remember when a wrong number was just a wrong number??

back in the day–the day being, like, just a few years ago–getting a call from a wrong number was, for the most part, quick and easy to deal with.


you: hello?

stranger: hi, can i speak to jamie?

you: uh, i think you have the wrong number.

stranger: oh, ok, sorry.


done. over. easy.

now, thanks to text messaging, the wrong number isn’t just a phone call. it’s a friggin text.

case in point: on thursday afternoon, holly and i were driving thru the sticks of western pee-ay and i get a text message. i pick up my phone and take a look.

Wat u doin?? it reads. it’s from an unfamiliar number. unfamiliar shorthand, too. call me a dork, but i still write out “what” in its entirety. hell, it’s only four letters.

“who’s it from?” holly asks.

“i don’t know,” i say. “wrong number.”

i start putting the phone back in my bag.

“find out who it is,” she suggests.

i shrug and pick the phone back up. i’m curious, but also feeling squeamish about text messaging with a potential stranger. i think the rest of my text-messaging-with-a-stranger episode speaks for itself, so i’m just going to give you the transcript. don’t worry, it’s short. i’ll start from the beginning. names have been changed to protect, well, me, probably. words have been bleeped out, too. ok, just one. anyway.

stranger: Wat u doin??

me: Who’s this?

stranger: <insert fake name>

me: Sorry, i think u have the wrong number…

stranger: N***a dis ma new numba

me: This is jessica, you have the wrong number.

and that, fortunately, ended it. look, i’m all for communicating w/new ppl, but c’mon now. i sighed and told holly i missed the days of just picking up the phone and telling someone they have the wrong number and that’s that. now you get erstwhile text messages from wrong numbers and you need to convince them they really do have the wrong number and they’re rude and use slang that you, as a jewish ex-jersey girl, feel uncomfortable even putting on your blog, which is fairly irreverent anyway, so that’s really saying something.

if you have similar stories, please share. i can’t be the only one out there getting wrong number texts and i need a good laugh.

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9 responses to “remember when a wrong number was just a wrong number??

  1. lol! I have had a texting stalker for some time now but it has to be one of my friends but its like hi sexy thing, heard you were recently single, let you and me get together sometime *wink wink* and it continues throughout the day…smh…quite entertaining I must say but I have never replied 🙂

  2. John Grunwell

    I once had an unknown woman send me a series of texts, telling me all about her romantic sorrows, and how she didn’t understand why we had to break up, yadda yadda yadda. It came in chunks too, because my phone would only accept so many characters in a text message. It was kind of sad. Like, how can such things happen these days with “contacts” lists?

  3. john, that *is* sad!! and i don’t know how in this day and age of contact lists galore how someone can get mixed up at all, let alone multiple times (about really personal stuff!).

    justdc: you’re not the least bit curious who’s txting you all that stuff?? wow. i’d want to know who it was/is.

  4. Shoot — I thought I’d gotten away with it. I mean, OF COURSE that was me …!

    My coworker used to get phone calls from someone convinced, absolutely convinced, she was X and wouldn’t believe her when she told him repeatedly she was not, in fact, X; he thought she was lying (and cheating on him!). I forget how it ended but I guess she left her ringer off for awhile and eventually the person got the message …

    People are weird.

  5. This is the bane of my existence! Some presumably slutty person named “Alex” routinely gives *my* number out to tons of random guys as his/her fake phone number. I get a text similar to what you’ve described at least once a week.

  6. The last wrong text I received was a series of pictures of a man’s penis, taken as he sat in his car…in broad daylight. The message read…”your turn Tina.”

    My message read…Tina’s busy, can I help you, along with a picture of my Labrador….he didn’t respond – go figure.

    My question-why is it when you get dirty pics accidentally, they are always from men…..where the heck were Tina’s pics? LOL

  7. woah. these are some stories, ppl. sounds like mine pales in comparison. i hope it stays that way! geesh.

  8. I unfortunately was the on the other end, for TWO YEARS I’vd been texting the wrong person with texts meant for my friend M. Getting more frustrated by her not answering (and yes sometimes a martini or two into it) I might text “B***h answer me! Get your pretty a** to the f***ing bar! Whore!…..

    Yeah I’m classy. I even asked her husband why she never responded and he claimed she “wasn’t a texter” ok fine. Finally I *confronted* her… yeah… I had the wrong number. But that person- whoever they may be… never corrected me! I did send one final apology text though. I’m good like that.

  9. I got a ‘want to come over’ text at 1am on a sunday nite. Thing is the name was ryan ms (my bad I sometimes don’t put in full names with number, sometimes it’s just a letter). Next day I figure out who it is (guy from a community group) text back ‘not a school nite’. He texts back never explaining the invite but ‘are you still in the group, i am’. Um what?

    At least back in the day a 1am call would have included some heavy breathing..

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