This is the note my husband Erich found on our kitchen counter when he returned from the hardware store.
Eric, I’ve gone for a walk with Beth. Ann
It might seem innocuous enough, yet to my husband of 22 years, this simple message spelled danger! First, the note was found on the kitchen counter where I never leave important messages. My mother taught me right and insisted we leave these precious scraps of scribbled-on-paper on the kitchen floor where they are sure to be spotted. Countertops are dangerous places. An electric bill can go weeks without detection under the kitchen camouflage of junk mail heavily sprinkled with homework and dirty dishes.
The fact that my note was discovered on the kitchen counter at all is highly suspect for two reasons. One, that I would go against a lifetime of training to put the note in such jeopardy and two that the counter itself was clear enough that it wasn’t swallowed instantly by countertop debris. Something must be wrong! My husband was also alarmed by the misspelling of his name. Surely the woman he’s been sleeping next to for 22 years would know how to spell his name. Perhaps I had left off Erich’s “h” and placed the note in a dangerous place as a cry for help. Erich immediately tried calling my cell phone and heard my usual voicemail message warning callers, “Hi, This is Ann. You can leave a message if you like, but I need to let you know that my phone is often in the drawer turned off so you might want to call me at home if it’s something important.” Erich called Beth’s cell phone to see if she, like normal people, might have her cell phone with her. And if she, like normal people, might have it turned on. Luckily my friends are normal people. They carry purses, cell phones, and always have a tissue or a pen when you need one – that’s why I hang out with them. Beth assured Erich that I wasn’t in someone’s trunk, but was actually by her side. The misspelling came in my rush to leave the house and the fact that for 8 hours a day I write emails and take messages for my boss who has the same name as my husband but spells it Eric.
My Erich now spells my name Anne with an e for the fun of it.