When I was 13, I got my own phone line. It was pret-ty awesome. See, this was in a time long ago; before eight year-olds had cell phones and land lines were still relevant (the 90’s). Your own phone was the key to teenage success (so I mistakenly thought – the braces, too-skinny body, and freckles proved to be more socially crippling than the phone was cool).
But, at the time, I was oblivious. Fueled by the sweet freedom of my own digits, my own ring, and my own answering machine, I took precious time to set up my missed call greetings. I scripted out messages and carefully observed other greetings when I called someone and didn’t reach them. And I practiced before I hit record to ensure I had struck the perfect balance between charming and hilarious.
Then, one day, I struck answering machine gold. I overheard my father recording our family voicemail. Shocked to discover such a treasure in our own house, I stole his content and blatantly reproduced it for my own gain. It was a special message, only for November. Every November after that (until I turned 18 and went to college) after four rings and a beep you’d hear:
“November is the month to be thankful. I am thankful that you called.”
What? Not funny? Sort of boring? Kind of irritating?
Not surprisingly, that was the feedback I received time and time again over the course of those five years. I thought maybe people didn’t get it. I mean, it was answering machine genius! Despite the negative feedback, I never wavered. That message played every November regardless of how few calls I received.
I look back on that time and how much that simple, stupid message made me laugh, even though it was usually followed by a dial tone, and I am thankful. I am thankful that I was such a goofy kid. I am thankful that my parents let me be myself even though it was likely that I embarrassed them often. And I am thankful that I can look back on my oh-so-awkward teenage years and laugh.
Enjoy the silly stuff today. Remember to laugh at yourself, to not take life too seriously, and to be thankful.
P.S. My other November gem was a silly little headline I clipped from a National Enquirer and have held on to for years and years. I’ve shared it once on this blog, but being that Super Thankful Thursday is approaching, it seems fair to post it again.
Oh goodness, that turkey’s face makes me laugh every time. Have a silly day!