Him&Her: Textiquette

29 01 2010

Hello. Welcome back, it’s good to see you. Please, sit down, pour yourself a glass of wine. It’s a Merlot. 1997. Bold, complex.

Now let’s philosophize.

You know, almost all of the answers to the world’s great questions about love and relationships can be found with a few well-placed words in a Google search. It’s 2010, nobody is reinventing the wheel when it comes to the coupling of human beings. Whatever incredible thoughts and feelings you have on the subject have been thought an felt a BILLION times before. Trust me, there are no exceptions.

Except this one.

When new technology is implemented in relationships, technology that was not available to prior generations, we get the opportunity to discuss how it affects our everyday world. We get to declare truths and myths. We get to be all deep and stuff.

Since I am a well-rounded man of letters, one whose prose is as eloquent and beautiful as a the dew on a single rose amidst a billowing field on an island in the middle of the ocean during sunrise (or sunset), I thought that together — with me serving as your guide, obvi — we could journey into one of these new technologies and examine its pervasiveness in relationships.

The textual message.

Join me, as we unravel a mystery so shrouded in mystery that it would make Dan Brown rock-hard.

Your text/in person conversation ratio is important. Ah, the throes of young love. When two hearts beat at once, and the colors — the colors! — they are so bright, like your eyes have never seen such vivid reds and blues and golds and navy blues (in this scenario you’re at a Cubs-Brewers game, stay with me).

And you know what else comes with the throes of young love? The desire of being in constant contact with your lover. (Lover: What an awkward, clumsy word. Would you ever call your lover your lover in front of them? Would you ever call your lover your lover period? Just typing it makes me feel filthy, like I’m watching porn with my family. No thank you.)

Before now, it wasn’t that realistic for two young pups to be in constant contact. Everybody has shit they gotta do, you can’t spend every waking moment with another person. Not even if they are your conjoined twin. But now, do you know what texting has to say about that?

/Phone vibrates

//”1 message received: Fuck that shit.”

Fuck that shit, indeed, cell phone-that-can-think-for-itself-in-this-imaginary-scenario. Now couples can talk all the time! Morning, noon and night. Factor in stuff like E-mail, AIM, facebook, GChat, Skype and the four people in the world that use Jabber, and you’ve got constant contact.

BUT I WARN YOU, GOOD SIRS AND HERS. If your virtual contact grossly outweighs your actual contact, you’re doing yourself a disservice. People are not the same online/in texts as they are in real life. YOU’RE BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP ON A FOUNDATION AS WEAK AS A NEW ORLEANS LEVEE! (nailed it). Please, for the sake of the children, limit your texting/talking ratio to a respectable level. What’s that level you ask? Great question. I don’t know, so let’s move on.

If he texts you often, it’s not because he wants to be your BFF. If she texts you often, good luck solving that Rubix cube. Ladies, unless you are his mother, sister, female cousin (and this rule mostly applies north of the Mason Dixon line) or a girl who has set CLEAR non-sexual boundaries with him, know this: If he’s texting you often, he’s trying to get in there. All the way in there. Then out of there. Then in there again. Then out. In and out, in a rhythmic, sensual motion.

Gentlemen, unless she is your mother, sister, female cousin (again, same rules) or a girl who has set CLEAR non-sexual boundaries, know this: I have no idea why that girl is texting you non-stop. It could be because she wants to go halfsies on a baby; it could be because she simply can’t remember the name of that one guy in “CSI: New York” (it’s Gary Sinise). It could be anything. Literally, anything.

Avoid Fatal Attraction texting. You get one re-send, then lock it up. I know a man’s tiny brain can’t comprehend this, but when you disregard this rule, you make life for your fellow man that much harder. You text her, she doesn’t respond. Certainly you’re within your rights to send another text, aren’t you? And if she doesn’t respond again? Then what?

See, the more you text without being prompted, the more you come off like a possessive psychopath, and the more and more women become skeptical of future men they don’t know.

That means innocent, good guys end up getting lumped in with the creeps, when their only crime was sending perhaps one or two texts too many (instead of the 15 you sent because you wanted her to come over at 3 a.m. and play a game called “Let’s do something gross”).

And you know what you — Guy-who-texts-far-too-much — have caused? Now I gotta play it cool. Cooler than cool. Ice cold. And if the girl thinks I’m playing it too cool, well then she assumes I think I’m too good for her or don’t have any interest in her whatsoever. Do you see what you’ve done!? Do you see what you’re responsible for?

On the other hand, women usually text in bulk when compared to men anyway. If a guy is into it, he’ll put up with it. It he’s not, he’ll ignore it. Problem solved.

Emoticons. Every time someone sends a message with an emoticon, a puppy is murdered and sent straight to hell. That’s a fact.

Can we stop them? Can we kill the emoticon forever? ESPECIALLY for the Hims reading this: how can you punch in a 🙂 or 😉 or, I don’t know, 8) without feeling like a little part of you just died? What does it even mean anyway? What does smiling mean? Isn’t that supposed to be a reaction, not an action? Can you preemptively smile at something? Would you in real life? Would you laugh before someone finished a joke? Would you cry before someone smashed your face in with a beer bottle?

Stop the insanity, please. I’ll even compromise for the Hers reading this.

Feel free to continue to send your smileys and kissy faces, just make sure it’s in moderation, and appropriate to the content it accompanies. But Hims? You’re officially on notice. Don’t make me pull up Verizon’s text logs and hunt you down like Jay and Silent Bob, because I will unleash fury upon your soul. And face, too.

Picture message at your own risk. I guess this could go for the Hims or the Hers, but I think we all know who we’re talking about. Here’s the rub: Men hang on to “special” pictures like herpes. Those pictures are the gift that keeps on giving. And they give forever, or at least until your hard drive fails.

HOWEVER, if a guy proliferates said pictures and distributes them to his friends, co-workers, the interweb, whatever, that guy is a total dick and you have every right to punch him in the fucking face. It’s a Jim Halpert move, a total dick maneuver. I mean, he’ll show them to his friends — there’s a pretty good probability of that happening — but showing and giving are two completely different kinds of breasts, er, beasts.

I don’t care if she’s a super, megabitch of an ex-girlfriend who went apeshit and torched all of your Affliction t-shirts (sucks bro!), you do NOT give copies of those pictures to other human beings. Not cool bro, not cool. That’s why they call it “show and tell”, not “show and share”.

Sexting. Notice, picture messaging your naughty bits and sexting are two different sections, because they are two different things! I don’t know what happened in the generation behind me that thought they could steal a word my generation invented and make it mean something else, but this debate ends now. Sexting is done with words, not pictures. Period.

And for the record, everyone loves sexting. Is it as good as the real thing? Of course not. It’s tofu to filet. But don’t let anyone — Him or Her — say otherwise, sexting is good old-fashioned fun. But that doesn’t mean it’s safe.

Just like picture messaging, you’ve got to trust your recipient. You don’t want them showing everyone that text where you said you wanted to [redacted] her [redacted] in the [redacted] while she [redacted] on your [redacted] before you [redacted] in her face. That’s just nasty.

If you play text-and-seek, kill yourself. Girl, don’t you dare initiate a text conversation without intending to continue it. It’s just awful. You are the devil. Especially if feelings or attraction is involved. I know what you’re doing you harpy (honestly I’ve never heard of men playing this game, my apologies if there are men guilty of this). You’re trying to get my attention — something we’ve covered in-depth at R&R — and you know damn well I won’t be able to resist.

I’m not going to just ignore your text. Why? Because I want to be sweet and tender with you, and I’m not trying to fuck that up. I understand that your 5th grade ballet teacher did such psychological damage to your self esteem that Professor X would be proud, but I’m not here to inflate your ego balloon when it starts to go flat.

That’s what grinding on strangers in the club is for.




2 responses

30 01 2010
Study: Distractions, not phones, cause car crashes – CNET | .:: MrCoi Blog ::.

[…] Him&Her: Textiquette « Rhyme&Reason […]

30 01 2010

Thank you very much for this post. A good read indeed…

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