J (K’s mother) has a new Polish friend (call her “M”) here in town: a retired doctor who just moved to the area. They met the “Welcome to America” party we threw J a couple of weeks after her arrival. They hit it off, and exchanged telephone numbers, with the promise of getting together again soon.
J called M a few days later. She didn’t get in touch with M, but left a message. J waited a few days, and, after hearing nothing, called M again. And again, no answer. J left another message and, after a few more days, began getting concerned.
Eventually, M returned the call. M, however, didn’t know she was returning a call, for the first thing she asked J was “Why didn’t you call?”
“I did call,” J said, explaining the messages she left on the answering machine.
“There were no messages from you,” M said. She suggested they hang up and J try to call and leave a message again.
J hung up, waited a couple of seconds, and called. She left a message, then waited. M called back in about ten minutes, asking why she hadn’t called.
“But I did call,” J confusedly protested.
M asked to talk to K, and asked K to do the same. “Maybe she’s doing something wrong?” M suggested.
K dialed. She left the message. M called back shortly and confirmed receipt of the message.
Then K had an idea. She had her mom dial the number, and it was all clear.
Though she was calling from a cell phone, J didn’t know that she had to put the area code in as well. M, in fact, didn’t include it on the piece of paper she’d given J.
“But what about the voice I heard?” J asked.
And so K explained what “Message JG-23…” means.