A red light used to flash when a voicemail came through on the old office phones.  They had cords and wires and buttons, remember those?  I used to wrap the cord around my finger, flatten it out, and kink it up.  The more I used it, the more stretched and misshapen the cord got until I had to swap it out one day with a coworker’s.

Those were the simple days of technology; there was a kind of bliss in not knowing everything.  When the light flashed, it was nice to not know whose voice was on the recording or what information or glad tidings were to be shared.

Now, I use a Smart phone for everything. No cord, no buttons, no fun, really.

I have to know as much as possible before answering any call and have taken a vow to screen all unknown calls.  Fortunately, with advances in caller id, this has become easier than ever.  My husband, on the other hand, looks forward to unknown callers for the chance that he has won the big check from Publisher’s Clearinghouse or some other contest that he never entered.

If I don’t know the caller, I let it roll to voicemail.  Today was no exception.

Five times today, I received a message from the same woman.  She called from different numbers each time, perhaps with the hope to throw me off and get an unguarded, “Hello, this is Puney…” The calls came from unknown landlines and a cell phone, and several restricted numbers, so of course I didn’t answer.

The messages did not grow friendlier throughout the day. In fact, they reached a boiling point with threats against humanity and a promise to find me in a suspiciously Liam Neesan Taken style. While the phone rang unanswered, my voicemail inbox slowly filled to capacity and my left eye developed an uncontrollable twitch.

“She’s just trying to find her power in a powerless situation,” a colleague sympathized with the woman. “I feel bad for her, I really do,”

I pictured a bug struggling in a spider’s web; the harder the woman fought, the more entangled she became with the very thing holding her back.

So after a careful review of her voicemails, I called her back.  I did it to appease the little part of me that sensed desperation within the psychotic threats.  I heard the need for an advocate and patient listener beneath the screaming and unreasonable demands.

Then I discovered that little part of me was wrong.

She was just a mean wife.

A lady bully.

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