Wednesday, March 24, 2010


More indications, if only my husband weren't the trusting sort, that I am obviously running around on him. I turned up in an unexpected place. Sort of.

Two days ago, as hubby was bringing in the mail, he asked, "Have you been in Westwego recently?"

I tried to recollect if I had ever been in Westwego, or if I could even find Westwego on a map, as hubby handed me a letter from the Westwego Photo Enforcement Program, which oddly enough, had an address in Arizona. Enclosed was a notice that stated in part, "As you can see from the photos to the right, a vehicle registered in your name and described below has been photographed exceeding the posted speed limit."

The vehicle "described below" was my Ford Mustang. As I could "see from the photos to the right", the vehicle exceeding the speed limit was a silver Dodge Stratus. One would think that an inability to tell a Ford Mustang from a Dodge Stratus would disqualify one from working for the Photo Enforcement Program, but stranger hires have been known to happen. Ask me about my experiences with the Ochsner Clinic billing department for examples.

I could see how the mistake was made. The number on the license plate was indeed mine. The number on the plate was mine, but the plate itself wasn't. My license plate has been issued by the state of Louisiana, and a more than cursory glance at the Stratus revealed that its license plate was issued by Mississippi. I could tell because the word "Jackson" was written across the bottom of the plate. In Mississippi, they put the name of the county in which a plate was issued on it. In Louisiana, we don't even have counties. The license plate on the Stratus also had a picture of a lighthouse on it, like the Biloxi lighthouse. In Louisiana, we have pelicans, but only on the newer plates. Old ones, like mine, are plain.

What with Arizona being an hour behind us, I was able to call right before the office closed and talk with a nice woman named Peggy about how Ford does not make a Stratus. She got my phone number and said she would talk to someone at the help desk and see what they had to say.

The next day, as I was grousing to my co-workers, (the very same co-workers who saw me in the office on the day I was supposedly speeding through Westwego) Peggy called. The citation against me had been voided, and called for no further action on my part. This is good, since now I don't have to find my way to the courthouse in Westwego to plead my case. I can just imagine getting lost, speeding to get there on time, and getting a ticket for real. That would be embarrassing.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wrong Number

I am not one to spend a lot of time on the phone. I got a cell phone for emergencies and because it makes it easy to meet up with family members on trips, but most of the time it sits in my purse and I never hear it ring. I upgraded to an iPhone when my son gave me his old one, and then upgraded to the new iPhone so I could send multimedia texts.

Shortly after I got my new cell phone, I began getting calls from a local number, and the occasional voicemail. The voicemails made it clear that that the caller was not looking for me. At first I figured it was a one time mistake, but then I began getting 4 or 5 calls a week, and voicemails of the “Hey, baby, this is your husband, call me back when you get this” variety in a voice that was not my husband’s.

I called the number back one time, and a woman answered. She insisted no one had called my phone from her number, and when I pointed out that the only reason I even had her number was that it was on my phone, she hung up.

Weeks later, I called again, and got the man who had been calling. He said he has a cell phone with almost the same number, and sometimes dialed me by mistake when trying to call his wife. I asked him to please be more careful, and a few weeks went by with no wrong numbers, until a few nights ago. I was actually holding the phone (playing solitaire) when it rang, and answered to hear “Hey, baby”.

“You have the wrong number,” I replied, to hear a hasty “Sorry, ma’am” as the response.

Yesterday, I got another voicemail. I think my caller is dyslexic.

I have been sharing my voicemail woes with my husband, and we jokingly refer to my caller as my secret admirer. This has got me thinking, though, about a marriage website I used to read, and what the people there would make of all these phone calls.

I should point out, in the interests of full disclosure, that I am now banned from the discussion board on that website. It’s the only discussion group I have ever been banned from.

At any rate, in addition to forums to discuss general marriage problems, of the “he leaves his dirty socks all over the house” variety, the site has forum for infidelity support, and I used to read that for the same reason other people read The National Enquirer. In addition to discussions of specific posters situations, there was a lot of discussion about “how to know your spouse is cheating, and what to do about it”. If my husband were to post that his wife was getting a lot of calls from a strange number, and claimed that someone she didn’t know kept dialing the number by mistake, he would be told in no uncertain terms that this is a big red flag, that I am having an affair, and that I am even less adept than the usual wayward spouse at making excuses. What would follow would be advice to install a keylogger on my computer, put a voice-activated recorder in my car, and maybe even hire a PI.

It’s not as though the phone calls are the only sign of my obvious infidelity. From the list of “50 signs your spouse is having an affair”, I match at least ten:

5. Starts talking about getting together with old friends they haven't seen in years. Just yesterday I told hubby that I found an 80 year old woman friend of mine on Facebook.

6. Starts shopping for new clothes. I do that at least twice a year, and still dress mostly in cotton pants and work T-shirts.

12. Express opinions on subjects that they never had an interest in. Lately I’ve talked a few times about global warming.

14. Encourages you to visit parents or friends alone. I used to encourage hubby to visit MIL alone all the time.

16. Car is kept free of paraphernalia belonging to you or the kids. My car is the one space I can keep clean. The rest of my personal space looks like I belong on a reality TV show.

17. Starts attending extended seminars or conventions. I’ve been to two in New Orleans in the last three years. That should tell him something.

20. They suggest that you open up separate checking accounts. We’ve always had separate checking accounts.

21. Often forget[sic] to wear wedding ring. I don’t know about “often”, but maybe twice a month.

38. When they lose stuff they accuses[sic] you of gettting[sic] into their "stuff".... I don’t actually accuse him, but when I’ve lost something (a regular event), hubby’s first words are “I didn’t touch it.”

43. Grocery shopping and other excuses to get out "alone." We take turns doing the grocery shopping alone. We used to do it together, but we’d always fight over which mayonnaise to buy.

Of course, hubby would have a problem installing a keylogger on my computer - I use a Mac and to hubby, it may as well have been designed by Martians. And if he installed a voice activated recorder in my car, he’d wind up hearing more country music than he likes, since what he likes is none at all. He’s welcome to try, but what I really think he should do is answer the phone for me next time “Hey, baby” calls. That might solve the problem once and for all.