So, when people write “lol,” do they really mean they are laughing out loud? I know my sister laughs on the inside, but she doesn’t make any sound. Her face is stone, but her eyes at least show a little bit of expression. When she is wearing sunglasses, though, I check for a pulse. I have at least two friends who always write “lol,” but I think they write it to shoo me away like a fly. They are probably in the middle of actually brokering some kind of deal in an office or are in a paper gown with their feet tucked into stirrups. They know if they give me too much encouragement, I’ll keep on running with whatever I thought was funny.
If you text with me, then you know I am a pretty quick text-responder, and I’ll send back a thoughtful reply. I want you to know that I have really read your text including your typos in all of their glory. I am skilled at speaking autocorrect, so I understood when my friend wrote “Bringing Judy just in case.” We have no mutual friends or people in our lives named Judy. Of course, I wrote back, “I didn’t know Judy was joining us. That’s lovely.” I obviously knew she meant to type “just” not “Judy.”
Please don’t take the fact that I text often as a sign I have nothing better to do. What you may not realize is that a lot of the time, I’m on my computer while your texts pop up on my screen. I answer them even faster than I can from my phone, because I’m using a keyboard. I was a teen of the 80s, so I took an actual typing class. I can kick ass on a standard keyboard. All of my ten fingers can hit their home keys and the neighboring ones in lightning speed. And, you should see my right thumb stroking that space bar. I am actually in about seven different text chains right now as I write this. Not exaggerating.
What I want to know is who you people are who barely—or don’t—respond to texts. I just don’t understand you. My own mother barely answers, and, I’m talking about texts that should matter to her, like a picture of her granddaughter or details about her imminent flight. When I asked her about it, she said something like, “What do you mean? I read them and love seeing the pictures.” So, she appreciates them but doesn’t feel the need to acknowledge them. Wow, that makes tons of sense. “It must be a generational thing,” I thought. But, my pretend-mother-in-law, who is the same age, always responds. And, lo and behold, she even generates texts herself and knows how to include pictures. So, there went that theory. My aunt, who is 84, claims she doesn’t know how to text or even check them. I, myself, have walked her through it about seven times. (“Here’s the green box with the white, speech bubble inside. Simply touch it.”) Yet, miraculously, I will receive a picture via text from her every year or so. She once asked why my kids don’t answer their phones. I told her that she’s better off texting them, since they will respond immediately. She then said, “But, I haven’t got their email addresses.” I was done.
Let’s get back to my contemporaries, who are non-responders or one-worders. If you are under age 70, wtf is wrong with you? Besides it being bad manners, are you really that busy or self-important? I think it’s more that you are just a textflake. (I just made up that word. I like it.) You are actually healthy in the fact that you are not attached to your phones, or you may be just going about your day, not caring about anything not deemed an emergency. But, don’t you understand that in 2020, we need immediate fulfillment? We can’t wait for anything anymore. I need to know if you can have dinner on the 20th; I need to know if I can pawn my kid off on you next week; and I need to know who your plumber is, damn it! And, isn’t my very current, pop-culture meme hilarious? Why aren’t you answering me???? It’s the newish friends that really baffle me. I’m more likely to answer a new person than an old friend, so where the hell are you? That’s not a very good text-impression you’re making.
I can’t forget about the text avoiders. You know who you are, and unfortunately for you, I know who you are, too. Sometimes in a group text, one of us needs a favor or says something a little controversial. Immediately one or two in the group go radio silent. We all know you’re still there. Duh. You avoiders are thinking, “Let me see if someone else will donate blood for our dying friend first.” So, you can keep doing that, but maybe next time just take the honest route: “You know guys, I think I’ll keep my plasma for now. I’d love to help another time.”
I’ll finish by saying that of course I sometimes receive texts and don’t respond, but 95% of the time, it’s because I am out at night. If it requires more than a quick answer, I can’t be rude while I’m with friends. I’ll make a mental note to respond the next day, and I always start by saying, “Sorry for the delayed response.” Then there have been times, where I have completely forgotten. That’s always because of those extra tequilas. I did this recently on a three-way text with a cousin (who I haven’t spoken to in a while) and a friend who had coincidentally met on a trip. The text came all the way from Israel, and it came on a night when I thought I was still 22. I felt so badly when the next text came a full week later: “I want to make sure you got this text. Betsy is awesome!” I apologized twice and texted upward and onward.
It’s funny how my boyfriend seems to answer me quickly. He has a lot more to lose, I guess, even if it is an aging vagina.
I dedicate this text to all of the good and fast responders in my life. I appreciate your time and humor. Keep making me laugh and giving it to me fast, like I like it! xoxo
**Tap on the FOLLOW button at the bottom of your phone or computer. (Move your finger or mouse around, and FOLLOW will appear if it’s hidden.) You have to open the email the site sends you to complete the FOLLOW process. Thank you from this woman and her popped cork.