Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I think our modern society has finally reached the point where there is a clear need for a Texting Etiquette for Dummies publication. I do not claim to be an expert on this subject, in fact, any light that could be shed would be much appreciated.
What are the rules?
I ask myself this every single f*cking day and for so many reason. I ask other people, or I at least shrug my shoulders, or smile shyly, or clench my jaw.
"I don't know," I say, "What are the rules? Are there rules?"
They think I'm kidding. I know that I'm not so while they're laughing at my funny little (presumably coy) question, I'm shaking my head at myself and the utter lack awareness that I have accumulated over a lifetime of gypsy living and poor training.
Ever been to Paris after taking the night train from Madrid? Ever try to get breakfast in Paris, after said night trip, and accidentally order in Spanish? That's me. Wrong country, wrong culture, wrong context and totally wrong gut reaction.
I just wanted a coffee and a croissant. Instead I got a mean stare. And the coffee, of course.
And that is texting for Nichole. It's mostly a shoot from the heart approach, which I am finding is the worst kind...ever...in any situation. Common side effects that result from shooting-from-the-heart texts are
1) Feelings of dread that you sent the text in the first place. This situation usually involves some sort of emotional and/or physical intimacy that is followed by said text. You're jacked up on love hormones and send something off trying to be sincere. Something like "u r lovely. had a gr8 time. Can't w8 2 c u again."
This is not good. It implies that you are waiting, that someone has taken up a place in your mind, maybe even your heart. You are not playing it cool, and they will know it.

2) Feelings of desolation when the above text is not answered. More self-doubt. Did I scare them, do they not give a sh*t, did they drop the phone in a toilet, or worse yet, they do not feel even remotely the same way.

3) Feelings of spite and anger (defense walls is what a shrink would call them). Well, f*ck them if they didn't like it, I was trying to be nice, maybe wear my heart a little. There are fatalist tendencies which follow this side effect. Well, maybe it's all for the best that I know now before I get too attached. The most dangerous possibility of this reaction is to harden and do something stupid out of spite. Really f*cking stupid.

4) Maybe there's someone else. This type of thinking gets ugly for obvious reasons. Because, in all likelihood, in this day and age, there IS someone else and options are being weighed in that colossal silence between your heartfelt cyber Hallmark and some hottie blonde who is ten years younger than you.

As you can see, it's a mess from beginning to end. In fact, I think my life was much better and much less painful before texting. I am not good at any of it. I say what I mean, I try to show it, and yet, I come up short, even in my own mind.
It's too bad because the heart-on-the-sleeve approach, while it is dangerous, is coming from such an honest (and in my case physically precarious for those of you who know my heart history) place. I have no desire to be less honest.
But every wish in the world to be less stupid. Can't wait for that damn book.

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