Cardiogirl 19 percent body fat 100 percent fun


who's calling please?


I'm starting to think I am the only person on the face of the earth who identifies herself when making a phone call. Well, maybe the only person north of the equator. When I make a phone call (even to my own parents and siblings) the first thing out of my mouth, when the other person answers the phone, is "Hi, this is Cardiogirl Smith." With my family, it's more casual and I usually say, "Hey, it's Cardio."

I've noticed as of late that I have been neglecting my beloved side note, and we can't have that. So here we go: My husband is the only person with whom I don't use my full name, but I still identify myself on the phone by saying "Hey, it's me." Sometimes I'll shake it up and say, "This is your wife," just because I can. That, of course, reminds me of two "Seinfeld" episodes. The first is when Jerry was dating the blonde chick who "got gonorrhea from a tractor." She would call Jerry and say, "Hi, it's me." And Jerry felt their relationship wasn't tight enough for her to use "it's me" just yet. The other episode is when Jerry found out if his girlfriend was his wife, she would get a discount at the dry cleaner. So he told the dry cleaner that Courtney Cox was, indeed, his wife. Then he told Kramer, "It's fun to use 'my wife' in a sentence. Try it." That is when Kramer uttered these immortal words faltering at first and then gaining momentum, "My... wife... has an inner ear infection." I love that line!

Okay, that was a side note of monumental proportions.

Interestingly enough, my father never identifies himself on the phone to me. Not on a live conversation when I answer the phone and not on a voice mail message. He is a very bottomline-type person who gets directly to the point. There's no skipping about the mulberry bush with my dad. So usually when he calls me and I answer the phone he will reply, "I have a question for you."

If he leaves me a voice mail message he will simply say, "Cardio, call me." At times he will throw in the following disclaimer, "It's nothing important." When we do speak on the phone he is very verbose and chatty, so it's not like he's a quiet man.

Just two days ago this was the message he left on my home phone (God strike me down if I am embellishing at all) "(in take of breath and a sneeze) 'I'll call your cell phone.' " I saved that message and have played it ad nauseam for my children. They laugh their heads off every time they hear it. "Grandpa sneezed. Play it again!"

If you're interested, the cell phone message was, "Cardio, call me."

What's so curious to me is that when he leaves messages for the rest of my siblings he will say, "This is your father, call me." He identifies himself to them. (I know because I have asked my sisters and brother and I have listened to some of my dad's messages to them.) I just find that weird that he never says to me, "This is Dad. This is your father. I am the man from whose loins you have sprung." There's no identifier.

So my phone etiquette is an on-going joke between me and my kids' babysitter (and her parents). Whenever I talk to any one of them (we've known them for about six years now) I say, "This is Cardiogirl Smith." And they laugh and say "I'm so glad you told me your last name because we have so many Cardiogirls calling us, we're never quite sure which one it is."

This is the strangest part of the whole thing to me and I'll have to throw it out to Paula: With everyone (except my parents and siblings) I'm not quite sure they're going to know who I am if I simply say "It's Cardiogirl." I feel like I have to give my first and last name just to make sure I show up in the other person's memory bank. I'm sure somehow this is related to childhood. That's basically where we end up every time I talk to Paula. I do get tired of every reason going back to that. In fact, I usually say to her, "All roads lead to childhood, don't they?"

Okay, this just popped into my head and I'm betting this is the reason. Growing up I always felt like my siblings and I were interchangeable, not special in any particular way. My sisters and I all have the same middle name (Marie -- yuck and as you know, I refuse to use it or acknowledge it and I am the only one who does that [one step toward individuality, yet interestingly enough, I am afraid to change my name legally to drop my middle name, not sure why]), we all have names that start with the "K" sound and my parents stressed that we were all equal. No one was special.

I am positive, now that I am writing this out, that is the reason why I do it. I want to stand out, I want to be different and I want people to remember me for me, not for the herd of siblings I came from (which is how people from my home town remember me "right, you're one of the MacDougal kids."


Maybe I don't need to pay Paula all of that money every couple of weeks. I can just talk to my Prime 17. Thanks for clearing that up.


My reminder which will go away on September 1, 2007:
Don't forget my goal of getting enough votes so I can donate money to Gilda's Club. You don't have to leave your name or your e-mail address, just anonymously click the the thumbs up icon at this website. That's all it takes!


2007-08-16 at 6:39 a.m.

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