Mystery Text Creates Social Dilemma; What To Do When You Should Know Someone’s Name?

This week’s “Oh, No You Didn’t” Moment started with a single text message that popped up on my phone last Saturday.

“Hey, DK, thanks for the email,” it read. “How about breakfast or coffee tomorrow?”

“How lovely to get that invitation from a sweet friend!” you’re thinking.

Yes.

Only one problem.

There was only an unfamiliar phone number attached to the text.

What to do when text message comes from an unfamiliar phone number?

What to do when text message comes from an unfamiliar phone number?

No name.

And there you have it–

Just one of the almost daily opportunities I have to appear clueless.

Does this happen to you, too, Dear Reader?

You run into someone you know from the dog park, remembering their dog’s name, but not theirs.

You see someone from three jobs ago at the movie theatre, and can only think, “Good gosh, where do I know them from?”

Yes, the “Out of Context” Game is always fun.

How I feel when I should know someone's name.

How I feel when I should know someone’s name.

Speaking of fun, I showed the mystery text to Husband, admitting, “I have no idea who this is.”

“Text back and ask,” Husband said in his Practical Man manner.

“I couldn’t do that!” I said horrified at that thought. “It would be too embarrassing. Clearly, this person thinks I should know who this is.”

Instead, I got creative.

“Running with the ladies tomorrow,” I explained. “Wouldn’t be available, not to mention sweaty, until 10 am.”

Surely, that would get rid of the mystery texter.

“Perfect!” They quickly replied. “I’ll meet you at that cute café behind the grocery store.”

“So, now you have to ask,” Husband insisted.

“Not a chance. Now, I really can’t. They’ll know I just set up breakfast with someone I don’t know.”

“You’re just going to show up and see who walks in?” he said disbelieving. “What if it’s a serial killer?”

“I didn’t email any serial killers I know of this week,” I said, half-sure.

“What’s she doing now?” One teen daughter yelled from her bedroom catching pieces of her mother’s latest crazy escapade.

I went in explaining my dilemma, recognizing the opportunity for a teachable moment.

“So, you see,” I explained. “There will be times in life when you need to choose between personal safety and public embarrassment. I’m simply choosing to avoid public embarrassment.”

“Mother of The Year” awards will, no doubt, soon be flooding in.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.23.46 AM

At that very moment the texting gods downloaded a gift—

Previous messages from the mystery texter suddenly filled the screen, revealing this was my friend who works at a local TV station who I had, indeed, emailed earlier in the week.

“I knew it all along!” I declared to Husband, who simply shook his head.

There I was Sunday morning, sweaty as promised, apologizing for my appearance.

“I wanted to see you, not your mascara,” my friend reassured me, reminding me I need to spend more time with people like her.

Of course! I knew it all along! The mystery texter was my friend, Cinnamon Stouffer!

Of course! I knew it all along! The mystery texter was my friend, Cinnamon Stouffer!

Clued in again.

Oh, yes I am.

Which leads me to ask, “How do you handle clueless?” You can leave a comment below or drop me an email.

I might even pretend to know your name.

 

Please catch my column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.

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Mystery Text Creates Social Dilemma; What To Do When You Should Know Someone’s Name?

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min
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