One night recently, my phone rang several times throughout the evening. Each time, a woman's voice asked for Ben. Each time I politely explained that I lived alone, my name wasn't Ben, and she had a wrong number. The fifth time she called, I had had enough.
"Hello?" I said.
"Can I speak to Ben, please?"
I replied, "I'm sorry, he's not in right now. Can I take a message?"
"Do you know what time he'll be back?" she responded.
"I think he said he'd be home around 10:00."
Silence on the other end... a confused silence.
"Is this Steve?"
"Yes, it is. Do you want to leave a message for Ben?"
"Well... he said he would be home tonight and asked me to call him," she said in a slightly irritated voice.
I replied, "Well, he went out with Karen about an hour ago and said that he would be back at 10:00."
A shocked voice now: "Who's Karen?!"
"The girl he went out with."
"I know that! I mean... who is she?"
"I don't know her last name. Look, do you want me to leave a message for Ben?"
"Yes... please do. Tell him to call me when he gets home."
She was sounding pretty irate at this point. "I sure will. Is this Jennifer?"
She exploded, "Who's Jennifer?" Apparently she wasn't.
"Well... he's going out with Jennifer at 10:00. I thought you were her. Sorry... it was an honest mistake."
"Ben's the one that's made the mistake! Tell him that Alice called him and the she's very upset and that I would like him to call me as soon as he gets home."
I smiled and said, "Okay, I will... but Becky isn't going to like this...