea what that entails but it sounds like nothing I ever want to be a part of. [Maybe Allen was a baby-daddy too? There's just really no way of knowing.]
What's my point, you ask? I probably don't have one. In fact I'm sure I don't. But Shelley, if you're out there, take care of your biz-nass so these people will stop calling me and insisting I tell them where you are. Also maybe call sometime and explain to me just what happened with you to make your number become available in July of 2011 for me to swipe out from under you, because it sounds like it's a pretty convoluted story. And I really want to know if I'm right about Allen.
I guess I should thank you, too, because you have made getting a new phone number not only a fun game of sleuthery but also an exercise in gratitude. As in, fielding your phone calls makes me grateful that my most stressful calls are from my family members reminding me that someone's birthday is tomorrow and I haven't sent anything yet. And those are pretty stressful, and frequent, but not quite so much as the debt collectors and prison phone systems.
Thank God for small favors, that's all I'm saying.