Rebecca Eckler is one of Canada's most talked about newspaper columnists, the author of Knocked Up: Confessions of a Hip Mother to Be, which has been translated into nine languages. Also the author of the bestsellers, Wiped!, Toddlers Gone Wild, and Rotten Apple, the first in a YA series. Random thoughts on life in the competitive world of modern mommyhood. Blog will be loved by trendy mothers who still feel, or often feel, that the most important word in "mommee" is ME!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Three times in the past week I've dialled the wrong number from my cell.

What can I say? It's hard to press those damn little buttons with gloves on.

Each time, no one picked up and it went straight to their voice mail messages.

I just hung up. I don't leave messages for people I'm not intending to call. I just call the person I had been meaning to call instead.

But, each time, I've gotten a call back from these people I never meant to call in the first place.

"Hello?" they'll say, when I pick up. (Now, as a mother, I usually pick up all calls, just in case it's an "emergency." Even those dreaded "Private" calls, I feel I need to pick up.)

"Hello?" I said back.

"You just called me," they'll say.

I was weirded out the first time.

By the third time I honestly wanted to ask the stranger I had called by mistake why they were calling me back, especially since I didn't leave a message.

Each time, when they called back, I said, "Sorry. I dialled the wrong number."

They all seemed upset about it.

Why do people call you back when they clearly don't know who it was who was calling them in the first place, and the person didn't leave a message?

If a number appears on my phone that I don't recognize, and the person doesn't leave a message, I don't call that number wondering who it was who called me. If it was that important, they would have left a message, I figure.

Maybe I should leave a message after dialling wrong numbers. "Sorry. I didn't mean to call you. Don't worry about calling me back to check."

It's one of those great technology etiquette questions.

My friend just went through another technology-ish question.

"We used to sign our e-mails with 'xoxo,'" she said to me about one of her other friends. "And now she doesn't. And now I didn't in my last e-mail! What does it mean?"

I've been there. A while ago, I started signing off certain e-mails with 'xoxox.'

The 'xoxo' sign-off takes some thought. You can't just sign off an 'xoxo' for everyone.

There are certain people I've written to that I've really wanted to sign off with the 'xoxox' but I couldn't. Mostly these are professional people (my editors) who I also really like as people. Are they friends? Are they editors?

Or other mothers at my daughter's school who send me Thank You e-mails for the gift I've bought for their kid for their birthday. I want to send back, "Your welcome! xoxox R.")

But who knows? Maybe they'd think I was being a little TOO friendly by signing off with a "xoxox."

I also wanted to sign off an 'xoxo' one e-mail with my daughter's teacher, who kindly helped me out with her skates (buying kid's skates is a whole other post.)

I could sign off xoxox because that would cross the teacher/parent code of some sort. Even though I was really grateful.

In any case, once you start using the "xoxox" sign-off, people expect you to continue using it. They read into it, if they don't receive an "xoxox" in all future e-mails.

Once you're in the "xoxox" circuit of e-mails, you're stuck in there. Once you start using them at the end of e-mails, you've got to continue. Or else people will wonder why they're no longer getting the "xoxo" treatment.

Which is why I don't give out my 'xoxox' to just anybody.

Just a couple random thoughts today...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe you didn't write about Cancun!!!

Give us the whole scoop! Post pictures!

11:46 AM

Blogger Badness Jones said...

I don't always know how to sign off e-mails either. I usually use 'chat soon' or xoxo and just my initial, S.

Hope you had fun in Cancun - and I'm glad you're blogging again!

12:50 PM

Blogger Mrs. Blogoway said...

I misdialed Saturday and had forgotten about it when I got a call from the misdialed number. The lady was really intense and demanded to know my name. I told her because I was so taken off guard. I explained that I just misdialed. This seemed to appease her and we hung up. What the?! Who are these people that are scouring their received calls list 24/7?

6:09 PM

Anonymous r-dean said...

I've gotten those call backs too - and thought as you did, why call back if the person didn't leave a message and you don't recognize the number? duh. I like that though, the idea of leaving a message to say it's a wrong number - just in case. ;-)

12:09 PM

Blogger Imperfect Mommy said...

LOL. I think the people who always return calls are very lonely. I think that's why they sound so sad and dissapointed when you tell them you dialed the wrong number.

6:35 AM

Blogger Stephanie said...

Your welcome should be You're welcome

10:52 AM

Anonymous Constance said...

I know this is an extremely old post, but I just had to comment. It absolutely boils me (for no apparent reason) when people call a number back. My husband does this and every time he calls the number back I look at him crazy like why are you calling them back. I feel the exact same way you do. Clearly if it was important, they would have left a message. Something else that burns me up though is not checking your messages before you call someone back. My mother does this. I'll call her and if she doesn't answer, I'll leave her a message explaining the nature of my call. But my mom doesn't see the necessity of listening to her voicemails. She'll just call me back and say hey what's up? And I'm like I just left you a message explaining what was up crazy lady.

8:42 AM


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