The World as I Know It According to My Useless Voice Mail

Anyone who knows even a little about me knows that I live in a cave underground under a rock inside of an opaque bubble that only plays instrumental playlists that I compile myself. I don’t deal with normal person life. I don’t abide by your “”RULES.””

That being said, I did once upon a time have to get a cellular mobile phone that I never use for phone calls. Even though that [waving my hand at my last sentence], I still get “voicemail” that I occasionally notice and check, if I am not filled with the dread of potential weird news that I will need to call back about — but that hasn’t happened yet! I may forget to check for weeks, maybe even months once or twice, but eventually I remember to do it. For what little good it does me!

Small illustration. Salmon pink background with a forward facing rose gold cell phone as the only subject. Phone has scuffed case, grubby marks, broken screen, and a band-aid. The screen shows a little green face looking like it has a disapproving attitude. You can see icons for phone and email. Words next to the phone say "THIS thing."
My phone and I are reluctant colleagues.

Because I like to only do things that have meaning and purpose, no matter how small, I have been using this pointless-to-me feature as a barometer to learn about what I’m missing in what I assume is a typical American life. And let me tell you, I am FINE about missing it!


There are many kinds of insurance, apparently. People want to be insured about their houses, boats, persons, belongings, etc — I have none of them, and the voices leaving me messages think that I need all of them. The interesting thing is that they are all framed as though I can do better than what I already have. Can I though?


Debt is a common occurrence, it would seem. Many people live with it. The voices on my phone tell me that they can help me get out of it. I am suspicious of their motives. Money and I are only loosely acquainted — I try to live independently from it. But hearing the voices try to soothe fears that they assume I have gives me a creeping dread. It seems like the best option here is to learn about bankruptcy law so that you can make the right decision to get out of that debt as fast as possible, without facing bigger problems in the near future.

Car Stuff

Cars need insurance. And titles. And repair. And BETTER insurance. And a loan for a newer one. I have been offered assistance on many of these matters but I do not own a car! I haven’t even driven! I decided when I was sixteen years old and knew it all that having a car would be too much responsibility and a constant drain of funds. Cars, I was told, are how I can feel freedom. Aside from that being a weird argument on behalf of car ownership, it all sounded like a lot of my time and energy would be used up on things that weren’t me or my happiness. My time and energy would be spent on maintaining a job in order to afford the car that I needed in order to drive to the job. Why would I want that life? I don’t! Leave me alone!


Caution! Someone has my identity! An unnamed government agency tells me so with varying regularity. They are cut off before they can get very far, but it sounds to me like they will be asking for my social security number or credit card number (as if I have one) in due time. I am glad I don’t have to evasively use words other than “yes” or “no” in response in case they are recording me for illegal gain!

This is the same phone and the same illustration as the last one, only this time the green face's mouth is saying, "I'm not just a hand computer, Amandoll. I am a functioning phone." And there is a tiny anguished Amandoll in the lower right corner, shouting, "I don't understand!"

Chinese Robot

A robotic voice calls me, speaking in Mandarin. There is always dreamy soap opera music playing behind it in an effort to either soothe or hypnotize me. Maybe my car in mainland China could have better insurance? Maybe my identity in China is stolen. Maybe I have won a free cruise or timeshare opportunities abound? I will never know unless I take my duolingo lessons more seriously.

Someone Loves Me

This isn’t here to brag, but to perplex. All of my friends and family know to not call me because I never answer. And because either my phone is that janky, or because I am that phone illiterate (it is an even chance), I don’t know how to set the voice mail so that it tells me when a call was even received or what phone number is associated with a voice. But among the spam calls and robots, a real and barely-familiar female human voice, at some point in the last few months, called to say, “hi Amanda, I love you.” Of the people I know who know my number, none admitted to calling me. Maybe it was the universe. Maybe it was my phone itself.

It was very nice but I don’t know how to save a voice mail forever so it’s only a memory now. I expect to hear repetitions of all the other entries in this post next time I bring myself to check it, whenever that may be.

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