am i on speaker?

Is “Am I on speaker” going to have to be the new “Hello?”

My brother is getting married next year. He just proposed to his girlfriend after spending the last six months orchestrating the perfect proposal. Which involved zip-lining, sleeping in a treehouse, all her favorite snacks, a couple of fake outs just to keep her in suspense, and the Super Moon. I would marry the man who brought snacks to a proposal. Or arranged a Super Moon. And if he washed my hair like Robert Redford in Out of Africa, I’d even let him wear his boots on the carpet.

No, I wouldn’t. But I would pick up the phone and have a nice polished concrete or environmentally-friendly cork installed the very next day. Then he could tromp around on it with his ol’ muddy boots all day long.

But I digress.

So when my brother sent me a cryptic e-mail last week – “Let’s talk tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.” – I immediately went into a reenactment of The Sky is Falling. He is the polar opposite of me. Mellow all the time. And hilarious. I’d like to think I’m hilarious, too. But I’m also a walking sphincter.

All sphincters aside, my brother is not the type of person who writes cryptic emails. And he’s the last person to say “Let’s sync our watches for 3:00 p.m. tomorrow.” ┬áSo I, of course, immediately fear for the worst.

Here’s the thing most people don’t understand: If you give a worrier 24 hours to worry, they’ll use up every minute of it. And the first thing they are going to blurt out at 3:01 of the phone conversation is “Either you’re calling to tell me you set a date, you’ve broken up, or you’re gonna have a baby.” Which is exactly what I did. Not thinking in a million years that I WAS ON SPEAKER. With his fiance sitting right next to him.

Things you probably shouldn’t say to a couple on the verge of marriage: 1. “You’ve broken up, haven’t you?” and 2. “You’re gonna be nine months pregnant at the wedding, aren’t you?”

But wait, it gets better. They weren’t calling me for any of those reasons. Although they did set a date. They were calling to ask if I’d do them the honor of being in the wedding.

Yeah, that’s awkward.

Add in a little dropped calling – “Oh, I’d be honor…wait, are you still there?” – and you’ve just witnessed a tragic Hallmark-commercial-gone-wrong.

Luckily, my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law think my constant inappropriateness is part of my charm. Maybe they’ll find it charming when I wear my gigantic, inflatable Sumo suit to the reception.

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