It happened again the other day.
I had a call from a WAG (Wives And Girlfriends) telling me she had found my number on her partner’s phone.
Sigh: It’s only happened to me a couple of times, thank goodness. And twice is far too frequent in my opinion.
This is how the dreaded conversations went (surprisingly very polite on both sides):
WAG: (Sounding nervous but on a mission). Hello, I wondered if you could help me? You’ve been Face Timing my husband and I wanted to know if you have ever met him?
Me: (Heart sinking and instantly wondering if I should woman up and – God forbid – get a real job). Hiya. I don’t use Face Time. My phone is an old Nokia that just allows texts and calls so it definitely wasn’t me.
WAG: (Scared). But your number is on his phone:
Me: (Cautious pause). Do you know why he would have called me?
WAG: Yes, I Googled your number and know you are an escort.
Me: Oh. Erm. Well, I really do not have Face Time, and I really don’t know if I’ve seen him or even spoken to him I’m afraid.
WAG: Please can I ask you to check his number. It’s ***********.
I checked and there was no trace of that number on my phone – although my phone only keeps the last ten numbers that have called me. Like I say, it’s an old Nokia brick phone without any bells and whistles. This is deliberate because I simply don’t trust technology to not somehow sync my work life and private life together.
One minute you’re on your work phone in your Twitter account plugging your assets (like I say, I don’t have a smart phone for work, or a Twitter account), and the next, your Tweets have somehow been texted to the contacts on your personal phone!
I’m so secretive, I actually have five phones for various things!
Me: No, I’m sorry but I can’t help you. I don’t use social media and/or apps for work and have never used Face Time in my life. This is all very embarrassing and I do feel bad. I’m sorry. (For what I don’t know, but I felt the need to apologise).
WAG: (Wanting to keep me on the phone chatting). No, it’s ok. I just don’t understand why he would do this…
Me: (Silent pause). I don’t know, sorry.
WAG call number two:
I received some frantic text messages from someone asking me to call her. She had found my number on her boyfriend’s phone and just wanted to know who I was.
She then rang a few times but I didn’t answer because I was too busy performing a nice telephone voice and putting a script together for when she inevitably called again.
Me: (Bouncy sing-song tone).Carlyle councelling, how may I help you?
WAG: (Sounding relieved but slightly suicidal). Oh thank you so much for answering. I feel a bit silly but I thought my boyfriend was having an affair when I saw your number on his phone. Are you a councellor?
Me: Yes I am. All client information is confidential, but yes, I’m a therapist specialising in family trauma.
WAG: (Another suicidal sigh of relief). Oh that makes sense. His father has just died. His name is ****** **********. I know you can’t tell me anything, but I am so relieved he’s not having an affair. I feel really silly now. Thankyou very much and sorry for all the text messages I sent you.
Me: (Slightly miffed clipped voice). It’s fine, please don’t worry and I’m glad you are feeling reassured.
A lot of my men have a “burner” phone that they keep hidden away and only use for contacting escorts. But many of them use their own phones to call me. I’ve been told my number is listed under a variety of innocent professional services/men’s names etc, but that isn’t a bullet-proof method guaranteeing they don’t get caught out. My suggestion is this: delete my number from your phone and jot it down on an old newspaper (NOT an escort page obviously) or other scrap piece of paper. Or an old diary, or last year’s calendar you haven’t got around to throwing out yet.
Release your inner techno-phobe and hopefully, we can all rub along nicely oblivious to the fact that most men need regular “attention”. A lot of men also like to get that “attention” from more than one woman – especially if they are in a long term relationship.
The feminists won’t thank me for it, but I believe it to be true.