I have had my share of cold-calls regarding my blog – more often, emails. Today was a new one: a fellow named J. identifying himself from a township in a southern state asked me: “Is this Kelly Hogaboom?”
You know, not many people call me at home by name whom I don’t immediately recognize. Turned out this man had seen some of my sewing out in the internet and had been looking for me for some time. He was making pants for toddlers who’d been “saved from abortions” (do not ask me what this means because I do not know)*. He wanted my pants pattern know-how because I’d specifically spent some time making pants that fit properly over cloth diapers (le sigh… how I do sometimes miss those days, fer realz). So within the first few seconds of this stranger on a strange (well not-so-strange, but a real gear-shifter for me) errand we were talking about crotch depth and inseams and I asked if he’d prefer snail-mail or email.
But you know what was funny? Funny-sad. As soon as I realized it was a stranger, and he said my name and I could hear he wanted something from me, there was this part of me fearful. Like I might hear some pro-life rant. Or he might ask me for my bank account information or something. Or be stalking me.
Duh. I mean first of all I am not scared of a so-called “pro-life rant”. OK, yeah, I hadn’t even had my breakfast yet, but still, I can handle any conversation, really. Secondly, I am really unsure as to how someone by nature of asking or coercing or being really, really tricksy is going to get me to fork over my bank account information – so why fear the scam, I do not know (by the way, help yourself, I think I have $5.72 in checking). And stalking? Please. I have been online with my real name, email, phone number, and locale for years now. I am not going to live a different way.
The fellow was just asking directly for what he wanted. You know, patterns for sewing pants. For babies. I love sewing. Pants are fun. Babies are awesome. In fact, if there’s one thing I love it’s helping people sew! And I’m sad that for about sixty seconds in my mind I thought he was trying to take advantage – again, in what way I cannot articulate. The thing that’s really sad is I know so many people live with these kind of fears. What a terrible default way to go about reacting to the rest of the world.
After I got off the phone with J. I penned as thorough of an email as I could, sent a few of my files, and hoped I’d helped him in his mission. I briefly wrote my husband about the incident on IM – articulating the call, the unusual request, my instinctive and irrational fears, then:
Kelly: So by the way, he wants me to meet him behind the Morck hotel tonight with $200 cash.
* I know the man said, “saved from abortions”, but my mind kept picturing “survived from” or maybe “escaped from”. Like a toddler with a spatula-scraped battle-scar on his cheek, where as a fetus he lept from the womb and slithered to freedom. I think I’ve been watching too many horror / sci-fi B-movies and:
YES. I know I’m awful.