How to make friends after 40 when you don’t have kids

September 12, 2018

Yesterday the phone rang while I was in the middle of a research project. Looking over at the dreaded call display I said to myself, I do not know Toby J********* therefore I shan’t be answering that.

Half an hour later I noticed there was a voicemail, leaving me to assume someone was trying to get me to shampoo the carpets again. Isn’t it interesting how they can now call under fake numbers so it looks like they’re local but really it’s 1-800-annoy-the-shit-out-of-whoever-answers? While I was staring at the blinking phone Toby called again. Taking matters into my own hands I dared to answer.

“Hello” (big booming voice)

“Well hello there. You’re on the line now so I left you a message and you can just go ahead and disregard it because I have you on the line.”

“Yes, I am on the line.”

“Okay well can you tell me what time the movie Puzzle starts?”


“The movie puzzle, what time does it start on Wednesday?”

“Oh are you trying to call the movie theater on xyz?”

“Yes, isn’t this it?”

“No, I’m sorry it isn’t. I’ve had this number for 14 years and it’s never been the movie theater.”

“Yes it is, the guy at the theater gave it to me.”

“Well then the guy at the theater is drunk because this has been my telephone number for 14 years. HOWEVER <before Toby can interject> I do occasionally get calls like yours AND fortunately for you I LOVE that movie theater AND I saw Puzzle AND it is amazing so let me look that up for you right now.”

“Oh so you work for the movie theater.” <statement not question>

“No, I do not work for the movie theater I just happen to love that particular movie theater.”


“So one second here I’m at my computer and I’m looking up the times….”

“You work for the movie theater? Like they pay you to help people who call you?”

“No I just thought I’d give you a hand because you seem like you really want to see the movie—“

“Oh I do. I want to go on Wednesday. This is SO NICE OF YOU. Oh my gosh I cannot believe you are actually looking this up for me. And they’re not even paying you! I, I just can’t believe this!”

“1:50 on Wednesday. One Five Oh.”

“1:15 on Wednesday.”

“No, 1:50 in the afternoon. ONE FIVE OH <loud voice>

“And you liked it, huh?”

“Yes, I loved it. I’m a puzzler so I went for that part but the story was also very good, it warmed my heart. I hope you enjoy it.”

“Oh I’ve been dying to go. I’m so happy it’s still playing. The guy said it was so I’m glad it still is. I’m going to go on Wednesday at ONE FIVE OH. You know they have the best staff. Everyone is so nice and they have these closed captioned glasses that are not like the other ones around town.”

“Oh the other ones are not good?” <Me to myself: what in the fck am I doing right now?>

<Big sigh of exasperation> “No the other ones are NOT good. They are clunky as heck and you feel like you’re wearing a helmet and my head wants to tip over to the side. What was your name again?”


“Well Carrie I probably won’t remember that but I’m Toby and I want to say thank you.

‘Well you are welcome and you can call me anytime—“

“I CAN?”

“Yes, you can. If you need help with the movie times and I’m home to pick up the phone I am happy to help. But remember I might not be home. But if I am, no problem.”

“WELL CARRIE, THIS IS JUST SOMETHING! I don’t have a computer – you know I don’t really understand how that technology stuff works so it makes it hard to find out the movie times. They don’t print them in the paper anymore and I don’t even have a cell phone…<voice trails off> so THANK YOU. I just can’t believe it.”

“Like I said, Toby, anytime. I’m happy to help. You really made my day, it’s always nice to talk to a fellow movie goer. Have fun at the movies! I hope you love it.”

“Well I know I’ve called you before and you were so helpful….so thank you. I’m going to call you again.”


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  • Reply Cass September 13, 2018 at 3:38 am


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