What Your Outgoing Voicemail Message Says About You


Come on, pickup.

I swear I should’ve just texted. Seriously pickup; don’t ignore me just because I told you a bunch of lies in order to get your number the other night.

I’m sorry. I’m not really Mickey Rourke’s second cousin and I didn’t attend matador school on study abroad. Truth be told, I just watched Once Upon a Time In Mexico on the plane ride back.

Also, point of order, why does she have a ringback? Jesus, so unnecessary and obnoxious, like a car spoiler or Wilmer Valderrama.

Fine, don’t pickup. I know I’m showing my age, but I’ll just leave a voicemail. At least this option exists; so, even without intimately knowing her, I can immediately surmise that she’s not an impoverished refugee or drug dealer on a Boost Mobile burner plan without voicemail (1). Indeed, this phone was purchased somewhere other than a gas station also selling hookah supplies and dirty pizza slices.

Hmm, okay, her voicemail is set up. I can rule out her being an incompetent old person, terrible at everything except unchecked racism and being needlessly afraid of new “gizmos” (2). No doubt, this is a good sign; all my online dating profiles can corroborate that racism and old people are two of my biggest turn-offs.

Oh snap. Here we go. She’s opted against the robotic-voice-and-beep tandem for the more risky, personalized message. Like a drug-fueled Roman candle fight, a lot can go right but exponentially more can go wrong. The neutral, dehumanized tones whitewash over individual flaws the way prescription medication does. Transparent, she’s evidently fine with exposing any vocalized abnormalities or other message shortcomings. The generic message, on the other hand, states, “Oh, yes, I have some weird, upsetting traits, but they’ll just be fun surprises for you later.” (3)

We’re underway. Fingers crossed she doesn’t give me a reason to cringe, since I do remember liking her—like she had this face that was pretty un-objectionable to look at. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer a complexion that doesn’t revolt.

So far she’s golden. Her message is real, not at all Archer-esque. Fake-outs are common for the run-of-the-mill narcissist, and at this point in time that person’s merely a self-centered prick who won’t let a stale, recycled goof die quietly (4). She’s all business. There are no attempts at funny or any tired, “wacky” answering machine gimmick that may have been amusing for a short-lived fortnight thirty years ago. Jokes, even good ones, get old, and fast. Truly, attempts at humor in a message are for the attention whores; the type of person who would ask something like “Aren’t I just the craziest, funniest person you know?” (5)

But she’s crushing it right now. There haven’t been any awkward pauses, stalls, or other telltale indicators of inattention to detail (6). Negligence runs on a spectrum; although, it can be tough to determine from a single message if she’d be the type to maybe misplace her keys once in a awhile or if she’s the kind who forgets babies in foreign taxis.

I’m waiting for the beep now in awe. The blaring tones of her ringback are long forgotten. She might the one.

Okay, Jesus, fuck, why didn’t I figure out what I wanted to say? The message I just left, no doubt, has me sounding insanely gross and desperate. Why the shit did I need to take a bite of sandwich right then?

Eh, I won’t expect a call back.