One day when I was 10 or so my friend and I got this great idea to prank call someone. We decided we would find someone in the phone book whose name sounded like it would belong to an old lady and one of us would call and using a baby voice would ask if she was our grandma. This entertained us for a few phone calls until one of her parents came home and we had to find something else to do. Of course, we never did find our grandma, but my friend did find someone who was willing to be a surrogate.
In high school, another friend and I were bored one night and decided to come up with a survey and call people pretending to be telemarketers. Our survey had about 10 questions and "do you have a toaster?" was asked several times. We thought it was funny. Some of our callers figured out it was us, some went along with us, and some just got annoyed and hung up.
Nowadays, it isn't as easy to make prank calls with technology being what it is and all. Caller ID, blocked number rejection and *69 have really taken the fun out of things. But last night I was introduced to something even more fun and equally juvenile.
One of the co-founders of the fun Meetup group (MU-T) posted a "mystery event" and dinner for last night. Intrigued (and no longer "grounded" since I filed my taxes), I signed up for it. All I knew was that I needed to meet on the steps of one of the branches of the library at 5:00 with $5.00 for supplies and the names and addresses of five family members or friends. Knowing that MU-T makes cards, I figured that is what we were going to be doing. I was wrong.
There ended up only being 3 of us for this event. MU-T, myself and another girl who I had not met before but who I thought was pretty cool. We left the library and went about a block north to a little card shop that is very much in line with the "Keep Portland Weird" theme. (I should have looked to see if they had the "Keep Vancouver Normal" bumper sticker. I need to get one of those). MU-T tends to wear novelty t-shirts to our more athletic events and I pointed out one that I thought he would like. We looked those over and I pointed out a couple I thought were funny, in particular the one that said "If you don't talk to your cat about catnip, who will?" (that still cracks me up. And I don't even have a cat), which gave him some insight into my sense of humor-and that I actually have one. We did have a mission to complete at this store, which was that each of us was to buy 3 random, creative and/or funny postcards.
After we left the store, we went to a little restaurant across the street from the library. Once seated, we were told to get out our address lists and hand them to the person sitting next to us. New Girl got my list; I got MU-T's. From the list of names, we were to pick three to address and send the post cards we picked out to. The list I got from MU-T only had 3 names on it: a college friend and her husband, his ex-wife and the other co-founder of the Meetup group, MU-D, who I have mentioned in previous blog posts.
It was a fun exercise in creative writing. We were allowed to ask questions about the people on the list so we could personalize our messages. My brother and my friend are going to know I am somehow behind their postcards. I would love to be a fly on the wall when my mother gets hers. I told New Girl I could see it going down like this: "I got the strangest post card in the mail the other day from someone pretending to be Jerry Springer. I always thought it was the KKK Grand Wizard, not the Grand Wizard of the KKK." We also got to pick which post cards were going to which of our people, so I picked out the beat up, thumbs up Jerry Springer card to go to my mom. My brother is getting the one with a baby standing between sleeping polar bears and my friend is getting one with a girl sitting in front of two zombies. I told MU-T that I thought it was telling he chose the post card with the radiator shaped cow on it for me to send to his ex-wife.
As we were filling out our cards, I asked MU-T for more information about MU-D. (A-I will have more time to blog when he gets my post card and I get kicked out of the group). I don't know him that well and they have been friends for about 6 years now. I ended up with some insight about both of them that I found interesting and intriguing. Some of what I learned about the two of them if I would have been asked do you think this is more like MU-T or MU-D, I would have gotten backwards. I also learned that MU-D has told MU-T my story so he knows about James. I have actually wondered about that. And I learned that MU-D was quite impressed with me when he first met me. Not attracted-but impressed with what I had been through and the strength I possessed. MU-T had a hard time finding the right way to say what he was trying to convey-I think he may have been trying to choose his words carefully with a newcomer at the table-so at first I wasn't really sure what to make of what he was trying to tell me but I could tell it was meant to be a good thing.
After we finished with our cards and had a good laugh over what we all wrote on them, we headed out. New Girl was parked nearby and we said our good-byes to her and kept walking towards the garage where I was parked. As we were walking MU-T told me he had definitely enjoyed getting to know me better during the event. I told him I was thinking he wouldn't let me come to anymore of his events (hello, insecure much?) but he said that now he would probably invite me to more. That was nice to hear. I told him that I am a lot more open now and a big part of that was because after James died, I just stopped giving a shit. I told him the way I see it, I can't lose anymore than what I have already lost. I have to admit, trying not to care so much what others think is more than a little freeing and something I have definitely taken from James.
I have been so down and stressed out lately and today I woke up feeling a lot better. Who would have guessed that all I needed to cheer me up was a night of juvenile antics? (And a nice hug).