Monday, February 15, 2010

Texts From Last Night

For someone who was a very, very early adopter of Texting (and then Sxting) it took me a long, long time to get around to the site Texts From Last Night (today), and only then because a few people strongly urged me to try it.

I started texting way back when... gosh... I think there were still tin cans stretched between trees, and I had to tap out my messages via Morse Code -- I had a lot of cop buddies, and it was never convenient to call them, but it was easy to send a text "Black Hawk Down's at 2 at Hoodhill." They were the first ones to get me hooked, because I was all for anything that would allow me to circumvent talking on the telephone. 

Here again, I did what I always do with technology: first I resist it; then I embrace it; then I act like I invented it; then I go forth like a zealous preacher to convert the masses. At first, I didn't even want a BlackBerry. It was a Valentine present several years back from the Ex who was given to high-end electronics-as-apology (the same one I had to turn down the I'm-Sorry-MacBook from, because he was being extravagant, but not thoughtful, and he had to learn. Oh Yeah. I think we can all agree: I showed HIM.) We had a marvelous dinner together this past weekend and another last week -- devoting several hours of good food and delightful conversation to all the ways in which I'd been the best girlfriend he'd ever had (probably, the best girlfriend anybody's ever had) -- while he lectured me good-naturedly about the many, many tech upgrades I'd be enjoying now if we had just stayed together and he'd continued pissing me off (which seemed a pretty likely trajectory). Certainly my car would be bluetooth-enabled, at a minimum. I forget exactly how he put it, but the gist of one of the things he'd observed about me during our several years together was that if there is one thing I love, it's being right. And that if there's one thing I love even more, it's an opportunity to be self-righteous. (Totally and completely true.)

What I said in response was, "hey, so, have you put on weight?" (Admittedly, he just went from a 6-pack to maybe a 3-pack, but I'm a girl who knows when it's time to change the subject. And how. I had more tricks up my sleeve if that hadn't worked.)

So, that first long-ago BlackBerry was completely his idea. He is an early adopter (and moved on to iPhone back when you still had to crank them by hand I believe). The first day, I hated it. The second day, I figured out how to send him a picture of a cool, obscure, performance car I'd spotted in a parking lot but couldn't identify. Five minutes after that, I figured how to send him a picture of my left boob (oh relax, it was a relatively empty parking lot). The next day, I discovered the joys of mobile porn (you just think I'm checking my email on line at the post office), and now you'd have to pry it outta my cold, dead fingers. RIM indeed.

Sxting was the compromise we eventually arrived at, which fell somewhere between my idea of exhausting each other half dozen times a day to the point of dehydration, injury, and possible death-- and his idea of remaining a functioning member of society who, from time to time, walked about the earth in a vertical and upright position. (BuzzKill.)... My Gay Husband, having known me from the age of 17 on, tells everyone -- a lot -- that I am the most stereotypical Gay Man he has ever met, just trapped in the body of a petite flower blonde. All I know is, don't put me in no closet, cause I'm comin out.

So, this poor guy had spent his late 20s/early 30s married to a woman who, it's fair to say, had... other priorities. Her focus was on, as I understand it (and I don't know the woman) Mergers and Acquisitions: status, money, house, cars, The League, etc. (all things I could give ...a rat's ass? about -- is that the proper term for mixed company? Because I so, seriously, did not give a shit about any of it). When he met me, after she'd moved off to a Swanky McSwankerton city that suited her better and he'd observed a decent interval of appropriate respect (an interval I feel sure was largely populated by hot sorority girls), he mentioned -- during our, by then, long-chaste courtship -- as most stereotypical ex-husbands do, a certain vague hope that... appetites... might be different this time around. Perhaps more mutual.  And I took one very long breath and said, "be careful what you wish for mister." (He never knew what hit him.)

I am still not really sure he had to travel that much for work -- the trips just always coincidentally seemed to follow minor (in my mind) bouts of chest pains and those three little words every woman wants to hear gasped out at the end of a long hard day, "Let me UP!"

The three little words he usually got from me (after the occasional call to Ask-a-Nurse)? "Walk it off."

So, it's fair to say that SmartPhones saved our relationship....and okkkkkk, possibly his Life, as long as nobody ever died of carpal tunnel (though if you ask me, I always did think he was a little dramatic; you know those Bonfire of the Vanities types).

It is in that context, of many, many years of happy texting, that I say: I had high hopes for "Texts From Last Night." And now that I've been, I'm just not that impressed. Maybe I hit it on a bad day, but they remind me a lot of grad school when my pal Greg and I would be sitting across a workshop from undergrads who started every conversation with, "Man, I got sooooo wasted last night...." And before they could finish, Greg would loudly prop his elbows on the desk and respond theatrically, "Really?! That is so fascinating. Tell. Me. More."

One text, for example, reads "Just lay there and not be pregnant." And the Editrix in me is immediately thinking, "LIE THERE! Not lay. Lie!" Geez, if they can't teach these kids the difference between transitive and intransitive, how on earth can they be expected to master birth control?

The punchline to 90 percent of the site content seems to be some variation on "...and THAT is why I quit drinking tequila." (Really? Cause, here again, that is so fascinating.) I do not know why there are beer bottles in your dishwasher young man, but I am betting I will not find the answer to be nearly as hilarious as you seem to think. A lot of the humor seems to be equally based on vomiting and scatology, and I have just never found either of those ...genres (?) even mildly amusing. While I certainly enjoy the use of the F word in casual conversation just as much as the next person, it needs a bit of context or else you just have Deadwood.

And for Chrissake, doesn't anybody know how to spell "its."

Here is a little tip: "It's" with an apostrophe will always mean It Is. It will NEVER mean anything else. I have taught college English, and I just don't know how to be any more clear about this. If you don't put an apostrophe in His and Hers to denote the possessive, why would you try to put it in Its? If it has an apostrophe, it means It Is.  Its without the apostrophe, will always be possessive.

Come on. I wasn't exactly expecting Evelyn Waugh, but you do not want to get me started on passive voice.

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