In Which You Autocomplete Me

Texts on My Lunch Break

by Georgia Hardstark

“But can’t I just send him a text?” I whined to my friend Katherine last night over pints.  “We only went on one date, and I’m horrible at the phone thing.”

“Nope,” she told me with authority, “you’ve got to call him.”

The above conversation centered upon a pleasant-yet-forgettable date I recently went on, and my wanting to back-out of any further dates that this fellow was persistently requesting.  Did we really, after a single night of two drinks and a friendly cheek-kiss, have to go through the whole conversation of “I’m sorry, but I’m just not interested in going on any further dates with you, thus leading you on and possibly resulting in you hating me and leaving me drunk, angry voicemails at 2:30 in the morning”?  I didn’t think so.

I don’t know where this person came from, though – the girl who insists it’s perfectly acceptable to deliver clearly personal messages via the 12 or-so words allotted by Sprint in a single text (14-15 if the word “you” is changed to “u” and douchebag is changed to “db”).

Before moving back to Los Angeles from San Francisco a year and a half ago, I had probably sent only a couple dozen texts in my life.  My dad’s weekly messages of the seemingly urgent “PLEASE CALL” (one of the ten-or-so default texts offered on his phone) was pretty much all I had to indicate that there was another way to communicate via cell phone than the “Place phone to ear.  Talk.” antiquated manor I was accustomed to.

I was resolved that I wouldn’t become one of those annoying people I scowled at in bars: the girl who sat hunched over her glowing phone, thumbs moving over the keypad at the speed of light, having secret conversations with someone who wasn’t fortunate enough to be at this location, but was important enough that they warranted a narrative RIGHT. NOW.  “All my conversations can wait,” I thought to myself.  “I need to be mysterious and not so readily available.”

That all went out the window pretty damn fast, as I’m sure you guessed, and I have the “unlimited texts” cell phone plan to prove it.  Directions, Saturday night plans, deep secrets, play-by-plays of the evening’s activities, angry rants, Jameson induced declarations of an healthy obsession with taco trucks, Twitters, nonsensical ramblings, drunken revelations of undying love for an ex or my cat, and even emo-cons are now expertly punched into the keypad of my cell phone with the very thumbs I once swore to keep still.

Texting now has a firm position in my life. It is my preferred mode of communication, right after face-to-face interaction, and I’m sorry to say I’ve become that girl hunched over her glowing cell phone, nursing her drink and informing some secret person on the receiving end of the night’s debauchery…or lack thereof.

Worst text I’ve ever received: “I hate you.” – sent at midnight by a guy I met in a bar, gave my number to, thought better of it the next day, ignored his many texts throughout the week which became angrier and angrier as my silence progressed, and finally culminated in the above text and resulted in many sleepless nights behind my lock-secured bedroom door.

Best text I’ve ever received: “some rad Hispanic dude w neck tats adopted my hamster @ the pet shop!” – this one wouldn’t be as good with an explanation.

Favorite T9 (auto-fill) adventures:

My best friend and I calling our bi-monthly drink-n-bitch fests “Wind Parties” due to T9’s insistence that I use the word “wind” when I’m attempting to use the word “wine”.

The realization that only a certain type of person’s T9 will offer the word “douchy” as the first suggestion when writing a word that begins with the letters d, e, or f…and being a-okay with being that type of person.

The many hilarious sentence conclusions T9 offers when I’m writing perfectly innocent prose: “Can’t hang out, have to go to my grandmother’s [vagina?].”  “I’ll call you if [I will for sure put out?].”  “He once dated [pancakes?].”

Georgia Hardstark is the contributing editor to This Recording. She lives in Los Angeles. You should text her. No, don’t. Well, maybe. No, seriously don’t. She tumbls here.

“Kitten Revolution” – Xiu Xiu (mp3)

“Oceanus” – High Places (mp3)

“Am I Alone” – The Antique Toys (mp3)

“Higher” – Soft (mp3)

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

Danish is the man but then you knew that already.

Molly scissored to victory.

And discussed Baudrillard.

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5 thoughts on “In Which You Autocomplete Me

  1. Aww, what a nice ode to the modern version of note passed in class: the text!

    Also, you have great shoes. Loving the Blair Waldorf-esque tights with each outfit.

  2. I think the txt rejection has become acceptable, if it’s only been one date. At least I’m hoping that’s the case. The danger is that it’s a slippery slope — soon you’re rejecting someone over a Twitter personal message.

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