Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My Intuition Was Right.

Think of your intuition as Caller ID.

Most of the time, the calls you receive are from people from who you know and want to hear. Your Caller ID generally lets you know if you missed the call of someone you already know and care about.

On hopefully less occassions, your Caller ID allows you to avoid calls from people for whom you don't want to talk. Perhaps when you are too busy, too angry, too sad, or too tired.

Perhaps during certain phases of your life you've even made a rule for yourself not to answer the phone without checking Caller ID, most certainly during periods of time when you know you would be no good to anyone you care about.

But the problem with relying on Caller ID occurs when you meet someone who you aren't 100% sure if you trust or like or want to see again. You give out your phone number thinking your Caller ID will allow you the time to decide if that person is someone you'd like to have in your life. And perhaps that someone isn't the type you'd want to call. Perhaps that someone is well aware of how to use *69 on their phone to block their number on Caller Id. Or perhaps that someone has paid the $2.50 extra a month to have their phone number appear as "Restricted".

Yes, it is true, you could simply choose not to answer the phone. You could make another rule for yourself to never answer the phone for someone who's number doesn't appear on Caller ID.

Perhaps you don't answer the phone when this someone calls. But you're polite and well-mannered, as most of us are, and you return calls when unanswered callers leave you messages.

You do wonder why this person would want to have their number appear unavailable on Caller ID. You tell yourself that, like your Grandmother who chooses to have her number restricted because she is 85 and lives alone, this someone must have a legitimate reason for blocking their phone number.

And then one day this person yells at you over the phone. They scream at you for things you would not have done intentionally. They tell you you're a bad friend and a bad person. They make you cry. They make you doubt yourself. They make you regret actions you didn't regret.

After you get off the phone, you start to think about what you could possibly say or do to make this person like you again. You wonder if you apologize a million more times would they be ready to make you their friend again.

So you try to think of times they were there for you, and you realize there just weren't that many times. And you try to think about how much they brought to your life, and you realize there just wasn't that much brought. The memories are not overly plentiful. The miracles are none to count. The dozen photographs you own don't even make up half of your album.

Your tears begin to dry. You spot the phone number of your close friend out in San Francisco on your Caller ID. You race to grab the receiver. You break down and tell her all the awful things this person has said to you. And she reminds you of how you felt about that person when you met them. She reminds you of how good a friend you've been to her. She reminds you of so many memories the two of you have shared.

Suddenly you recall how that other someone's number didn't show up on Caller ID. You recall that you always felt disconcerted by this abscence of their number. You recall how you were hesitant to call that someone back.

You realize you made a mistake. Afterall, you pay good money for Caller ID. If you don't use it properly, why do you have it in the first place?

Because my intuition was in fact right. That someone was a bad friend. I only wish I had listened to myself. I knew this all along.


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