Texting Dangers

Just know, that I prefer face to face communication. I like being able to see another person’s reaction to anything said, how they say something. Their hand gestures, their body language, how they lean in and try to touch, or the inadvertant brush.

After that, I prefer phone calls. Then I can hear the inflection, the laugh, the smile, the stern frown. Or at least extrapolate them.

And as much as I enjoy writing, it is truly the least reliable of methods of communication to get a true read of another person. And texting, with all its shortened expressions and acronyms, good lord! Emoticons and LOL! Bleh.

Remember the good old days of drunken phone calls and messages on answering machines? Of drunk emailing? Well, welcome to the world of drunk texting.

It doesn’t help when your girlfriend is equally drunk and encouraging. It doesn’t help when neither of you have had an actual real boyfriend in years, nor any sort of reliable sexual outlet. It means our hopes get really high really quickly with any sort of encouragement. Any sort of male encouragement.

Arrangements had been made to meet for a drink tonight. We alternate who pays, and always try to hit up happy hours to make it cheap for both of us. She lives on the West Side, I live near downtown. It gives us ample opportunity to explore all sorts of bars throughout our areas. This week was downtown, my side of the city. We were going to a place she had already been, The Must, that I had never stepped foot in. Her tastes are a little more upscale than mine, which means the happy hours usually have food, a plus. But one thing we are extremely compatable on is the fact we are both such lightweights when it comes to drinking. So our bar time usually consists of one drink each. That and the fact that she prefers vegetarian food, though not officially a vegetarian, means that we can always share our food. Happy times!

While waiting for her to arrive, I got a text from someone I had met on my travels months before. I thought, “Glad to know I am not the only person who randomly texts others months later.” We texted for a while, as he was stuck in a snow storm in Virginia. He asked me if I had a boyfriend yet. I told him no, that I hadn’t met anyone who was boyfriend material lately. He of course offered himself. I told him his being stuck on the East Coast in a snow bank didn’t really present itself as opportune. He let me know he was going to sleep, and my girlfriend showed up just about then.

We had red wine tonight, and with her in her killer boots, we decided to go check out my dive bar hangout, a mere block away. As soon as we walked in, she was enthralled with the music. She bought me a drink, for the price of a few sips, read the newspaper there in front of us, and we grooved to the music.

And since I was sitting there, at the same bar and probably at the same seat I had sat at before, my thoughts turned to the last guy I had met there, who seemed awfully nice and into me. So I texted him. Upon the coaching of my girlfriend, I merely stated I was downtown with her, and wondered what he was up to. Within less than a minute, he texted back saying he was working a private party. I told him to have fun. If the party was at his workplace, it meant he was a mere three blocks away. So close, and yet so far away….

Aargh. I had been hoping the third time would be the charm, I really had been. I had been saving that third attempt at contact to be the definitive time. Alas.

But his immediacy of response, even while working, impressed me. Man, what a fast texter! He has an iPhone, not my clunky telephone three letters to a number texting that takes me forever. He could have said to wait for him if he had an idea of when he would be done. He could have told me the next night he was free. He could have said he would call me. Having now initiated all texting since we met, my girlfriend advises me to now stop. Although he never wrote anything discouraging, he also never forwarded the action. She thinks our timing might just be off. His comment of being ‘between living situations’ when we met, might have been a reference to his actual single or not status. We’re thinking not, now. But not to be rude, he hasn’t told me that. I’m just speculating.

What are the rules of texting? Was the guy who texted me from Virginia out of line because he waited six months to get ahold of me again? Are three separate texts over weeks enough to give someone the opportunity to arrange to meet, to take some initiative? And at what point does it turn from texting to actual phone calling? Is that after 10 or 20 texts? Or when the information trying to be conveyed is just going to be easier if you talk? Like an address with a person’s name in it that no one ever hears correctly? And what does it mean if you attempt to call and you get shut down? Or when the information in the texts is being ignored? What then?

Oh, these and many other thoughts fill my head on proper texting etiquette. Give me a talking person sitting in front of me any time!

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