Just Delete It

My friend had one of those horrific moments where you accidentally call someone and don’t realize your phone is on.  While it’s on, you talk about said person and you don’t know if you’ve said something bad or good.


I can not tell you how many times I’ve done that.  There was the one time where I thought I was texting Wifesy while my friend was on stage performing.  I texted something like, “Mike is really stinking up the stage.”  I hit send and then I instantly had that horror feeling.  That feeling where you know something is wrong, but you don’t know what yet.  I look down at my phone and I had sent the text TO MIKE.  I was mortified.  Mike was one of my closest buds.  So, I did what any self respecting person would do and I hunted through his things for his phone.  I found his phone ran out into the hallway and stabbed and punched at buttons hoping to delete it.  Finally, I did.  I returned to my seat and returned Mike’s phone back to his bag.  He never knew.  Sometimes it works out like that, sometimes it doesn’t.


No one wants a text from this guy…


A few years ago, my brother was having a hard time with my dad.  It was over the gay issue and my dad wrote him a letter.  The letter really talked about my brother being too “coddled” as a child and my dad blamed this for his gayness.  My dad blamed a lot of things, including my mom.  There was a lot that was offensive about the letter.  There was a lot of, “women are like this and men are like this” and “men are not supposed to be sensitive and emotional in any way.”  Looking back, it was my very, old dad trying to suss out his feelings around the issue.  He was trying to make sense of it all.  However, my dad sometimes can’t balance the distance between how he THINKS things should be and how they really are.  He’s not the best at bridging that gap and seeing reality.  For example, I was the one who always helped my dad out with every building project, every heavy lifting project, half the house re-build, etc.  I always helped out with these chores over my brother.  Who knows why.  Maybe I was more suited to it.  I don’t know.  Yet, my dad had this skewed view of women.  It was sort of – we should be baking cakes and talking about our feelings while the men are out mining coal.  Meanwhile, I was always the one he sought out to mine coal with him.  So strange.  (And no, we didn’t actually mine coal.  But, we did do a lot of building and re-building projects, etc.)  The letter bothered me.  It bothered me that he had this strange gender idea when in our house that was never really what happened in actuality.  I was annoyed.  I penned off an email to my brother telling him what I thought of dad, what my therapist said about him, and how I thought he should deal with it.  I hit send.  I sat back for half a second feeling good about myself and then it happened.  Utter and complete horror washed over me.  At the time, my mom and dad shared an email account.  An email had come in from my mother wishing us a “Happy Easter” and then the email from my brother about my dad’s letter.  They both have the same last name.  The emails were one after the other in my inbox and I was annoyed, bordering on angry.  This is a bad combination.  I penned off the email about my dad and accidentally SENT IT TO MY DAD!!!


Horror.  Pandemonium.  I called my brother 67 times in succession.  He was at a baseball game and not picking up his phone.  I inhaled deeply and called my mother.


My mother – bless her – took my side.  Her response to the letter was hilarious.  I told her about parts of it and her immediate reaction was, “HE’S NOT EMOTIONAL??!  YOUR FATHER IS TOTALLY EMOTIONAL.  HE’S OUT OF HIS MIND.”


I love my dad.  I don’t agree with him most of the time.  However, I didn’t want him to read everything that I wanted to say to my brother about him.  It just wasn’t right.  It just would’ve been hurtful.  So, I enlisted my mother’s help.  My mother – by the way – loves to be enlisted in any kind of devious project.  She jumps at such opportunities.  Mom said to me, “I’ll handle it.”


I said, “How are you going to handle it?”


She said, “I’m going to delete the email.”


I said, “Where is dad?”


She said, “On the computer.”


“Whhhaaat??  All is lost,” I said.


“Oh no,” Mom said.  “I’ll get it.”


“How in the hell are you going to do that?” I asked.


“I’m going to drug him,” Mom said.


WHAAAAATTTT?  That’s exactly what my mom said, “I’m going to drug him.”  Turns out, she meant put a little scotch in his hot chocolate so he’d fall asleep earlier, but to her this was drugging.


Could be chocolate shavings, could be cyanide…


Mom went on her reconnaissance mission.  I drank a bottle of wine and went to bed.  In the morning, it turns out dad had read the email.  He was upset.  I understood why.  We had some words.  Ultimately, though, I think it was for the best.  What I felt was the truth was all out in the open.


I always think of these moments with a mix of fascination and horror.  It’s so interesting how we try to shield each other from what we really think, but often, it just ends up getting out anyway.


Has this ever happened to you?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.



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Photo creds:  texting-dog, hotchocolate, delete-button

64 thoughts on “Just Delete It

  1. I laughed out loud at the “drugging” him section. Your mom sounds like a character!

  2. This is why I try to never write anything down that I would be embarrassed to see on the front page of the newspaper. It makes for an entertaining story, though!

    1. the whole thing reminds me of a lucille ball episode. she sent some kind of letter to her boss and then had to scale the building and sneak in through his window to get it back. it was, of course, hilarious. so true. if you don’t want it in the paper, don’t say it! or at least check the ‘to’ bar in your email. lol. xo, sm

  3. There have been plenty of times I’ve put my foot in my mouth, but of course, I can’t think of any right now. One will come to me at 3 am tonight. Probably in the form of a nightmare…

      1. Thankfully, I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older. It’s been awhile since I’ve mortified myself. Guess I’m due soon…

      1. and meeka, you’d love rubes. rubes, you’d love meeks. 😉 cool people should know cool ppl, if you don’t already… xoxo

  4. I’ve erased Facebook entries before due to the fear of making my friend mad and I have a couple of entries on “protected.”

  5. Oh, man. I’ve definitely had that panic moment, but have never actually hit ‘send’ to the wrong person (that I know of!). I think you make such a good point – we try so hard to shield people from what we really think when in the end, they tend to know/find out anyway. I’m a BIG fan of the Golden Rule and ‘not saying anything if I don’t have anything nice to say,’ but sometimes I wonder if that’s the best approach.

    I did work with someone who accidentally sent a venting-type email about a coworker (meant for me to receive) TO that coworker. It was along the lines of, “I just don’t know why she has to bring her boyfriend with her EVERYWHERE.” It wasn’t THAT bad, but nevertheless, said coworker never spoke to her again.

    1. i know. and then on top of it all – some people are MEGA-sensitive. it sounds like that was the truth and sometimes the truth hurts. i have a big mouth. so, i try to be as careful as possible, but lord knows i will probably do this again. ay yay yay. well, at least i can write about it. lol. xo, sm

  6. Dear, dear SM. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worried about my parents and what they’ve thought of my decisions. I don’t think this is a gay or a straight thing. It is seriously about how our parents perceive us to be. You obviously were one of those kids that were outspoken and walked to the beat of your own drum (I get this!). In the end, I think our parents love us, no matter what, no matter who we turn out to be. I so love your posts because they are universal! I just bet that doesn’t matter anymore. Trust me, I’ve been through the same thing (drinking a bottle of wine because I thought I disappointed my parents) — but in the end, you’re still their child and truth is ALWAYS, always good thing. xxoo. Brigitte

    1. brig, you are so right on this one. i was ALWAYS and still am (though probably with a touch of diplomacy now, i like to think) a SAY-WHAT-I’M-THINKING sort of person. even as a toddler, i think. as a result, it’s probably harder for my dad to say things to me than to my brother because he knows he’ll get a hailstorm back. maybe that’s why my bro came to me on it? who knows. but, in the end – i do think – the truth usually comes out. families just have to be strong enough to say ‘water under the bridge’. mine usually – USUALLY – is. thank god. love your commentary, brig. always. we are kindred souls, me thinks. and thanks for saying you think my blog is universal. i don’t think about being gay 24-7. in fact, i barely think of it as all. so, it’s nice to hear that the universal part shines through. it means a lot, actually. xo, sm

      1. I agree, SM — the kindred souls part and your generosity, universal appeal and TRUTH shines through, it does, it does. :).

  7. Oh, yes, it’s happened to me. I meant to send “A” an email about our unhappiness with “B.” My mouse must have slipped in clicking on the autofill option. Instead of sending it to “A,” I sent it to “B’s” spouse. Fortunately the spouse understood and never told “B.”

    But what did Freud say about accidents?!

    Love your mother’s approach!

    1. exactly. accidents are our way of getting past our own good sense, perhaps. lol. anyway, ‘b’s’ spouse is a WAY good person for just couching that. very cool, indeed. i’m not sure everyone would do that. xo, sm

  8. In high school I had this all-or-nothing relationship with some boy. He eventually dumped me when it occurred to him that he didn’t want to get married at 16. I did not have he same common sense as him and sent a big long email to him telling him off and begging for him to come back. The instant I pressed send, I knew I had made a mistake. Good thing I had his AOL password and he hadnt changed it because I just logged in and deleted it! Crisis (and major embarrassment ) averted.

    1. haaaaaahhhhhhaaaa. lovers sharing email passwords. sometimes it CAN be helpful. yours might be the first such case i’ve heard of. usually i hear of one party using the password thingie to stalk the other one after the relationship is over. your ‘event’ reminds me so much of the mike situation. thank god, one of those worked out in our favor, huh. and i love that you told him off and asked for him back at the same time. such a hilarious example of young love. love your comments, always, em. xo, sm

  9. I recently replied to a group text thinking I was only replying to the sender. I don’t remember what the text was, but I do remember I wasn’t be all that nice to this one person. Did I mention that we were all coworkers..that sat next to each other?

    Once I realized what I had done, I spent a good 45 minutes sweating and Googling trying to find some way to automagically remove the text from that woman’s damn phone.

    Why, in a world where we can send a man into space and make homemade beef jerky, can we not retract a freakin’ text? Why, Steve Jobs’ corpse, why?

    1. rob, your sense of humor is so awesome. i laughed out loud at, ‘why, steve jobs’ corpse, why?’ too funny. too funny. i love that you tried to out-tech the mistake too. just hilarious. xo, sm

    1. vals, you are a better person than i! i almost always have the intent, but apparently don’t check my ‘send to’ box very well and disaster ensues. thankfully, none that weren’t repairable. so far anyway! xo, sm

  10. My mom and I do not get along and tend to fight over email as she lives in europe. She was super mad and wrote an email to me and meant to delete it not send it, but sent it. Then sent another one after begging me not to read the other email. The begging email was so mean and nasty i never opened the mean email. I thought if her apology email is breaking my heart i had better not read the mean one.

    1. oh, contrary. that is heartbreaking. i just don’t understand who in their right mind could ever be so mean to you. i think you were right in deleting the original email. and i am the same way. if a fight goes back and forth and on for too long via technology, i block all and delete responses because i have no need to bring that stuff into my vortex. life is hard enough. man, i’m sorry she treats you this way and i hope one day she learns not to. life is short. much love, sm

  11. Great read! Love your blog. I have been there….my Dad always told me not to write anything down you wouldn’t want as front page news! I should have listed to him. (On this and other things!)

    1. hey there, walk, welcome aboard my cyber-spaceship of fuuun. your dad was CORRECT! if you don’t want it read on newsstands everywhere, keep it to yourself! i do not follow this rule, obviously! but, thankfully i am getting better at…what do they call it — TACT. 😉 sm

  12. Knock on wood, I’ve never had anything like this happen to me. I do, however, tend to get drunk with my mother, we have deep, heartfelt conversations while in this state, wherein I make confessions and she forgives me, and then once she’s sober again she remembers what I said and it starts a big fight. And she’ll probably find a way to stalk the comments I make on blogs and I’ll get in trouble for this one. Oh, f*** it. Submit.

    1. kat, that is hilarious. it reminds me of these crazy applebee lunches i used to have with my mom. way too many margaritas back when she was drinking. she’s a fun woman, but same thing. she could kill me for some things if she really thinks about them. loool. it sounds like you have an awesome relationship with your mom. 😉 sm

  13. I’ve always had this sense of ‘the one unforgiveable thing’ and it’s stopped me from saying certain things in person but I’m sure my subconscious has made me say those things in other ways to other people… knowing at some level that they would get back to the one person I didn’t want to say them to. Sometimes big truths, painful truths, just have to be told because they are so big that they get in the way. Dynamiting that boulder may send shrapnel flying in all directions but when the blood stops flowing you realise that the path is clear again.

    -rolls eyes- Geez…someone shoot me. I should have just said that truth clears the air and that’s a good thing.

    1. oh, meeka, you are so funny. ‘geez…someone shoot me. i should’ve just said the truth clears the air…’ looooollll. no way. i love hearing what you have to say even in long form! lol. much love, sm

      1. -giggles- if you keep posting such excellent stuff you will have only yourself to blame for my long form comments :p

    1. shanns, you are spot on. she is a nut, but also a joy for the most part. and she’s totally fun to be around. i’m guessing she’d like you a lot too, ’cause i do. 😉 sm

  14. It’s unanimous then. We love your mom.. 🙂
    It’s never happened to me, but back in the day when I used to chat, oftentimes others would write something in my text box by accident. Thankfully, it was never anything nasty about me. 😛

    1. i know. i did have one moment where a guy i knew from acting school waaaaayyy back got into a cab with his wife and accidentally called me. they talked about me for like ten mins. they said the sweetest things tho that they ‘really liked me,’ etc. i listened to the whole f’en ten mins like a lunatic tho waiting for the other shoe to drop. thankfully, it never did. lol. and my mom is hilarious. the funniest woman i know. i think you’d love her. 😉 sm

  15. I have a friend who has to take his phone out of his pocket and remove the battery if you ask him about his girlfriend because he’s so scared of accidentally calling her while badmouthing her.

    Great post! We’ve all had those moments and I’m joining the gang that loves your mum 🙂

  16. Complained about my boss in an email and sent it to him. He was a jerk (probably still is) and liked being a jerk, so it worked out fine because it gave him an opportunity to be a jerk to me and I couldn’t really complain about it.

  17. I’ve never done it by accident, but have done it deliberately more than a few times. Let’s just say sticking my foot in my mouth is one of my many charms. You’re right, it’s all gonna come out anyway. And yes, I want to be a member of your mom’s fan club too. 🙂

    1. fish, i love that you’ve done it deliberately a few times. that is so great. lllllooool. and yes, foot in mouth disease can run rampant with me as well. hopefully, i’m getting somewhat better…at the very least on checking WHO i’m sending things to. loool. glad you like moms. she’s a nutter in the best possible way. xo, sm

  18. This has happened to me couple times. I usually hit the “hang up” button 2-3 times out of paranoia of thinking I’ve hung up and then talking smack about whomever I just talked to.

    1. byronic, this is totally hilarious. i love the repetitive hanging up ocd. maybe i should f’en try that and i wouldn’t have these problems!!! lool. hope all is well in baby-to-be-land. love seeing you here. sm

  19. My wife has an ex-friend that she still won’t talk to because the friend accidentally sent a text about her to her. Lots of drama ensued.

    1. oh, i bet. if the text is a-holey enough, it would turn just about anyone off. and who needs that in their life. your wife is probably dead on in cutting her the feck out! hugs, sm

  20. this has happened to me twice Sweet Mom … 😛
    once i was talking to a friend about another friend and accidentally sent the sms to the one we were talking about…luckily her name wasnt there in the msg just ‘SHE’…so i had good story to save myself…

    but the second time was a blunder …there is this girl who used to work with me and we were friends..but she was too competitive and too different,…she used to kind of bully me emotionally (yeh now that i think of it she was an emotional bully)…so one day she does something again and im all sad and upset..i picked up my phone messaged my friend about things..and i sent the message to the girl i was being tortured by…oh man…it was the worst feeling…i did come up with some crazy excuse but she knew it …
    am so glad she didnt kill me… 😉

  21. it happened to me last week. We have a communicator service at work which means i can chat online with my colleagues. I wanted to tell something about my boss and instead of sending it to my colleague i sent it to my boss 😦

  22. You should have just texted mike with “LOL JK!” hahaha I’ve had my phone accidentally call old flames and that’s soooo embarrassing, my policy is to now remove anyone from my phone if I feel like I can’t embarrass myself in front of them.

    Once I sent an internal instant message to my boss instead of my friend, talking about my boss. I called her a busy little bee. Luckily she didn’t think I was using bee as code for …um a female dog b word.

  23. I have already done this this morning. Writing about one sister’s weirdness to the other sister and hitting send. Freaking out. checking email, okay just sent it to the one sister I wasn’t snarking about. It’s not my fault for being a judgey older sister. My parents had too many children and didn’t foresee the internet. that’s all.


  24. yes I did something similar but in defense stupid gmail has that ” would you like to add so and so”if it finds a contact’s name WITHIN your email.. a stupid hovering curser will add the said contact to the address line every damn time.. I have learned my lesson. But it was embarrassing. I am glad I am not the only one..thanks for sharing. Always an enjoyable read here at Sweet Mother

  25. I once sent a slightly snarky “oh these people!” email to a coworker, complaining about our board of directors….and left the entire board in the CC field. Luckily it was phrased sarcasm, which most of them seemed not to get! Still, since then I never put anything in writing any longer that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

    And I am now SO excited to hang out with your mother this week!

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