The Misplaced Text

Posted on Sunday 5 July 2009

Texting: You either love it or hate it. On the one hand, it’s easy to zap or receive a quick message when you can’t talk on the phone. Last night, for example, I received a text wishing me a happy Fourth from a guy who’s just started to show some interest in me. I was out on a date with someone else, so I couldn’t and wouldn’t have taken his call had he tried that mode. Seeing his text later, however, made me realize he was thinking about me earlier. Nice.

On the other hand, texting can be a not-so-nice and very convenient way of avoiding actual conversation, as in: It’s far easier to text your venom/anger/sadness/desire/flirty remarks rather than say any of it voice-to-voice, especially when your text is something you would NEVER say in person. I’ve done it; I suspect everyone has at some point.

A slight digression: I have also learned the hard way more than once that if a guy incessantly and only texts right from the start, “Ur so hot, baby can’t wait to c u” will soon be replaced with “Gotta cancel tonite, baby,” which will ultimately end up as “Not sure when I’ll see you, hon.”

Ah, and then there’s text regret, felt either immediately upon pressing “send” or realized the next morning when you piece together the previous evening. You know the text. It’s the one that leaves you wishing like hell that you could pluck the words from the air before they ever reach the screen of the intended so that you can shove the errant remarks back into the recesses of your phone, where they will instantly vaporize into harmless thoughts that were never fully formed. Alas, “send” means sent, and likely received and read. All the do-overs and retractions never seem to fully undo the text that got away.

Which leads to a text I received last week from a guy who insisted we should be together over the reunion weekend, despite his having a girlfriend living 20 minutes away. I immediately shut him down in a less-than-nice way when I realized what was happening. Yeah, yeah, can’t blame a guy for trying…whatever.

I received his text while I was sitting on the plane waiting to wing my way back to the Keys (see, this is one of those times you don’t want to talk on the phone and texting is incredibly appropriate).

“Great to see u. U were so nice to me. Thanx.”

R u kidding?

I texted back that I was pretty sure I hadn’t been all that nice to him and that frankly, he had confounded me with the persistent come-ons, given his admitted like for his girl “back home.”

A call came in just as I pressed “send,” which I took. A moment later I went back to my text screen, pressed his name and saw a new text response from him asking, “Why?”

Why? WHY? You have to ask “Why?”

“Um, u have a girlfriend and u just wanted a weekend quickie with me?” Send. Dumb ass, I thought.

Until I realized who I’d just sent that choice comment to: the one who’d ditched me in May, the one I’d lunched with. Yep, they have the same first names and last initials. How I’d managed that lovely faux pas remains a mystery. The “Why?” question was from weeks ago. I always clear conversations, but somehow this one was still in my phone and somehow I had just sent the wrong Jeff the right message.

Now who was the dumb ass?

I began the litany of apologies: “Ha! I am writing to the wrong Jeff! Had a situation in dc!! LOL sorry.”

Which didn’t feel like enough, so I followed up with: “So sleep deprived. Sorry!”

Which seemed even stupider to say, so I finished with: “I am jumping out of my plane when it takes off unless I die of embarrassment before that.”

Right, that fixed everything.

Hours later, I landed in Fort Lauderdale. Hours and hours later, I was back in my quiet Keys neighborhood. Within a half hour, I went to Jeff’s restaurant, where I knew he’d be tending bar, to apologize and hopefully laugh in person about the mistakenly sent text.

He had a big grin on his face as I approached the bar. “And what, missy, was all THAT about?” he laughed, waving his cell.

It was close to closing. I was the only one at his bar. I started laughing as I tried to show him the errant text thread and explain why I had so stupidly screwed up.

We both laughed, again and again, as I dug myself deeper into the rabbit hole and finally agreed, “I was an idiot!.”

We laughed some more about reunion parties and previous sixth grade loves of our lives and all the good and bad feelings that school reunions conjure up.

“Hey, thanks for coming in to see me,” he smiled when I said it was time for me to head home and sleep for a year.

“Hey, thanks for getting the humor in this,” I said, shaking my head.

He paused, then said, “I like it better this way. Friends?”

I looked at him, and I realized at that moment that I’d actually gotten over the hurt and the confusion he’d previously caused, because we weren’t ever really destined to be a romantic match.

But tonight, too funny. Tonight, all good. Tonight, perfect.

“Friends,” I smiled back at him. All thanks to a text that happily got away.

17 Comments for 'The Misplaced Text'

  1.  
    Mike
    July 5, 2009 | 12:25 pm
     

    I’m glad that wrongly sent text ended up in a happy situation for you, RG. Good story!

  2.  
    July 5, 2009 | 3:06 pm
     

    serendipity! xoxox

  3.  
    July 5, 2009 | 3:08 pm
     

    I wish all misplaced texts could end with such great stories! (Also, good for you for shutting the other guy down — and pointing out that what he was trying to do was wrong…even if you did send the text to the wrong person. I think if more people were brutally honest in situations such as those instead of just avoiding confrontation, the world just might become a better place.)

  4.  
    GH
    July 5, 2009 | 3:47 pm
     

    Hey Restaurant Gal. I love your blog. Would you like to exchange links?

    GH
    http://confessions-of-a-waitress.blogspot.com/

  5.  
    mikepete
    July 5, 2009 | 6:10 pm
     

    Perfect!!!!! Thanks!

  6.  
    L.
    July 5, 2009 | 7:02 pm
     

    Hi RG: I got a “repeat” blush upon reading this post. What you did in texting, I did myself via email last week. And yeah, the hole just keep getting deeper and deeper the more times I sent “P.S. I need to edit that” or “P.P.S. one more edit to clarify.” I felt like I was digging my way into Hades, the heat of embarrassment and blush was so intense. It is so true that some text/email communication takes on a heightened importance, like cute little lovenotes. Other times the result seems more brisk and crushing. So lesson learned … I need to keep a balance of in person “looking into their eyes” mixed with phone calls and nice old fashioned letter type emails or short “thinking of you” texts.

    Thankfully the receiver of my messages is a friend first, no matter how intense we crush on each other, no matter what is said or not said. If this guy turns out to be the one for me, I hope we never stop crushing…

  7.  
    L.
    July 5, 2009 | 7:09 pm
     

    P.S. I used the wrong email for that last post…so this is how I should look on your side from now on… no more anonymous posting for me. Also, I agree with Mike – good post!

  8.  
    L.
    July 5, 2009 | 7:13 pm
     

    Testing? Sorry!!! I am a Blogging rookie ….

  9.  
    July 6, 2009 | 4:52 am
     

    I don’t think I’ve ever texted something to someone I wouldn’t say to them face to face. But then it’s not my first choice of communication. Half the texts I start to write I give up half way through and just call the person as it’s quicker 🙂

  10.  
    María José
    July 6, 2009 | 3:53 pm
     

    I once had a fight with my boyfriend and texted a friend to tell her all about it and how i was sick of him…only I sent it to, well, HIM… texting while mad/confused/drunk is now a big NO for me.

  11.  
    July 6, 2009 | 6:01 pm
     

    Surprised it turned out fairly well. As you said, once you hit Send it usually means ‘that’s it’

  12.  
    AK
    July 7, 2009 | 1:08 am
     

    Great story! I’m definitely the kind of person who avoids speaking on the phone at all costs…. texter only. Seems less intrusive on both ends, but then again I’ve texted seriously weird stuff by accident before. Could be worse (twitter)?

  13.  
    July 9, 2009 | 3:17 am
     

    Yes, and remember: Friends don’t let friends drink and text. =)

  14.  
    July 9, 2009 | 11:31 pm
     

    Yikes!! Sending texts to a wrong person… guilty as charged!! haven’t done that in a while, though, since I now triple check (after a couple of nearly-disastrous situations), even when tipsy, to make sure that the text always goes out to the right recipient.

  15.  
    Rose Royce
    July 10, 2009 | 5:25 pm
     

    What if life were a journey an exploration and we’ve been walking in circles without a roadmap to our goals and destinations?
    What if a book showed how to make your life smoother, fuller and decreased frustrations?
    Would you read it?
    Jess Stearn, “The Power of Alpha-Thinking”

    I’m reading this book and I want to share it with people that I think are open minded and want more out of life. I’m not spam.

  16.  
    July 13, 2009 | 7:28 am
     

    […] Restaurant Gal discusses the pros and cons of using text messages to communicate with someone you’re dating. […]

  17.  
    Jess
    April 1, 2010 | 7:58 pm
     

    Interesting story!! I have many embarrassing situations happen to me. Best way I would have handled it was to say sorry wrong guy then move on. But it turned out really funny for you. Hey I just started a blog. What do I need to do to get started?? How do i get random ppl to read my blog??

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