Everyone’s got crushes. Some of them secret, some of them publicly broadcast, some of them from three hundred yards away with a pair of binoculars.
The problem with our socialization is communication is gone. We’ve regressed to a primal state of guttural grunts expressed through emoticons and “Lol’s” and a system of body language where eye contact is taboo up until somewhere between the first kiss and marriage.
And you think, not uh, I’m a great conversationalist. I talk to my dog all the time, I met someone normal online once, I once thought about making eye contact with a stranger. Well good for you, my friend. Not all of us are skilled in the ancient ninja art of conversation. Banter is a learned art, and only the most glorious wordsmith’s achieve greatness.
But sometimes the introverts meet people too. You realize you have an actual blossoming connection on your hands. And then texting happens.
“Hey, what’s up?”
Him: Oh no, I should never had said “hey” and “what’s up” in the same sentence. Too much. Overeager. No chance. We’re done now.
Play it cool, dude. Nmu? No way, douchers say that. That’s douche text. Nothin’ much? Nope, still vague. Calm down buddy. You initiated contact. You’re both math majors. Nobody is a math major. You’re already destined for love and children. Just close the deal.
“Just listening to the new Empire of the sun song. It’s really good. And I’m doing homework.”
Stupid. Idiot. She’s going to judge you based on your musical selection now. She’ll know exactly how you feel about her based on your quirky song-drop with introspective ambiguous lyrics on relationships. SO. CORNY. So terse, too. You didn’t even ask her a question back. That means you don’t care. No, no, play it cool, that means you don’t care in a good way. Apathy is good. No, apathy is terrible. I hope she doesn’t ask what kind of homework I’m doing. That’d be lame. But where else does she go from here? I should have left her an opening.
Her: Quick, quick, quick, look up band. Never heard of them. Spotify, you’re the best. Not bad, not bad. Is he trying to tell me something? No, definitely not. That’d be weird. What do I ask him now? Don’t ask about homework. He’s expecting you to ask him what he’s studying. Don’t do that. He should have left me an opening.
“Oh I like them. 🙂 I went to a Modest Mouse concert once”
Mr: Oh my goodness, I love Modest Mouse. And she gave me a smiley, that means she knows the music I listen to really well. She didn’t punctuate her sentence, though. She didn’t punctuate her sentence. What does that mean?
That means she doesn’t care. I know it. She didn’t even put the effort to punctuate. Easy, man, she’s got great taste. What’s the smiley all about? She definitely wants to hookup. Definitely wants it. Shut up. You didn’t make out with a girl until you were nineteen.
“Modest Mousey is great. I like all their songs. What’s ur favorite? I like all of them”
Shoot. Shoot. No, no, no you said the same thing twice, dummy head. Stupid, stupid. Only douchers say “ur”. Not uh, that’s normal. No, that’s douche text. Show some effort.
Miss: Aw, he corrected himself. That’s so cute. And he even punctuated it like a little studious grammar freak. Aww.
“I like the song Gravity Rides Everything the best. You are a grammar fiend.”
He: Here’s your chance. Here’s your chance. She gave you an alley oop. Now slam dunk that shiz with your nerd wit. Slam dunk it like an Oreo cookie.
“Nope, I’m just a dealer. I never snort my own grammar.”
She: Oh. My. God. Did I really just “lol” him, and not even capitalize the “L”? That was so quick, too. Now he knows I’m just hovering over my phone like some kind of Wizard of Oz monkey. I’m like the person on an elevator that sniffs everyone’s hair. Ew. I hate myself.
Guy: Did she really just “lol” me? Negative five points for conversational prowess for her. I’ve lost respect immediately. No you haven’t. Remember that time you said “lmao” out loud at the movies and then followed it with a “smh”. You’re the idiot here, not her.
No, erase that. “So” implies awkwardness. It means you can’t carry a thought. Say something about school. School sucks, say something funny. Hurry up, man. She’s gonna put that phone down. She’s going to make herself a bowl of Ramen noodles and watch Girls. Conversation will fade and she will forget about you. Forever.
“I’m more of a ‘haha’ guy myself…”
Girl: He thinks I’m stupid. If it was just the one sentence, that’d be fine, but the three dots on the end…that means he’s offended, or condescending. Quick, change the subject.
“What movies do you like? Or should I say, what’s your favorite movie?”
Sir: Wow, such textual charisma. She’s definitely still interested. She capitalized two sentences. That’s the same as, like, giving me flowers. She basically just took me out to eat. God, I don’t know how I’m going to repay her.
Maintain calm. Refer back to earlier joke over which you guys had a mutual giggle. Everything will work out fine.
“And I thought I was the grammar fiend… :)”
Don’t overdo the smiley. One is enough. But now you’ve used up your one smiley per conversation. Two is overeager and now you can’t use an exclamation point. One or the other if you still want her to consider you a man.
“Gladiator, Good Will Hunting, anything with Ryan Gosling…So hawt.”
She’ll get that joke, right? It’s like ironic, but playful, but not too gay, but still a little gay, but like, playful gay. Can I still say ‘gay’? Is that politically incorrect?
Ma’am: OH MY GOD. Ryan Gosling. He’s playing the Ryan Gosling card. I didn’t think he was the type to play cards. I have to go. Maybe we’ll talk later. I don’t know. But I have to go watch the Notebook.
“I have a big final in the morning, gotta get some sleep. Converse later? :D”
Dude: Oh man, she gave me a really smiley smiley face. A super smiley. That’s pretty ambitious. That’s at least three times more edgy than the regular smiley.
Chick: If he gives me the cool glasses emoticon we’re never talking again. So eighth grade.
Mista: I bet she’s not sleeping. She’s going to watch the Notebook. At least she didn’t technically lie to me.
“Yes, converse later…I don’t have a big day but I’ll stop texting now and sleep? Maybe…haha”
Terrible. Just terrible. Make yourself look like a sarcastic insomniac. Idiot. You didn’t even say goodnight. She better not say “gn”. Please don’t say “gn”. So lame.
Pause. Pause. Don’t be overanxious. Now hit her with the good night. No wait, too soon, now.
Silence. That’s the sound iphones make when their screens go dark, when conversations end. Someday, maybe someday, they’ll talk in person.