Sunday, April 15, 2007

Invention of an Alter Ego

I think I was about 9 and my brother was 7. He was with his Little League baseball team.

The phone rang and Mom answered. It was someone doing market research, wanting to know if there were any children 8 or younger who would answer some questions. Mom volunteered my brother's name, but said he wasn't home then. The research person said she'd try another time.

Another day, the phone rang. It was the research people calling back. My brother was again playing baseball - not home. Mom teasingly said to me that, "If she calls again, I should have you talk to her!"

Days later, the phone rings and I happened to answer it. Yes, it is a woman from the research firm again. Asking for my brother by name - by the wrong name. Someone probably could not read the handwritten notes. So as long as they have the name wrong, why not correct it - sort of?

I tell the woman that I don't have a brother by that name, but that my sister's name is almost what they had written down. I "correct" the spelling, put the phone down, and walk across the room.

I take a deep breath, walk back across the kitchen and pick up the phone. With a higher voice - that of my newly-invented 7-year-old sister I say, "Hello?"

The researcher asks me questions about advertising - have I seen any TV commercials for this or that - what I remember from the ones I have seen - and more. When the survey is over, she asks to talk to my mother.

I go out to the back porch to get Mom and let her know what I had done. She went in and talked to the researcher. When she got back to the porch, she said, "The researcher told me how polite and mature my daughter was!"

We both laughed.

[A memory evoked by Sunday Scribblings.]


DJPare said...

The sad thing is that with the world is today, if someone called asking if there were any young children living there a parent would probably think it's some creep and hang up.

I hope you still pretend to be other people. I'm sure it would still be fun!

Take care.

sister AE said...

Sad, but true.

I don't pretend so much any more, though I did tell a theater that I was moving to Texas so would they please, PLEASE take me off their will-you-buy-a-subscription list.

And on occasion I like to pretend at being one of the "ladies who lunch" on those rare mental-health days off from work.