let’s have an honest talk about how your voicemails suck

So, ya. I’m pretty sure that in about 3 minutes we’ll all have Google Voice – which magically types out voicemail messages – and this whole post will seem old-fashioned.

But that three minutes is going to feel longer than a bad city council meeting if we don’t go over some things in the meantime.

Sure, sure, in the beginning it was cute to leave looooong messages. Giving a play by play of your day, telling me what to get at the store, or even signing a song was all just super fun.

But those days are over.


At first I hoped social norms would just kick in and we could avoid this awkward conversation all together. Alas, it’s been at least 18 years since you got voicemail, and yet you still don’t understand.

It’s ok though. I’m here to help!

There’s just a few things you need to learn and with a little training, I believe we all could be living in a better voicemail world by Halloween Christmas.

Let’s start on a positive note. Here’s how you should leave a voicemail:

Hey. This is Crystal, from [insert in ONE word about how you know this person. i.e. church, work, Madagascar]. My number is 234-567-8912. Just wanted to call and touch based on that project we’re doing. Give me a call when you get this. Again this is Crystal from [insert how you know this person one more time] and my number is 234-567-8912.

See what I did there? I stated my name in the beginning. Then BAM, a second after that, you get the answer to your next question – Crystal who? Oh! Crystal from Madagascar. Duh.

After that you get my number. Right there at the beginning.

It’s kind of amazing.

Then, I BRIEFLY explain why I’m calling. One 12- word sentence is all you need. Promise.

Then, once more – who I am, where I’m from and what my number is.




This should not be hard.

Alas, it seems to be for you.

Here’s an example of a BAD voicemail:

Heeeeeyyyyyyy. How’s it going? I was just calling to ummm let you know that I had some questions about the power point you sent. I’m wondering why you choose the color blue for the front page, and ummmm why you like Ariel font. Wait. Nevermind. That’s Times New Roman. Oh. And ummm, where did you get that clip art from? Was it online or from your computer or somewhere else? I just wanted to know because I used to make power points professionally at Power Points R-Us back in 1997, and I’m really good at it, so I thought I would ask you why you made those decisions. I’m going to be on an airplane from ummmm about 5 to umm, oh about 6 tonight, so if you need to reach me then you’ll probably just have to leave a voicemail. Hope to hear from you soon though. Oh and ya, my number is 234-567-89.

Wow. Ok. There’s a couple (a million) problems here and although names and details have been changed to protect the guilty, I swear to Verizon that I get voicemails like this from TONS of people. (You).

Let’s discuss.

One. Why does it take you 7 seconds to say “Hey.” It’s a one-second word people. ONE. SECOND. I could use those extra seconds to Twitter, or take a vitamin, or apply hand sanitizer.

But no. I had to listen you extend the “ay” sound in hey for an extra six seconds. That’s six seconds I’ll never get back.

And while we’re on the topic, what is up with the Ummmms? Stop saying umm. It’s ANNOYING.

Moving along.

Why did you not tell me your name?!


Are you so selfish as to think you are the ONLY person ever to work on a power point with me? You’re not. I need to know if you’re someone from work, or someone from church, or someone from Madagascar, because I work on power points with people from all three of those places. But you didn’t leave your name, and you kind of sound like that hot guy I meet Friday night, so now I’m just confused.

Also, why are you leaving three million questions (some with your own answers) and a line from your resume on my freaking voicemail? Just tell me that you want to talk about the power point and I will call you and THEN you can ask your stupid questions about font and color choice. Trust me, I’m not going to remember what the heck you were talking about three minutes later when I call you, and then you will just have to repeat yourself.

Trust me.

And finally, after I wasted 4 minutes and 27 seconds to get to your freaking phone number you LEAVE OFF TWO DIGITS!!!



In the future, you should know that leaving your number at the beginning and the end will help avoid this problem. And then I will not hate you. (win-win).

Now, obviously there are exceptions to all of these rules.

For example, boyfriends and best friends can say whatever the crap they want on my voicemail, because I actually care about everything they say. And they don’t have to ever leave their number ever. Also, moms and roommates don’t even need to leave a voicemail at all, because chances are I’ll just talk to you within a few hours anyway.

Oh, and if you’re leaving me a compliment, I usually can overlook a drawn-out Heeey.

And obviously if there’s a situation involving a hospital, a winning lottery ticket, johnny depp or time travel you can talk as long as you want.

If none of those things apply to you though, please just stick to the color-coded example voicemail above, press pound for more options, or 4 to repeat your message, and have a fantabulous day!


  • Share/Bookmark

I wouldn’t take his name because it’s hard to pronounce / I now love b.reith

At first, I was kinda worried I’d somehow been talked into going to a Christian headbanging concert last night.

Not that I don’t love the headbanging-for-Jesus set or anything, it’s just that it hurts my neck, and I don’t really like jumping up and down for 37 minutes straight to express enthusiasm – I’m more of a clapper.

Lucky for me, it was SO much awesomer than a headbanging concert. Rather, there was this one band, and this other band, and a couple other bands AND B.Reith.

(pronounced B.Right). (I think).

musical sigh.

I love him now.

Not only are his lyrics rockin, and not only is he kinda from the area (Milwaukee), and not only is he Christian, but people, he’s ALSO hott. (complete with the extra t.).

His style is a mix of Eminem (if Eminem loved God), Weezer and Gym Class Heros (I’m not sure if either of them love God – but if they did and they mixed their sounds with Eminem, they’d sound like B.Reith).

My favorite line of the night went something like “How’d I get so popular? I blame my face. opps. I mean MySpace.”

I felt like dancing in the aisles during his set. No joke. (I didn’t though because that would make me seem crazy. Duh.).

Immediately after he got off stage I started concocting ways to meet him. My first plan included a bag of coffee beans, a cigarette and a bottle of water.

Then I remembered that he’s barely famous and opted instead to just wait in line near his merchandise table.

I wanted to say something along the lines of:

Hello. My name is Crystal. I thought your performance was downright amazing. Your mad writing skills blew me away. I got your jokes, saw your point of view and was inspired all at once. Would it be at all possible for you to sign my CD? Really. Great! Ya, it’s C.R.Y.S.T.A.L. Oh, and I loved the joke you made about MySpace. That was hi.larious.

I wish you only the best! Also, I love Milwaukee, and I hope you have a good time with your parents tonight.

Instead, I waited about 10 minutes behind a line of girls who couldn’t get a legal drink, and then when I got up to him, said:

Hi!!! Ummm. Can you sign my CD?? C.R.Y.S.T.A.L! I liked your joke about your face and MySpace! He. He. OK. umm. Thanks!

Flying between clouds I was after that though people. Just floating around and loving life.

It was glorious.

And I immediately went over to show my now-prized CD to Lynn (the friend from church who’d taken me to this concert in the first place).

She’s never satisfied though.

Although she was semi-impressed by the autograph, she decided I needed to get a picture with this man.

I’m not sure she clearly understood how crazy I had already looked though, so I insisted on not bothering the poor guy with such a request.

As a compromise we decided to have her stand in front of him while I stood about a foot in back of him. The plan was for me stare at the camera and wait until he happened to turn toward her and then FLASH!, she’d take the picture, and it’d kinda sorta look like I was standing next to him and we’d run away so as not to seem crazy.

Strangely, that didn’t work too well.

After trying to casually look over his shoulder for about 8 minutes, I finally decided to just tap his back and ask for a freaking photograph.

I figured that because he’s Christian he had to say yes.

And while he was awkwardly putting his arm around me (he-touched-me sigh) I told him that I happen to write a funny blog and Oh. Here’s my card. (Hey B. Reith,if you’re reading this – Facebook me!).

Ok. Ok. Here’s the picture. Note how I’m smiling like I just got a $5,000 bonus check AND learned that Oprah likes my blog, while his smile is more “I thought I already signed this girl’s CD. Man. Fans are so weird. (fame’s-hard sigh)”

I don’t care though. Because that guy right there is my future husband, and I need photos like this for the grandkids.


Also, because I know you’re too lazy to YouTube him yourself, I have inserted one his videos into this post. Hit play, and remember to thank me next time we hang out:

You LOVED IT! right? Well, here’s one more. (It has more God in it) (you’ll have to excuse the random man singing “do do do” around the 2:05 mark).

  • Share/Bookmark

at least the Duchess of Windsor understands

Here’s the thing about losing weight – there’s always 10 more pounds.


I’ve lost close to 25 pounds (23) and it’s awesome.

I went shopping today, and got into sizes I haven’t seen since my gen-ed days in college.

I felt pretty, and confident, and fun.

I even looked nice in that sweater from the junior’s department.

True story.

But I still want to lose 10 more pounds.

And when I lose those 10 pounds, I’ll have another 10 to go.

Part of it’s the rush I get each time a pound drops off the digital scale.

It’s downright addictive.

I keep saying that when I reach such-and-such weight, I’ll be all open and honest on here and talk about the whole thing.

I’ll tell ya’ll about the reasons, and the emotional adjustments and I’ll even share those magic numbers – my start weight, and my end weight.

But then I put it off.

I just want to lose just 10 more pounds first.

After that though, I swear – you’ll get all the gory details.

“A woman can’t be too rich or too thin.”

– Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

  • Share/Bookmark