I don’t like to text.
I don’t like writing abbreviated code, much less reading it. By the time I figure out that CU L8R means “see you later” and “NETHING” means “anything” I could have been on the next sentence already. Maybe even the next paragraph, depending on whether I cleaned my glasses and took my ginkgo biloba that morning.
But I live with two people who love to text.
Nate, because he suffers from constipation of the mouth and thinks uttering the words “negative” and “affirmative” and “say again” constitute actual conversation.
Zoe, because she’s fifteen.
And so, whether I like it or not, texting has become a standard method of communication in our house. And while I don’t necessarily love the idea (hence, the “like it or not” phrase above – try to keep up) I have gotten used to it.
But as with everything else, I have had to lay down some rules to keep order in this house. Because I am all about order.
And ordering donuts. I’m hungry.
My rules, in no particular order, because they are all equally and vitally important and carry the same penalty of death or immediate dismemberment upon the slightest infraction:
- Do not text me when I am sitting next to you. I checked the inventory list and we were both born with a larynx and a complete set of ears. If we don’t use these things, they’ll disappear. Evolution, anyone? I don’t know about you, but I like my larynx and I especially like my ears. I have nice ears – they’re about the only part of my body that doesn’t need surgical intervention. I am not evolving without my ears. Where the hell am I supposed to hang my glasses or my Harry Mason earrings? So stop being selfish already and think of the greater good.
- Do not text me when I am sitting opposite you. See #1.
- Do not text me when we are in the same house. Physically move your person to my location. See #1 but insert “legs” everywhere you see “ears” with the disclaimer that I don’t like my legs, I would like surgical intervention on them and I have no intention of hanging any kind of earrings from them, Harry Mason or otherwise. Or my glasses.
- Do not text me when I am driving. I realize that you won’t always be aware that I’m driving if you are following rules #1, #2 and #3. However, if you text me 33 times asking “where r u?” and I don’t answer, chances are I am driving or I am dead. Either way, you are going to have to wait for an answer.
- Do not text me when I am laughing. You know perfectly well that when I laugh, I lose all motor function in my thumbs and they just hang there like miniature dried up albino sausages. No, I don’t know why. No, I can’t help it. I’ve complained to God and last I knew, I’m number 1,643,557 on his to-do list, right after finding a cure for Conan O’Brien’s hair.
- Do not wax philosophical on the reasons why I bite my nails. Think I could text with two inch talons? No, of course not. This would be one of those “silver lining” things everyone keeps talking about.
- Do not text me, asking what “wax philosophical” means.
- Do not get impatient with me. Just because I have opposable thumbs doesn’t mean I know how to use them, especially on a keypad that is sized in direct proportion to an American Girl Doll. Who’s bright idea was that?
- Do not tell me to calm my texts down. I cannot help it that I am an emotional person. I need to text in such a manner that you can clearly see my eyes popping out of their sockets, or feel the veins bulging in my neck or hear my brain smashing into smithereens when it explodes through my face, even though you are across town. For instance, “I AM FURIOUS! BATHROOM IS A DISASTER! YOU KNOW THE RULES. I AM SICK OF BEING IGNORED AND TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF! COME HOME AFTER SCHOOL IMMEDIATELY! NO PHOTO CLUB! I AM PISSED! MOM,” satisfactorily conveys that my mood has been raised to DefCon 1. “Upset. Come home,” doesn’t even register on the scale.
- Do not text me from someone else’s phone. That way, I can avoid automatically hitting “reply” and erroneously sending the above text to your friend while she’s at lunch. This would be the same friend who is not in photo club, has a pristine bathroom and a mother who doesn’t curse, and who is now petrified of me.
- Do not tell me I overuse exclamation points. See #9.
- Do not, under any circumstances, reply to my text of “OK – there’s a green one and a brown one. The green one looks great against the walls but the brown one looks great against the couch. They’re both on sale. There’s only one of each and they won’t hold them for me! They’re closing in five minutes! I don’t know what to do! Which one should I get?” with “affirmative.” Unless you actually want a scavenger hunt for your genitalia after dinner.
That pretty much covers it.