…doesn’t mean they’re not really out to get you.
Or at least that’s what my Dad used to tease me with during the days of my overly-suspicious youth.
I received a text last night.
A nasty one.
It was from a number I’d never seen before, out of state, and all it said was,
“Parent of the year award goes to you!! DCS will be visiting later tonight!!”
At first I was puzzled. What’s DCS?? Parent of the year?? Huh??
DCS, DCS, DCS… Department of…Child Services?!?
Was this some sort of threat? And why?
Then I remembered: I had posted my Baby Tips post that morning. Surely I didn’t have some wacko person that found my post and actually took me seriously, thought the photos endangered my child, and called DCS.
Then some of the things that have happened in the past began flooding into my mind.
(I am, apparently, easily misunderstood when taken out of context.)
I started shaking. Not because I was scared of DCS (I was thinking it was more of an empty threat to scare me), but because I was upset that someone would think I was being careless with my children..and also, how could they have found my cell phone number?!?
Chris came in the room. I told him what had happened and showed him the text. “Are you sure someone isn’t just joking with you? Some people have weird senses of humor.”
“If it had come from a number I knew, sure – but not from an out-of-state one. That’s not in the least bit funny. Surely not.”
“But look!! They used four exclamation points. No one that is serious uses four exclamation points.”
“True. But still…how did they get my cell phone number?? Nobody would go to that much trouble for a joke. Why wouldn’t they just send me a threatening email?”
I launched my investigation. I started by using reverse look-up on the phone number. $1.99? Sure, I’ll pay that.
No name – a cell phone from Lafayette, Louisiana.
I don’t know anyone in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Next step: I searched my entire blog’s stat logs for the day: had anyone been on my blog from Lafayette and read Baby Tips? If so, I’d have their IP address.
Nope… a few Louisiana visitors went to my Mom Jeans post, but that hardly warrants my arrest.
Third order of business: I went back and read my post.
Seriously?? There is nothing in there that anyone could take as even halfway dangerous. Not even the balloon shot.
But, stranger things have happened…
Chris suggested that I text them back, asking if they had the wrong number. “I’ve gotten lots of texts from wrong numbers before.”
“If you’re right and I’m wrong, then a text back would solve the problem. But if I’m right and it is an angry stalker of some sort, a text back will only fuel them to harass me further.”
“True…do what you like.”
I put my detective hat back on. I needed a name for these people. I searched the internet for a better reverse look-up. Found one – high ratings, looked legit – $4.99 for all the information you’d ever want on a person. I’ll take it.
I put the number in again. This time, it came back with a location of Sunset, Louisiana.
Wait a minute…one of my best friends (Lydia, incidentally from aforementioned Mom Jeans fame) is from Sunset, and still has family in Sunset…
…surely Chris wasn’t right…
…surely this wasn’t just a really bad joke…and from a FRIEND, too!!
The name came up.
Yup – that’s her sister all right.
All of a sudden, I found myself intensely irritated with my dear friend Lydia. She knows some of the cyberspace issues I’ve dealt with. She should know this was NOT funny.
And…seriously?? After reading my blog this morning, she had texted me the following baby tips addendum of her son:
Be sure your child always has the appropriate protective equipment on his head and knees and knows how to sit still and firmly hold the handlebars. Never be more than an arm’s reach away.
How were my pics worse than hers??
See if I try Mom Jeans on with HER ever again.
I tried calling her. She didn’t answer.
MM HMM. Thinks she’s funny, does she.
I text her. “Coming from a blogger that’s been harassed and threatened for real, not so funny. But I love you anyway. :)”
Five minutes later, I got a phone call.
“Hey! I was on a date with Chuck – sorry I missed your call.”
“Oh, I see. Harassing me while you’re on a date, huh?”
She laughed. “And I just got a text from you – was that meant for me? I don’t get it.”
“SURE you don’t. Your sister IS so-and-so so-and-so, isn’t she?”
“Well, I got a text from her that I’m assuming you put her up to.”
“Oh! I got that text too. She was joking about my photo of Radford that I texted to you, her and Chuck. I guess she replied to all! Can you do that on a text message? Oh wait! Chuck’s getting it now too!”
…Apparently, people, you CAN “reply all” on a text message.
Return of love for Lydia.
…And a bit of amusement at myself.
“Well, tell your sister that I now know her name, address, and have her background check, if she needs it for anything.”
The moral of this story: always trust your husband. He made two suppositions, and both were right. Also? Don’t stalk me – or I’ll stalk you.
…but as I learned very early on in my childhood, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not really out to get you.
34 thoughts on “Just Because You’re Paranoid…”
Dude. LOL I probably would’ve done what you did, too. :)
Another good one to remember is to not text a naked picture of yourself to anyone!!!! It might go to a wrong number. My MIL received one of those.
Possibly don’t even TAKE a naked photo? Just seems fraught with … complications. :)
And it only cost you $7 to find out your husband was right, too! LOL
(Been there, done the exact same thing, too!)
Yup, the price on that learning curve wasn’t too steep!!
LOLOLOL!!! This is something that would happen to me!!! But that is soooo funny and simultaneously scary too to get a text like that!
First off I just want to say that I have been reading you blog for a few months now. I am not even sure how I stumbled across it, but I am sure glad that I did as it provides sheer entertainment to my day :). This post is awesome – very relatable. I too am a paranoid person & my thoughts would have gone directly to worst case scenario. Thanks for sharing!
Aw, thanks!! It’s always nice to hear from new readers (through email, of course – never through threatening text messages!) :) I’m glad I’m not the only paranoid one out there… thanks for the reassurance!!
Lol. I keep getting texts from someone I don’t know who ends every text saying “ROAR!” I told them they have the wrong number but they still text me about once a week. I never thought to look them up though.
That is just pure awesomeness. It reminds me of when I was a kid – there was this other kid that prank called our number multiple times a week. We would actually plan on her calls and make it fun for her, which probably didn’t help. She and I were pals…of sorts.
One of my sister’s friends replied recently to a group text my sister had sent out and it just said, “Who’s asking?” It came in two days after the original text, which I’d long since deleted, and it was from an unknown name and number. I was like, “What the heck?” I was so confused, because I’d sent several texts since then and couldn’t imagine who would be responding so rudely.
Luckily I finally figured it out, with a little help from my sister. Crazy!
Nice. And the time lapse does play into the confusion. If I had gotten it immediately after Lydia’s text, I might not have found it so strange… maybe.
Eek! I wouldn’t be amused, maybe because CPS (child protection services) is a reality for some of those near and dear to me.
Good investigative skills :) I’m always mindful that we aren’t as anonymous as we might think since I tweeted a rant about my bank and got a phone call a few days later. I mean, it’s not rocket science to figure out who I am but it meant they had to do more tracing than I would have expected!
Too true. I know that I’m easy enough identify – but a cell phone number – that seems like a pretty scary stalk.
Lol, that is so funny that you stalked your “stalker”. :) We call it CPS up here, but that would be a bizarre text to get! I would have automatically assumed it was a wrong number since I’ve had several of those. One time I got texted a picture of a bunch of hermit crabs on a beach towel with a caption that said something about, “My lifelong search is over! I finally found them!” Haha. I texted back wrong number and they didn’t respond, but usually people just say, “oops sorry!”
That’s awesome! I really don’t think I’ve ever gotten a wrong number text before… but now I guess I have.
I laughed again, reading this. Cant wait for my sister to read it …glad u still love me…
Oh I do!! Now you just know that my love is conditional…based on not scaring me out of my wits. ;)
I love it…If you stalk me I will stalk you back!
The best defense is a good offense!!! :)
I am laughing so hard right now that I am worried I might have an accident!! – I don’t think I have ever been the subject of someone’s blog before. But since I am now – let me quickly say that I had no idea what your blog post was and that I would never make a joke like that to someone I don’t know. I am very sorry for your moments of anxiety. Another point to mention though – since you did get my text I am soooo relieved that I didn’t make an off color comment which I am highly likely to do with my favorite sister!! Also, I loved the special notice of my multiple exclamation points which I adore using!!!!
Well I am a fan now – and will be enjoying your blog! I will, however, keep my comments upbeat and kind since for a mere $4.99 you have the dirt on me!!!!
Apparently, your use of four exclamation points automatically makes you less threatening – which is a good quality to have, right??
Thanks for the great blog topic..and the aid in my digestion last night! :)
I have gotten wrong number texts before (some insisting they had the right number, others sweetly saying “I love you” but then making me play a guessing game with absurd clues to figure out who they were and apparently I guessed wrong because then they quit texting me) But my best (worst) came from my mother of all people. When I moved, I gave her my cell phone (and number) and left my address book in it so she would know if any of my friends called/texted and could tell me who it was. One day I got a text from her that said “Going to the hospital now. Shouldn’t be long!” that sent me into a complete panic. I began looking at flights while simultaneously texting her back to see who was in the hospital (her, my dad, my grandmothers, etc.) This is when she replies “Oh, I forwarded that from Haley. Didn’t it say that?” My friend Haley was indeed going to the hospital, but to have a baby! And this is how I learned it is possible to forward a text….and that my mom can’t do it right!
I love the “Shouldn’t be long” – as if your Mom thought her time had come at any moment, and felt that it was in that way she should announce it to you!! Hilarious, but scary at the time, I’m sure!!
Ha! Freaking hilarious! I would have had the exact same reaction and would have attempted to stalk them. However, I probably would have given up before paying for it. Very good detective skills. I have been on the receiving end of crazy reply all text messages before too. Someone had to explain it to me because I had no idea reply all worked with texts.
Now I have hit reply all (instead of forward to a coworker) on an email at work. It wasn’t awful what I said, but I was freaking out and spent 1 hour figuring out how to recall the email.
Oh, there’s nothing worse than a misdirected work email. It’s happened to all of us at one time or another…
You HAD to stalk – really, you were given no choice! I would have done the same thing – and been freaked out until I found the answer! By the way, I love the “child/infant” tips (old and new). Other than Uncle Joe’s Tot Locker (which had me laughing SO loudly, I almost woke the baby the first time I read that); it’s what got me hooked on reading your blog. =)
Thanks! Glad to know that they didn’t come across to you in a way that made you feel like you needed to turn me in, anyway!!
crack me up! So glad you found out that you wouldn’t be expecting a visit from CPS after all!
Me too – I mean, I never COMPLETELY thought that was a possibility, but the thought did enter my head… yeesh.
Great post…scary and funny all at the same time! What’s crazy is how much information you can find out about a stranger in such short time and for very little money. I’m glad the story had a happy ending!!
That pretty much sums up my night – scary, then funny!! At least it was in that order…
Sometimes it pays to be paranoid… or as I like to call it, “prepared.”
That being said, I’m glad it was nothing.
You sure are a good investigator, I had no idea there were so many ways to track a phone number!