I just picked up a very odd phone message on my VOIP line (the one that has a US number).
I’m going to paraphrase:
“Hi, this call is for [my childhood nickname that only my “baby” brother uses; even my parents don’t any more].
This is going to sound really weird, but I’m your cousin.
My mother, [name I don’t ever recall hearing], and your Grandma B [who died in 1995] were first cousins.
Anyway, I’m coming to Israel tomorrow [NB: Friday, one of the shortest Fridays of the year; shabbat comes in very early] and thought maybe we could get together.
I’m coming for a bris and will be mostly with my husband’s family in Rechovot, but I’ll be in Jerusalem for a day. [Um, WHICH day?]
[Apparently, there was some miscommunication between her and my dad, with whom she must have spoken or emailed to get my number, because I decidedly do NOT live in Jerusalem. But does my dad, who has never been to Israel, even realize that? He has my address, but was he paying attention? Does he think I live in a nearby suburb? I mean, Modi’in is commuting distance to Jerusalem, but it’s not exactly seven minutes by car.]
I’ll have a [rental?] phone number in Israel, but I don’t know what it is yet, so I’ll have my brother call you tomorrow [is her brother in Israel? in America?].
You can try to reach me at [South Florida cell phone number and unintelligible email address].
Again, I’m your cousin. I know your dad. Hope to speak to you. Bye.”
Never mind that this woman, who will be on vacation, assumes that I will be able to drop everything and come meet her. My free time consists of…wait, I have no free time. Oh, hang on, every morning between 7:50 and 8:15 I’m free. Other than that I’m in ulpan* or have my kids.
How about her NAME? I know her mom’s name and the fact that she is my second cousin once removed, but she did not tell me her name! I listened to the message three times in the hope that I had just missed it, but alas.
I understand that she’s probably operating under pressure; a bris is not (usually) something that can be planned in advance. But this is an adult woman, presumably at least in her 40s or older, who neglected to identify herself by name in a phone message to a stranger.
I am tired. I need to deal with this. But how? Help me, innernets.
It could be much weirder; she could be looking for a place to stay.
* I actually do have a free half-day next week, when I plan to go to Jerusalem to do some shopping. If somehow it’s the same day that she will be there, I suppose I could meet her for coffee downtown after that, but I would have to be completely rude and say something like, “I need to leave Jerusalem no later than noon because I have to pick up my son from school.” True, and I would have to be completely inflexible; if she’s late, too bad.