by Lauryn Smith
So no one is perfect and I get that and all, but sometimes you meet (or re-meet) someone pretty fantastic. Bells, whistles, the whole nine yards. I’ve spent the last several weeks getting reacquainted with an old friend, an ex-flame. While the pros far outweigh the cons, the following just gets on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard.
If you’re at a table eating, drinking, conversing with me, please, pretty-please, try to go a whole five minutes without texting. It’s rude. If you’re in a situation where one on one communication is not the case, then sure, by all means, text away. Otherwise, silence your phone and slip it quietly into your pocket. Sure, a text message has its place. Even if you’re on a date, etc., go ‘head and check your phone briefly (stepping away from the table is best,) while offering your texter a “I’ll touch base later…” text. The “What’s up?” text message, however, can wait for a response. To continually text back and forth, we’re talking full out conversation, is enough to make me cranky, bitter, bitchy.
We’ve started a game. You text, I text. If he picks up his phone, I do as well. If he starts texting incessantly, guess what? Yep, ditto. It proves a point. Even now, he’ll say “I’m not texting. I’m emailing—it’s work related.” Or “I’m checking my fantasy football stats, googling the car you just mentioned, playing poker, etc.” No sir, not okay. The man I’ve been dating (who shall remain nameless,) is social. Very social. He and I cannot walk into a public venue without one (or both) of us knowing a substantial amount of the population. This trickles into his phone. He definitely requires an “unlimited texting” plan.
What’s even more annoying than the abundant texts? The delay in responding to mine. If we make “maybe” plans, I’ll sometimes reach out and ask of his evening plans, ask of what he is doing, etc. When there are major gaps (hours) from the man who brings his phone charger into the bar, I grow a bit peeved. This happened recently and he later responded with “Busy right now. Holler at you later.” One would define busy as being at a movie, eating dinner with mom, driving, etc. He was playing video games. Let me repeat myself, he was playing video games. Keep in mind, this isn’t a common problem, but when it arose, I assured him I wanted the same attention bestowed on his video games, “I hope to be treated like Mortal Combat 2 next time we’re out together.” Keep in mind my phone call went unanswered. He’s gotten a little better.
Even before our relationship moved from the friend zone and morphed into something less platonic, I recall sitting beside him while he texted a co-worker two tables over. True story. She would occasionally blurt a response verbally out loud versus electronically sending it out on the wire. He’s a fairly good at multitasking so I still felt as though he was paying attention but ultimately I found it so obnoxious, I left early.
When friendship transformed into “dating- but-not-exclussively,” I grew curious as to whom he was texting (and texting and texting.) Maybe that made me jealous, silly, but ultimately, I found it a little (lot), what’s the word….oh yeah, RUDE.
Now we’ve found ourselves in “we’re only dating each other land” and the texts have definitely calmed down, but I still have to wonder of why the moment isn’t good enough with the present company? Why is it necessary to check your phone every few moments?
I think back to my last (dysfunctional) relationship and though he had a list of quirks and annoyances, the texting was never a factor. It was quite the opposite. He would text me when he knew I was unable to accept a phone call (I don’t answer personal calls at work,) but his general message was “Call me when you have a moment to talk.” Verbal conversations have been replaced with “LOL’s,” “OMG’s,” and “What R U up 2’s?” It’s nice to hear a person’s voice.
Written letters have been replaced with emails while phone calls have been replaced with texts. I think of the shoe boxes full of old notes from high school, most of which disappeared years ago. It was a highlight to pass a note (which typically said a bunch of nothing) in class. It was an overwhelming joy to receive one from a crush. I wonder, have love letters been replaced with texting? Are love letters a thing of the past, like a cassette tape? At least I can still pull out an old cassette tape (oddly stored in a shoe box,) though text messages tend to find their final resting spot in a “deleted” folder versus an old shoe box. Sure, a text offers instant gratification. I get the same butterflies from a text from a crush I would get from an actual note. I suppose the sentimental girl in me misses what I am able to hold on to a little longer.
Of course, I have to insert Wes' input (he needs his own blog,) "Lauryn don't bitch about technology because it's a good thing. And, while I agree texting is rude, it has a place. It's kinda like farting. Everyone does it, but not everyone does it at the dinner table. Furthermore, you writing about private annoyances in a public forum probably annoys him. So there you go. Give and take." He used a few other colorful analogies that are simply too disgusting to share. Still, I lucked out with best friends. Wes is some funny stuff.
With 2010 peeking its head ‘round the corner, I know I have to continue moving forward. Still, I love the idea of reviving the love letter. Maybe that’s too much to ask, but at the very least, please put your damn phone away when you’re with me or I might just write a blog about it. Heh. My family even wished me a "Happy Thanksgiving" via text. The Information Age...