Tag Archive | texting

Sexting With Grandma

Every once in a while, a blog idea comes to me while I’m commenting on another person’s blog.  The inspiration behind Sexting With Grandma is compliments of the incomparable Madame Weebles who wrote a blog post about some of the twisted thoughts that run through her head sometimes.  After reading her post, I told her that I sometimes think about sending my friends and family members wildly inappropriate text messages just to see how they would react; something along the lines of….

“You were incredible last night, Rafael! I never knew it could be like that!  I love how adventurous you are… and that goes double for your dog, Sir Humps-a-lot.  What do you say I ditch my husband again tonight and find out if we can come up with any more uses for that vibrating chicken of yours?”

I loved the idea too much to let it end with Madame Weebles comment section, so I decided to actually send this exact message out to several people I know.  I was both eager and anxious to find out what their reactions were going to be. I was pretty sure they would all take it in good fun, but since I had never really tested the kinky boundaries of my friends and family members before (because… EWWW), I wasn’t positive that they wouldn’t disown me afterwards.  But if Rafael can be adventurous, then so can I!!

Initially, I really wanted to send the text out to my mom.  But my mom’s innocence was protected by the fact that her cellphone doesn’t receive text messages… I know, right?!  But she’s firmly planted on the “people should pick up the phone and TALK” side of the communication debate, so there’s no convincing her of all the merits of texting – like being able to send texts involving vibrating chickens, for instance.

The next victim on my texting hit list was my sister.  So, I sent it out and waited…. as it turned out, I didn’t have to wait long for her reaction.  A couple of minutes after sending her the text, my home phone rang.  I tried to answer with an innocent sounding “Hello?”, but couldn’t quite pull it off because I was giggling too much.  She said something along the lines of, “I just got a pretty interesting text from you….”  I couldn’t keep a straight face, so my ruse was quickly ruined.  Didn’t she know that when she gets a sext from her sister, she’s supposed to sext back?  Seemed like common sense to me.

I toyed around with sending the text to my older brother, but for some reason the idea grossed me out more than sending it to my mom.  So, it was on to victimizing my friends.  I sent the text to six of them, and then pretended that it had been a mistake that they got the message from me.   I will share with you my top three favorite responses.   [*Side note: All of my responses are in blue, and my friends are all in grey].

The Twisted Countdown Begins……

Number Three came from my friend, Jenn…. who apparently takes me WAY too seriously, and also thinks that me having an affair with a guy, his dog, and his chicken is a totally plausible idea:

text.with.jenn

Then I waited about twenty minutes for another reaction out of her, but when nothing came, I started to get nervous that she was taking me seriously.  So, I texted her back, and filled her in on the gag:

text.with.jenn.2

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Number Two came from my friend, Buck.  I’ve known him since college but apparently, he doesn’t think enough of our friendship to put me into his contact list, so when he got this text message, my name didn’t come up with it.  He thought he was getting this crazy text from a complete stranger:

text.with.buck.

Again, nothing but radio silence for a solid twenty minutes, which got my paranoia working overtime again.  At that point, I didn’t know that he wasn’t aware the text was from me.  So, I texted him back to make sure he knew it was just a joke:

text.with.buck.2

text.with.buck.3

Then much to my surprise, Buck’s wife, Colleen decided she wanted to jump in on the act.  I thought her attempt to shield her husband from a sex-crazed poultry slut and her lover was kind of sweet.  Who says chivalry is dead?:

text.with.colleen.

Number One came to me from one of my oldest friends, Moe.  I’ve known her since high school, and her response is the perfect example of why we have stayed friends for the last twenty-five years.  I love you, my twisted sister:

text.with.moe

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Have any of you ever pulled a texting prank on someone you know?  If so, I’d love to hear about it.  And if not, what are you waiting for?  It’s a fun way to pass the time while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or during those annoying commercial breaks on TV.  If you have the guts to send out this text or something like it, and tell me the reaction you get, I’ll pledge my undying love and loyalty to you.  I might even throw in a vibrating chicken.

[*Disclaimer:  Get Write Down To It takes no responsibility or liability for any divorce, disownment or involuntary psychiatric commitments that may result while performing this texting prank with your friends and family members…. mostly because I’m too broke to afford a lawyer.  So, proceed at your own risk.]

Confessions of an Emoticon Addict

I have an addiction for which there’s no twelve-step program or support group, making my hope of recovery dismal at best.  People sometimes ask me how my addiction got started.  Like most addictions, I suspect – in one brief moment of weakness.  I thought, “Hey, I’ll give it a try.  Everyone’s doing it.”  I didn’t see the harm in trying it, and I rationalized that I could stop whenever I wanted.  And in that one moment of keyboard experimentation, my emoticon addiction was born.

Long before I started texting, I was an avid emailer – that’s where my introduction to emoticons began.   At first, I used them sparingly; a single smiley face to emphasize a particularly funny joke.  I would sometimes go a couple of paragraphs without using a single emoticon.  Not ONE…. I know, hard to believe.  It’s been years now since my first emoticon, and I’m sad to report that my addiction has only grown stronger.

Only for emails?? That's just what the emoticons want you to think....

It’s gotten so bad that emoticons have nearly taken the place of proper punctuation when I write.  But in my own defense, what good is a period?  All it does is let the reader know that the sentence has come to an end, but leaves them wondering about the writer’s true emotional state.  For example:

“My grandmother died yesterday.”

After reading the above sentence, most readers would assume that the person is experiencing grief and depression at the loss of their beloved grandparent.  But what if Granny was geriatric hell on wheels and beat the grandkids with her cane every time they got within hugging distance?  A simple :- ) or :- ( placed at the end removes all doubt about the writer’s feelings, and spares the reader time spent on unnecessary speculation.  A smiley face at the end of that sentence might also save the reader money – no need to send a fruit basket or sympathy card if grandma was a total bitch, right?

And then texting came along, which only served to intensify my addiction – emoticons became my insurance policy against misinterpretation.  When you only have a sentence or two to convey your message, there is a lot of room for misunderstandings.  For example, you go out drinking with your friends, and you send your best friend this text the next morning:

“Quite a night last night, huh?”

Now your friend, who has a spotty recollection of the events that preceded their screaming hangover, is left to worry and wonder, “Oh no!  What did I do last night??”  Why not reassure them with a smiley face at the end of that sentence and let them know that they didn’t make a total drunken ass out of themselves?  With just a few extra hits of your phone’s keypad, you can make your friend’s blackout seem a whole lot less scary.

When I started texting with my thirteen-year old daughter, Meghan, about a year ago (click here for further details on that nightmare: My Two Left Thumbs), she took it upon herself to educate me about which emoticons were “acceptable for society” (yes, that’s a direct quote), and which ones weren’t.

The emoticon lesson came about because I unknowingly texted her an unacceptable smiley face that looked like this  :- ).  She actually rolled her eyes at me and said, “Mom, nobody makes them like that anymore.  That emoticon is SO old fashioned.”  Old fashioned?!  Seriously?  How can something that’s been around for less than a decade have a version that’s considered old fashioned?  It’s not like I’m making my emoticons out of sticks and rocks or painting them on cave walls.

When I asked her why it was old fashioned, she told me it was because of the nose.  So let me get this straight – just because teenagers are too lazy to make a dash for a nose, they decide to tell everyone that it’s not cool?  Brilliant.  I plan on implementing the same strategy with my family’s dirty laundry – I’ll tell my children that cool kids don’t wear clean clothes anymore.  Maybe if I roll my eyes and look at them like they’re stupid for wanting to wear clean underwear, they’ll believe me.

At the conclusion of my lesson, Meghan went on to text me ten or fifteen acceptable ways to show my emotions (to save me from future emoticon embarrassment).  Just to save you from the same, I’ll share her list with you (please note the lack of antiquated noses…. SO much cooler):

: )

:{ )   (the mustache smiley face, made cool by Victoria Justice – it makes me sad that I know that.)

: D

; )

; D

: p

: l

=)

=D

xD

Okay, I get it… just about any combination of eyes and mouths that the keypad can make, as long as the dash-noses stay the hell out of it.  But despite Meghan’s insistence, I still use a nose every now and then, coolness be damned.  One of the perks of not being a teenager anymore is the freedom to flaunt my old-fartyness without fear of peer persecution (though I’m sure I’ll still get progeny persecution from time to time).

Truth be told, I don’t use most of the emoticons on my daughter’s list, despite the apparent cool factor they bring to my text messages and emails.  I have more or less whittled my list down to three emoticons that I use for everything…. got stuck in an emoticon rut, I guess.  I think  : )   : ( and  ; )  pretty much cover all the emotional bases.  I tend to favor the winking emoticon because I know when I put it at the end of a sentence, I can be as sarcastic as I want and all will be forgiven.

I once surfed the web to find new emoticons because I was getting really bored with the three I was using.  I know…. I need to get a hobby.  But I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of emoticons out there in cyberspace.  I knew when I saw smiley faces for Elvis, a priest, and a buck-toothed vampire missing one tooth, that I didn’t stand a chance in hell of EVER remembering any of the new emoticons.  After a few minutes, my brain shut down and decided that three was a really good number.  If you have a better memory than me, you can check out this  Ridiculously long list of emoticons.

Then in February 2012 my WordPress blog came along, and made my addiction even worse.  I didn’t think it was possible to depend on my emoticons more than I already did, but adding those stupid faces at the end of my comments has become an undeniable compulsion.  I wage a war inside my head every time I post a new comment or response – “Should I put a smiley face there?  No, I just used one two sentences ago!  It’ll look like I’m trying too hard.  But my last comment sounded kind of snarky.  What if they don’t know I’m only joking?  I NEED them to follow my blog!!  Screw it, I’m putting it in.”

I find that the compulsion gets worse if I’m writing to someone I don’t know well (especially on WordPress, where nearly everyone is a stranger).  I’m afraid that my teasing or sarcasm will be taken the wrong way, and I’ll accidentally piss somebody off.  But with friends and family, I know they’re familiar with my sense of humor, and won’t be as quick to think I’m an asshole….well….most of the time.

I think I may be too far gone at this point to even hope for a recovery from my addiction.  I can hardly remember a time before the invention of emoticons, a time when I trusted my words alone to express my feelings.  What the hell did I do back then to ensure that people knew when I was happy, sad, or only kidding??

My version of a confused emoticon.... this is why I'm a writer and not an artist.

My Two Left Thumbs

While texting was technically invented in the early nineties, it only started to gain widespread popularity in the last six years (or so).  For five out of those six years, I was perched high atop my soapbox, proclaiming that texting would be the death of all meaningful human interaction.  If someone had handed me a megaphone, I would have shouted, “Why don’t you people ever talk to each other anymore?!”

As a writer, I also saw texting as a personal affront to the written word.  Grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure were all scrapped in favor of the English language’s newborn bastardized son – the short message service (SMS), also called text speak; a language full of acronyms, abbreviations, and numerical inserts.  So, it seemed texting was not only replacing our meaningful face-to-face interactions and phone calls, it was also responsible for creating an entire generation of crappy writers.

When my thirteen-year old daughter wrote “u” instead of “you” in a rough draft essay for her English class I nearly had a brain aneurism.  I knew she was only using the shortened version of the word because it was a rough draft her teacher would never see, but I still lectured her (ad nauseam) about the importance of spelling and grammar, and about how crucial it was for her to differentiate between her schoolwork and the texts she sends her friends.

Don’t roll your eyes at me.  I stop being a self-righteous asshole in just a sec….

On the rare occasion I texted someone, I stubbornly dug my heels in and refused to use text speak, despite the fact that it took me ten times longer to text someone using proper English on my dinosaur of a flip-phone (sans keyboard).  Probably would have been quicker to communicate via homing pigeon. But I had my principles, no matter how asinine or antiquated.

I was teased by friends and family about my novel-length texts (complete with proper capitalization and punctuation), and frequently asked, “What are you writing, a book?”  Sadly, no.  It seems I’m as easily distracted writing a real book as you seem to be reading my text-books (text-books…. get it?  Hahaha).

*Side note:  if you happen to be a book agent, believe me when I say that I will buy out my pharmacy’s entire supply of Ritalin and start popping them like tic-tacs if it means landing a book deal.  Okay, moving on….

But then about a year ago my husband and I decided to get our (then) twelve-year old daughter, Meghan, her first cell phone.  And at the same time, I decided it was time for me to upgrade my cellasaurus.  I knew I wanted a touch screen and keyboard, but I wasn’t anywhere near ready to take on the iPhone.  The salesman took one look at the flip-phone in my hand and suggested I buy the “Pantech Ease” – a phone clearly designed for the technologically challenged.  I didn’t know whether to be insulted or relieved.

Before taking two steps outside of the Verizon store, my daughter had already sent me several text messages.  As we walked through the mall, I tried not to run into a wall or another shopper while my clumsy thumbs attempted to keep pace with her rapid-fire text messages.  She only had the phone for five minutes and she was already fluent in text-speak, and could move her thumbs across that tiny keyboard with unnatural speed and agility.

During the course of the next week, Meghan sent me hundreds of text messages – most of them while we were within speaking distance (curse you, unlimited text plan!)  I was reluctantly transformed from a mom who sent less than ten texts during the course of a week, into a piss poor imitation of a teenage textaholic.

As the month wore on, I could feel my resolve starting to weaken; slowly acronyms and numerical inserts began to rear their ugly heads.  Meghan forced me to end my war on text speak, and brought me over to the dark side – the land where spelling and grammar go to die.  I rationalized that it was better to raise the white flag and surrender, than to have both my thumbs fall off.

Meghan schooled me in acronyms, and let out an exasperated sigh whenever I didn’t know what one meant.  She once sent me a text that read, “DTB.  TTYL.”  Umm…. what?  I stared at the screen totally dumbfounded.  Without my acronym decoder ring, I had no idea what it meant, so I used the next best thing – Google.  Google told me that she was trying to say, “Don’t text back.  Talk to you later.”  It was my turn to let out an exasperated sigh, and wonder why the hell two English-speaking people needed a translator.

Just so you don’t run into the same problem, I’m posting this link.  If you have a teenager, I suggest you bookmark it….

Acronym Dictionary

I still hated all the short-cuts, but at least I understood the necessity for them.  What I couldn’t understand was why teenagers made shorter words longer or misspelled them for no reason.  Words like “hey” became “heyyyyyy”, and “ok” became “kk”.  It was obviously no longer a time saver, so what was the reason?

Meghan gave me a blank stare when I asked her, so I once again turned to Google for the answers.  After checking out various websites on texting, it seemed the added letters or purposeful misspelling indicated emphasis, coolness, and/or drunkenness. So my daughter was either trying to make a point, fit in with her peers, or she was ready for the Betty Ford clinic. Awesome.

Thankfully, since last year Meghan has filled up her cell phone address book with numerous friends and family members, and no longer relies on me as her primary texting buddy.  My thumbs are eternally grateful.