Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones, But Texts Will Never Hurt Me

14 Mar
Nokia_E72

flickr image by mathewajay

Remember the days when conversing with the object of your desire meant an awkward telephone call placed to their landline?

For me, this stressful episode usually involved a handwritten script I’d practised reciting for at least an hour beforehand with my sister; hairbrushes jammed to our ears as pseudo telephone receivers. By the time it actually came to dialling his number, I would lock myself in my parents’ bedroom (as this was the only place in my childhood home that provided moderate shelter from wayward ears), my sweaty fingers sliding across the number pad, my heart desperately trying to thump free from the confines of my ribcage.

Of course it was NEVER him that answered the phone. No, that would have been far too easy. Often it was a younger sibling, hellbent on causing mischief. “Are you his girrrllllfrrriend?” the younger brother or sister would ask in an irritating whine. “(Insert object of affection’s name here) there’s a giiirrrl on the phone for yooooou!” And even after he had firmly wrestled the telephone receiver from the pesky younger sibling, the call would soon be tapped via another telephone in the house. This would often take the form of loud kissing noises, or cleverly crafted questions such as, “Have you sexed her yet?”

Death by hanging would have been far less painful.

Mobile phones and the blessed invention of text messaging have undoubtedly made dating life a little easier. Shooting off a text and hoping for the best is far less stressful than having to make the dreaded ‘ask-out’ phone call, which if you are anything like me involves unbecoming bouts of verbal diarrhoea and heavy handed helpings of Court Jestering.

However, the art of texting is certainly not a foolproof way to completely eradicate anxiety caused by communication with the opposite sex.

The trusty old Nokia I owned a couple of years ago certainly conspired against me a number of times. The phone’s betrayal was evident through allowing inappropriate text messages I had composed about a guy, and had intended for the hungry eyes of a fellow female friend, to be instead sent to that guy.

Now, you may very well be thinking that is no fault of the phone, and instead can only be blamed on the person who was operating the phone, who is quite obviously mildly retarded.

Well, first of all, please don’t call me retarded. Not only is it mean, but it is also a socially unacceptable phrase, thank you very much. And secondly, hear me out.

With the adoption of my iPhone a year or two ago, I therein ceased from sending text messages to the wrong recipients. As an iPhone displays the entire conversation thread, it is merely a matter of reading the last text that was sent from a particular person, then writing a reply in the text box directly underneath. My old Nokia however, would insist I compose a text message, then scroll through my address book looking for the intended recipient’s name. This, on occasion, involved me absentmindedly pressing on the name of the person I had written the majority of the text message about, purely because that person had understandably been on my mind during the time of the sending.

And to be perfectly honest, those waywardly sent text messages were unfortunately rarely full of glowing compliments.

My Mum used to always say, ‘Never write something in a letter that you wouldn’t want printed on the front page of a newspaper.’ If only I had applied her advice to text messaging, before the show-offy text intended for a female friend had been sent to the male I was writing it about. The text I am referring to has since been deleted and the evil phone that allowed its delivery has long ago been destroyed, but the words of that mortifying text have long been etched into the recess of my brain.

Hey, Jake just called and we’ve been talking for ages. He’s so nice and funny! (Okay, not so bad.) Shame he lives in Melbourne. (Perfectly acceptable comment, seeing as I live in Sydney.) Shame he’s a ginger. (Woah, it’s getting bitchy.) And shame he’s got such a hot body you’d never want to get naked with a guy like that. (Cue unadulterated mortification.)

To quickly defend myself in wake of the ‘ginger’ comment, I don’t actually have anything against ginger-haired people. Most flame-haired females are quite attractive to say the least. But when it comes to men, I prefer dark tresses. Hands down. I’m not the biggest fan of blond or ginger men. It’s just a personal preference. That is, apart from Prince Harry. There’s just something about that little fanta-pants that I find quite attractive indeed.  But let’s be honest; whether it be dark-haired, blond or ginger, beggars can’t be choosers and these days I’d probably take whatever was thrown my way.

During the sending of a text message, the phone would courteously notify me, ‘message sending’. It would also provide me with the option of pressing a button on the keypad that would ‘cancel message’. Of course I pressed the button immediately, realising what a fool I had been and instantaneously (yet narrowly) resisted the urge to vomit all over myself.

A river of obscenities exploded from my mouth, alerting my flatmate to the fact that I was in fact a complete and utter dickhead. I quickly explained the situation to my sympathetic flatmate, who in turn suggested I try sending the text to her, then hitting the cancel button immediately. That way I would be able to assess whether the text had in fact been cancelled, or if my wicked phone had still sent the bastardly message, regardless of my plight to stop it.

I sent the text to my flatmate, and immediately hit ‘cancel message’. For a few moments we sat in silence, waiting for the condemning sound of the message alert on her phone. Just when I was about to let out a shaky sigh of relief, her phone sounded.

She proceeded to read the text aloud, word for word. It was settled; my phone had lied to me. It had blatantly lied to my face. The prick!

Being the mature woman that I am, I immediately called Jake to apologise, all the while trying to curb the delinquent nervous vomit trying to hop up my oesophagus. He answered straight away and claimed he hadn’t received a text from me. Not wanting to be lulled into a false sense of security, but also wanting with all my might for him to be speaking the truth, I ended the call with stern instructions to delete the text message without reading it should it appear on his phone.

Of course I knew he would do no such thing. If anything, my phone call had actually exacerbated his interest in that horrid text.

Hours passed and there was no word from Jake. I had been friends with him since high school, and my highest concern at this point was the idea that my flippant text could have hurt his feelings.

Swallowing my pride, I sent him a text.

So, has that text arrived yet? My bags are packed and my passport is ready…

The reply was instant.

Best ginger ninja you’ll ever meet.

Fuck.

Now, despite what you may have read on this blog, I can be a sensitive person, especially when it comes to thinking I may have hurt somebody’s feelings. As a consequence I felt physically ill for a day or two after the incident. However, contact soon resumed with Jake and I was glad to note his feelings hadn’t been damaged too severely.

Quite the contrary, actually. I later discovered through a friend of a friend that he’d been rehashing the story to all and sundry. It seems the ‘hot body’ comment had only served to inflate his ego. Bless him.

If you’ll now allow me to take you even further back into the sands of time…

About five or so years ago I broke up with my boyfriend Sam. I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of our failed relationship, except to remind you that he was the delightful chap who had claimed that approximately ninety eight percent of men cheat on their wives or girlfriends.

Enough said.

I broke up with Sam via an awkward phone call, during which he repeatedly spoke over the top of me in a most condescending fashion. During the months that followed he would from time to time send me an irritating text message, showcasing his impressive talent as a wordsmith.

Two of his favourites were, How are you? And, What’s new in your world?

I felt no need to respond to these texts and intentionally open up a can of worms that I wished would remain firmly closed. From time to time he would also try to call me, but again I chose to ignore his desperate bids for my attention.

Until one day when I unwittingly answered a call from him. My phone rang, and glancing at the screen I thought I saw my female friend S’s name. I answered the call with a friendly and over-familiar, “Hellooooo!”

A curt, “Hello,” sounded in my ear.

A male’s voice? That S must have passed her phone to a guy in the pub to unsettle me. She’s such a joker, that girl!

“Who’s this then?” I asked flirtily, my voice dripping with sex.

“Who do you think?” came the hostile reply.

Suddenly I recognised the terse voice in my ear. I reefed the phone away from my face and stared unbelievingly at the name on the screen.

Sam.

Damn my unreliable eyes!

He continued to make shit-chat for a moment or two before getting down to the nitty-gritty. Why hadn’t I returned his calls? Why did I have no desire to see him again? What kind of a horrible person was I anyway?

I managed to defuse things by making a plan to make a plan to have coffee sometime. Sound rather vague? That was the intention.

Ending the call with a sigh of relief, I decided to send a text to S, sharing the whole sordid story.

Fuck! Missed your call earlier, then my phone rang and I assumed it was you because the name on the screen started with S. However, it wasn’t you. It was Sam. I’ve ignored months worth of his texts and calls! I had to listen to, “Why haven’t you replied? You’ve been too busy to answer your phone? You could have told me you didn’t want to see me anymore.” Um, I already did. Do I need to hire a sky writer to spell it out for him? Freak!

You can probably guess where this train wreck of a story is headed: I accidentally sent the text to Sam. Clearly I am a girl only a mother could love.

There’s probably no need to mention that I then ran into Sam a few months after the text-fiasco, at the very pub where we initially met. I guess there’s no point in also telling you that at the time I was heavily intoxicated, pathetically single and it was actually my birthday. He seemed overly pleased to see me, complimented my looks (well played), and wished me all the best. He also graciously accepted my apology in regards to the childish text message.

Now, I’m definitely NOT going to write about how I couldn’t stop thinking of him for about a week after bumping into him, and then decided to send him some flirty texts that resulted in us fornicating that night.

And there’s absolutely NO need to bring up how after we’d both climaxed he asked the awkward question, “So what’s it like to have sex with a freak?”

There is beyond a doubt NO way I will ever divulge to you that a couple of days later I sent him a probing text message, only to never receive a reply.

To this day, I have never seen nor heard from him again.

What can I say? Karma’s a bitch.

Happy texting!

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6 Responses to “Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones, But Texts Will Never Hurt Me”

  1. kelli March 15, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    This was equally mortifying as it was incredible.
    I can definitely relate and was laughing out loud (to the annoyance of my neighbors) the whole time.

    It’s decided, I’m officially obsessed with your blog.
    Thank you!

    • Dawn Dash March 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

      Thank you, Kelli!

      I love to hear I’ve made people laugh – I guess it’s my Court Jester Syndrome. I must say, it wasn’t a laughing matter when the wayward texting occurred. At the time it felt like a multitude of spiders had taken residence under the skin on my face and my stomach was about to implode on itself. However, looking back a few years later, I can definitely see the funny (albeit embarrassingly stupid) side!

  2. newyorkcliche March 15, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    ooo, yikes! It all has a happy ending though, now you’re in iPhone-d bliss and can look back at these as 2 very funny stories! Great read, thanks. Who didn’t write out at least one phone conversation script pre-2000? Someone should collect them into a cringe-worthy coffee table book.

    • Dawn Dash March 15, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

      I’m trying to recall how my scripts went. There was definitely the age-old ‘What kind of music do you like?’ question. Definitely a deal-breaker. I do recall being so overcome with nerves once, that I made my sister call and pretend to be me. Only, she was a couple of years older and I remember her level of suggestive flirtiness scaring me, for fear I’d actually be expected to stick my tounge down the boy’s throat next time I saw him.

  3. Emily March 30, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    Haha, I love your ginger comment! I love fellow female gingers, but boys make me cringe. It’s just not right. (Except for Prince Harry. He and I would make beautiful babies, end of story.)

    Also, amen to the phone calls from landlines. I had the unfortunate luck to call a boy in middle school and it ended disastrously. I promise I’m not trying to promote my blog or anything, but I wrote a post about it that would do the story more justice. PS, the tirade at the end of the post is probably my virgin version of casual sex… lol 😉

    • Dawn Dash March 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

      You’ll have to fight me for Prince Harry. Just saying. 😉

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