Voicemail: “Hi, sweetie. No big news over here—and no rush to call me back.”
Urgency: I am bursting to tell you HUGE NEWS. (The township finally paved over that pothole.)
Voicemail: “Hi, sweetie, just calling to say hi. Nothing’s wrong.”
Urgency: Something definitely is gravely wrong.
Voicemail: “Hey, sweetie. Give me a call back whenever, okay?”
Urgency: I objectively understand that this is unimportant, but I’ve been stuck on twenty-two across for an hour, and I feel like you’ll know it because it regards what I consider a “young person interest,” and I still mistakenly think of you as young.
Voicemail: “Hi, sweetie. There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you, but it’s not important. Talk to you later.”
Urgency: We had to put Bandit down. Two months ago.
Voicemail: “Hey, sweetie, how’s it going? We’re good here. I have a tiny favor to ask, no big deal if you can’t—I know you’re busy.”
Urgency: Dad was in a terrible accident and lost a lot of blood. The hospital is out of the unusual blood type you and he share. He’ll die if you don’t come to the hospital to donate blood within the next hour.
Voicemail: “Hey, sweetie, I have a question for you—nothing urgent. Don’t even bother calling back if you’re too busy.”
Urgency: Someone has accidentally pushed the button to launch one thousand nuclear missiles in every direction. Only you know the “abort launch” code, which must be input within the next forty-five seconds to prevent the extinction of all humanity.
Voicemail: “Hey, sweetie, how are you? I miss you, hon. Okay, love you. Bye!”
Urgency: The gummies just kicked in. Within ten minutes, I will forget I made this call.
Voicemail: “Hey, sweetie—nothing big going on, but call me back as soon as you can.”
Urgency: Dad and I are both dead. This voicemail is coming from heaven, where children never screen their mother’s calls and always answer on the first ring.
Voicemail: “Call me back right away. It’s an emergency.”
Urgency: Someone I think you went to high school with is on the local news.