Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hi Leila
How are you
WHen you are done in the bathroom do you want to go in your room so we can text

from a 949 phone number, Saturday, December 16, 2:54 PM

Yeah, girl. That sounds like a fun exercise. Why don't you and Leila go into her room, and then you can send her text messages, which she won't receive them, because I will instead, only you won't know it, and then... Well, I guess that's about all that will happen. So definitely, fun, go do it.
from a 714 phone number, Saturday, December 15, 10:47 PM

Does anyone else think this looks like ToysRUs?
sorry bout yesterday really bad day and now im fighting with daniel
from a 313 phone number, Saturday, December 15, 6:36 PM

u trying to get me back
from a 313 phone number, Saturday, December 15, 7:02 PM

This was where I had to call back 313 girl and reassure her that I have no idea what she did yesterday to Leila that she's now apologizing for, but I'm sure her saying sorry will clear things up, because no, Leila isn't trying to "get her back"; Leila simply didn't receive her texted apology, that's all.

I wonder how many friendships' fates actually rest in my hands. Being the recipient of the Leila Texts can be quite the responsibility.
sebbih goulilou all u have is a fat ass and large hips
from a 702 phone number, Saturday, December 15, 2:23 PM

I take this as some sort of criticism, except for the first two words, which may be critical? But mostly read like nonsense. And it's hard to take someone seriously, when they tell you that you have a fat ass and large hips, when they preface this statement with faux-Swahili.
Hello? where r u? mummies nervous plz call
from a 718 phone number, Friday, December 14, 10:00 PM

This now makes me wonder where Leila was, that her mummie should have gotten nervous. Was Leila supposed to be home by 9 PM, and then she didn't call to say she'd be out later? But why WAS she out later? And why DIDN'T she call? I hope Leila wasn't doing drugs. Or getting pregnant.
ill be at U31 buddys spinning..gaslamp killer..u and some girls should come out
from an 858 phone number, Friday, December 14, 9:38 PM

Question: Is "Gas Lamp Killer" his friend's DJ name? And, if so, WHY? I mean, I am all for DJ names, especially ones that include the word "killer," but... How can you kill a gas lamp? Am I just so square that I can't understand these things?
Ou est tu?
from a 718 phone number, Friday, December 14, 7:11 PM

The Leila Texts may actually turn out to be very useful for building my French vocabulary, too.
Leelo en voz baja: Virgencita, t amo mucho y necesito para siempre estes en lo mas profundo d mi corazon,no m dejes de tu mano,cubre con los benediciones
from a 951 phone number, Friday, December 14, 4:39 PM

a mi familia,hogar, empleo,finazas,suenos,pro yectos y amigos. pasa esta oracion a 7 pers. excepto a mi, recibiras un milagro manana no lo ignores
from a 951 phone number, Friday, December 14, 4:40 PM

Thank God I took Spanish in high school:

Text 1: Read this softly: little virgin, I love you a lot and I need for you always to be in the profoundest of my heart, do not leave me from your hand, cover with the benedictions.

Tex2: To my family, home, employment, finances, dreams, protectors, and friends. Pass this oration on to 7 people excepting me, and you will receive a miracle tomorrow that you cannot ignore.

The Leila Texts may actually turn out to be very useful for building my Spanish vocabulary.
i bet ill show up and ya'll are gunna be sleepy..and crashed out
from an 858 phone number, Friday, December 14, 3:58 AM

You are correct in your bet, 858 guy. I WAS sleepy and crashed out when you sent this text message. Because it was 4 AM IN THE GODDAMN MORNING ON A GODDAMN WEEKNIGHT.
Hi give me a call please thank sandra
from a 505 phone number, Thursday, December 13, 12:14 PM

I did give Sandra a call. Because, you know, she asked me to. And I do my best to follow orders.

Unrelated: I'm going to be out of the country, with no access to my cell phone, during the last week of December. I'm genuinely worried about how many text messages are going to accumulate without my being around to delete them. My saved text messages inbox is already at 85% capacity. What happens when you go over your limit? The best I can hope for is that people won't text anyone named Leila during that week. I don't know if I can bank on that.
Hey wats up
from a 301 phone number, Wednesday, December 12, 6:10 PM

I'm sitting in my living room, eating Annie's macaroni and cheese in my pajamas, so, honestly, not that much.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mummy says hi and
from a 718 phone number, Tuesday, December 11, 9:29 PM

from a 718 phone number, Tuesday, December 11, 9:30 PM

from a 718 phone number, Tuesday, December 11, 9:30 PM

But does Mummy say, "718 girl, I pay your cell phone bills, and you just spent 30 cents on texts when you could have spent only 10"?

Also, dear readers, I'm going to level with you here: I mostly just update this blog whenever my cell phone inbox is overflowing and I need to record these texts some place so that I can free up enough space to receive actual texts from my actual friends. Yes, they are few and far between, but sometimes I really do get text messages directed to me. It's crazy, I know.
O too cool for m now?
from a 978 phone number, Tuesday, December 11, 9:27 PM

Probably. I am really very cool, you know.
wat r u doing
from a 415 phone number, Tuesday, December 11, 9:08 PM

NO. Do you know who this is from? SYDNEY, VERONICA'S FRIEND. I'm not... I can't even address this. Sydney, sweetie, check your voicemail. I think I explained matters there more clearly than I could ever hope to do in print.

Do u know if jula made ur team? That would be cool
from a 310 phone number, Monday, December 10, 9:11 PM

No, 310, I don't know. I feel like I've explained this very clearly in the past: I use the Leila Texts as a source of sports knowledge. I don't have any sports knowledge to offer. Please send me statements, not questions. What good would a Magic 8 ball be if it asked only questions?
hey its t]ler wuzup

from a 706b phone number, Saturday, December 8, 9:48 PM

My phone won't let me use predictive typing to write "shit," so I think substituting in "shrimp" is a good second-best option. Nice thinking, t]ler.

My phone also won't let me type "damn." Instead, the options it gives me are "econ," "famo," "fann," "dann," "damo," and "ebon"-- NONE OF WHICH ARE ACTUALLY WORDS, UNLIKE "DAMN," WHICH IS-- so, t]ler, if you can come up with any clever names for shellfish that sound like the word "damn," please let me know.
R U going tonight to Mac?
from a 949 phone number, Saturday, December 8, 3:17 PM

Potential explanations here...
949 and Leila are going to the MAC cosmetics store?
They're going to the Apple computer store?
They're eating at McDomalds?

Please, aforementioned companies, feel free to send me promotional materials any time now.
Omg r u kiddin me? U say u never wanna se or talk to me again. Wow grow up. Now u kno how i feel when ur all over marc ok. Ya much no a best friend!
from a 203 phone number, Friday, December 7, 2 :19 PM

And u say thats just who u r. Well u can change that cuz if i can than so can u. So grow up and dont cal me a bitch when i do so much for u.
from a 203 phone number, Friday, December 7, 2:21 PM

There's nothing like being told to "grow up" by a girl who breaks up with her best friend over text messaging. 203 is obviously a paragon of maturity, and if she says to grow up, well, then Leila should probably grow the hell up, shouldn't she?

I called this girl back, anyway, because I thought I could provide a little wisdom that comes from having lived through middle school. I ended up leaving her a message, in which I first explained how to text her ex-best friend Leila (instead of me), and then went on to say the following:

"This text you tried to send Leila is pretty passive-aggressive. It's generally better to carry on these sorts of conversations over the phone, or better yet in person. If you can't say these things to her in person, then they probably shouldn't be said. More to the point, you know Leila is just going to forward this text to all your friends. And then you'll come off looking bad. It's always better not to have these things in writing. Okay, good luck!"

I don't know if 203 took my advice to heart or not. I haven't yet gotten any thank-you texts, so I guess not. But 203 girl, if you're out there and want to thank me but just don't know how: You always know how to reach me.
Happy sister day! You may or may not have my blood but you have my heart. Aww.
from an 858 phone number, Thursday, December 6, 10:45 PM

Dude, 858 girl, chill the hell out. You already texted this message to me. Twice. If I didn't respond, it's because the feeling is obviously not reciprocated. You think I don't have enough on my plate, what with Veronica's friend's latent potential crush on Leila? Now I also have to deal with your hourly declarations of sisterly affection for your Leila? Seriously, girls.
hey this is veronicas friend
from a 415 phone number, Thursday, December 6, 9:34 PM

from a 415 phone number, Thursday, December 6, 10:03 PM

i juss finished dance
from a 415 phone number, Thursday, December 6, 10:04 PM

In case you haven't been following the evolution of these "hi its veronicas friend sydney" texts, I urge you to read back to the 415 texts of November 27, 28, and 30.

Well, okay, to be honest, there hasn't been much evolution. Veronica's friend is saying approximately the same things that she was saying to Leila a week ago. This dance thing is new-- who knew Sydney danced?-- but otherwise it's just more of the same blah blah "hey" blah blah "its me veronicas friend" blah etc.

I finally called this girl back, immediately after I received her two in-a-row text messages. I had to leave a message-- perhaps her parents have taught her not to answer phone calls from strangers? I explained how to text Leila without reaching me by accident. So, God willing, I will never again hear from Sydney. So we'll never find out if she does turn out to be bi, or if she and Leila do ever hook up. Never-ending suspense!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hi.. u ok? call when u r off the phone. love mum
from a 718 phone number, Thursday, December 6, 8:28 PM

A note to my mother, if she reads this blog: See? It's not that hard. Other mothers can figure out how to text message. You can manage it, too.

Of course, this mother did it wrong. And her text message went to me, a total stranger, as opposed to her daughter, Leila. So perhaps you should not look to her as a technologically astute maternal role model, after all.
Wat u doin?

from an 828 phone number, Thursday, December 6, 3:48 PM

From here on out, I will sign all my text messages ~*PRINCESS*~. Just so that people know who they're dealing with. They'll be like, "I'm sorry, what are you? A My Little Pony?" And I'll be like, "Evidently, yeah."
FWD:Happy sister day! You may or may not have my blood but you have my heart. Send 2 all your girls (even me!) and if you get 5 back, you're LOVED!:)
from an 858 phone number, Thursday, December 6, 6:21 PM

Happy sister day! You may or may not have my blood but you have my heart. Aww.
from an 858 phone number, Thursday, December 6, 9:33 PM

I can just picture 858 wondering, "Why hasn't Leila returned that chain text to me yet? I sent it to her THREE HOURS ago! Could it be that she's busy? Could it be that the text message mistakenly went to THE WRONG LEILA? Nah. I'll just text her the same thing again, only I'll change around the words slightly. Yeah. Good idea."

I am sick of sister day, and it's not even a real holiday. Today is, however, the third night of Hannukah. Anyone want to send me any Hannukah chain texts? That person who, a few weeks ago, was sending chain texts about saying tefilot for a brain-dead Israeli infant? No? Anyone?
haha denile! seeing if you wanne hang out tomorrow..stop clearing all my calls!
from an 858 phone number, Tuesday, December 4, 11:40 PM

I originally read "denile" as a name, like "Danielle," and I was like, "Uh, the girl whom you're texting is not named Denile... She's named Leila..." But then I realized that 858 actually meant denial. Presumably as in, "Stop clearing all my calls, you're in denial that I'm calling you."

It's a good thing I just get misdirected text messages, and not misdirected phone calls, too. How annoying would it be if I got a bunch of calls from this 858 girl being like, "Answer your phone! Stop denying me!"
Hey let's not do it until friday i have a whole Shit load of college stuff to do and if you wait i will get us more. What we have now is not enough
from a 703 phone number, Monday, December 3, 2:52 PM

The college stuff I understand, since college applications are due at the end of this month and, if you haven't written all those essays, you really need to get on that now. But I still don't know what exactly it is that 703 and Leila aren't going to do until Friday. Whatever it is, it requires a lot of something, since what they have now is not enough. A lot of something that 703 has access to. I envision it as being maybe an art project that involves a lot of seashells, and at some point between now and Friday, 703 is going to take a break from her college apps to go seashell collecting.

It's probably not really seashells, though. That's probably just my imagination.
hi you. xo
from a 561 phone number, Monday, December 3, 10:53 AM

can we skype? i want to talk..
from a 561 phone number, Tuesday, December 4, 7:36 PM

Although I hate texts that say merely "hi," somehow the "xo" makes it better. You know, like maybe 561 person loves Leila?

The reference to skype I find intriguing. I only skype with my friends who live out of the country. I can't think why you'd want to skype with someone who lives in America. Why can't 561 person just stop using his cell phone to TEXT Leila, and start using his cell phone to CALL her?
Im so bored! u betta keep that promise member u said u was gonna straiten that hair of urs. tell ur mom i said HOLA!
from a 214 phone number, Sunday, December 2, 12:36 PM

It's so funny that Leila would make a PROMISE to straighten her hair. I mean, I promise lots of things-- I promise to wash the dishes, or I promise to get some information to my boss-- but never have I said, "I PROMISE to straighten my hair," and had a friend respond, "All right, you betta, I'm holding you to that." More likely, my friends would be like, "If you want. Whatever."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

ok i havw to go now this veronicas friend got to go now bi
from a 415 phone number, Tuesday, November 27, 9:58 PM

hi this is veronicas friend sydney from yesterday remember me lol
from a 415 phone number, Wednesday, November 28, 9:03 PM

leila you rock
from a 415 phone number, Friday, November 30, 7:00 PM

I think Sydney has a little bit of a crush on Leila. How else can you explain these first two texts, that are basically just like, "Hi, it's me. You met me, remember? We have a friend in common. Remember when you met me?" And then the third text, which is a surprisingly adoring comment to send to someone you've known for only three days. Not that I've never texted people to say "you rock," because obviously I have. But usually I've had crushes on them.
where r u gonna b 2day
from a 412 phone number, Friday, November 30, 12:59 PM

Oh, gosh, all over the place, really. Mostly on Friday I was in my cubicle, but occasionally I was in my boss's office, and once or twice I was even in the bathroom. After that, I was in my bedroom, interspersed with my kitchen. So you can see, it's a complicated answer, but really it's sweet of you to care, 412 person.
Whres ava leashes
from an 831 phone number, Wednesday, November 28, 12:35 PM

You named your dog Ava? Isn't that Hebrew for something, like "spring"? No, wait, that's Aviva. And love is Ahava. I don't know what just plain Ava is. Maybe it was supposed to be Hebrew but Leila just forgot some letters.
Congrats to ingrid on her conf last nite sorry i missed it fondly kelly
from a 703 phone number, Saturday, December 1, 4:49 AM

We all had a conference two weeks ago, at my work. My co-worker Leslie helped organize it. She got a bouquet of flowers at the end of it, which I guess shows some gratitude, but not as much gratitude as a TEXT MESSAGE.

Monday, November 26, 2007

FWD:FWD: I Luv u. No matter where life takes us pinkyswear we'll always be tight. Send 2 10 great friends including me or lose 1 2nite
from a 412 phone number, November 26, 9:00 PM

I had no idea that kids nowadays still use pinkyswears. Nor had I realized that "pinkyswear" is one word. The Leila Texts are infinitely enlightening.
I havnt heard the new song. I wish he chose someone else to be cushion. not a big deal dont think i like him just having hard time with feeling rejected
from a 937 phone number, Monday, November 26, 4:24 PM

Long text messages always give me so much fodder for thought. (Yet another reason why I hate the texts that say only "hi." Too short!) This one intrigues me. I don't know what it means to say "I wish he chose someone else to be cushion." Is cushion a mis-type?

When she says she hasn't heard the new song, I wonder if the guy in question is a musician? Did he write a new song? Not about 937 girl?

While I can't claim to understand the context, really, I do like the sentence "not a big deal dont think i like him just having hard time with feeling rejected." Clearly this guy broke up with her, or didn't pay attention to her, or didn't return her phone call, or something, and I think it's a wise woman who can realize: it's not that he broke her heart, don't think she likes him-- she just has a hard time with feeling rejected, that's all.

I'm glad Leila is 937's confidante. I like to think Leilas the world over make excellent confidantes.
Zerbz #2
from a 585 phone number, Monday, November 26, 2:38 PM

This is an incredible text. I have no idea what it means.
What's up? gurl i am so bored
from a 214 phone number, Monday, November 26, 9:16 AM

214 girl, how early do you wake up that you're "so bored" by 9:16 in the morning? I'm telling you, I am easily bored, but at 9:16 I'm generally running into work. Which can be sucky in many regards, but is still not classifiable as boring. I'm generally not bored until 10 AM at the earliest.
Does someomne live bove your garage??
from an 814 phone number, Sunday, November 25, 10:24 PM

I'm wondering why 814 guy was asking this, and I'm hoping that, had this text reached the intended Leila, their conversation would have gone as follows:

814 GUY: "Does someomne live bove your garage??"
LEILA: "no. why?"
LEILA: "oh my god it must have been A GHOST."

Don't you think?

Friday, November 23, 2007

hey baby your watching spongebob right nezt to me

you probaly think im texting winston

from a 215 phone number, Friday, November 23, 3:23 PM

So this one goes as follows...

LEILA: "Who are you texting?"
215 GUY: (teasingly) "You'll see."
LEILA: "Is it Winston?"
215 GUY: (shrugs noncommittally) "Maybe."

(Ten minutes pass. LEILA receives no text messages.)

LEILA: "So, who were you texting, then? Winston?"
215 GUY: (confused) "Uh, I don't know... just shut up and watch SpongeBob."

P.S. This entry was all for Jeremy, by the way, who loves SpongeBob and would totally watch it with a girl named Leila, if this girl named Leila were ever willing to do so.
Can you send those pictures to me?
from a 512 phone number, Friday, November 23, 3:17 PM

Uh, no. No I can't.

Oh, but allow me to mention, off-topic, that I'm writing this post on my BRAND-NEW MACBOOK! It is beautiful. But not cheap. If only I made a living off of the Leila Texts, I could write off this laptop as a business expense.
Happy Thanksgiving!
from a 301 phone number, Thursday, November 22, 9:07 AM

Happy Turkey Day! Have a great day.
from a 917 phone number, Thursday, November 22, 9:09 AM

Happy turkey day
from a 678 phone number, Thursday, November 22, 9:14 AM

Im thankful for our friendship...Happy thanksgiving breeze...have a great day with the fam...and eat lots...smooches...xoxo
from a 562 phone number, Thursday, November 22, 2:59 PM

FWD:Fwd: From: +1706xxxxxxx Msg: Its thanksgiving. Send thus to everyone you are thankful for.
from a 404 phone number, Thursday, November 22, 6:06 PM

Thank you all. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My dad wont lwt me
from an 814 phone number, Saturday, November 10, 6:39 {M

God, Dad, you don't understand anything!
Hi do u hv spring regist today? lv mum
from a 718 phone number, Monday, November 12, 3:21 PM

I have recently decided to teach my mother to text message. I doubt that she'll be any good at it, but if this other Leila can receive texts signed "lv mum," well, I should be able to, too.
Once u read this DNT BREAK THE CHAIN! Right now think of 1 person u want to be with.. now send 2 10 people and c wat they say.
from a 360 phone number, Tuesday, November 13, 11:37 PM

Since "Leila" is a girl's name, all these chain texts that I receive are from girls, directed to other girls. I've started wondering what sort of chain texts there are for boys. Do boys even do the chain text thing? And, if so, are they like, "Once u read this DNT BREAK THE CHAIN! Right now think of 1 video game u want to win.. now send 2 10 people and c wat happens"? Are there chain texts about fantasy baseball?

I obviously know zero things about boys.
let me know when u have time today
from an 805 phone number, Wednesday, November 14, 12:35 PM

Okay, I will. No... wait. I won't.
Omg it sucks that we have to wake up at like 5 to go to the beta convention
frm a 404 phone number, Wednesday, November 14, 6:05 PM

Don't worry, I've done some research here. 404 is for Atlanta and suburbs, which makes sense, because the Georgia Junior Beta Convention happened in Macon on November 15-16. It's amazing what you can find with a little googling, isn't it?

But that still doesn't tell me what happens at a Beta convention. On their website, the description of the Beta Club is as follows:

"The National Beta Club recognizes, academic achievement, promotes character, develops leadership skills, encourages service involvement, and provides technological advantages to students in grades 5 - 12."

This leaves me wondering, first, why you would want your academic achievement recognized by an organization that puts a comma between "recognizes" and "academic achievement," and, second, what these teenagers actually DO as part of this club. Role-playing games, perhaps? Buzz words confuse me.
Send this message to the ten prettiest girls you know, or you will turn ugly for 7 years. Ur one of mine:,)luv u
from an 805 phone number, Wednesday, November 14, 8:13 PM

I don't want to turn ugly for seven years. I would miss out on all of my 20s, which I think is prime time for being pretty. That said, I also don't want to send this message to the ten prettiest girls I know. I mean, really, what would my friends do if they started receiving texts like this from me? Wouldn't they get VERY creeped out? Particularly because some of the prettiest girls I know are not actually my friends. They're, like, random girls in my office, or friends of friends. Wouldn't it be even WEIRDER if I sent this to, say, some pretty assistant editor whom I've only met like twice?
heits me katrina i dont want to bother u but my hair is almost brown do u think we should do it?
from an 805 phone number, Thursday, November 15, 12:47 PM

Hmm. Okay. I think Leila is some very popular girl in the middle school, and she has a plan for all the cool girls to do something involving their hair (No, I don't know what). Katrina is only marginally popular, and she's having second thoughts about this whole hair-dying plan (whatever the plan may entail). She's asking Leila for reassurance that, no, she really should go through with it. That would explain why Katrina has to identify herself-- "heits me katrina"-- because Leila is SO COOL that she doesn't even bother to learn the phone numbers of those less cool than herself.

I have to say, though, I'm not entirely satisfied with this explanation. "my hair is almost brown"? Meaning it's like a dirty blonde? I don't get it.
Hi its tyler
from a 763 phone number, Wednesday, November 21, 6:40 PM

This conceivably could have been for me, as I vaguely know a Tyler who doesn't have my phone number and who might have wanted to try out the Leila Texts for himself. But really I have no way of knowing. Let this be a reminder to you all: You're welcome to send me a Leila Text, but for goodness' sake, identify it as such or I just won't text you back.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hey we should go soon bec shabbat starts early
from a 201 phone number, Friday, November 16, 2:31 PM

This is from the same 201 person who sent Leila a text instructing her to say a tefilot for a brain-damaged infant. So Jewish. So, so Jewish. Though I guess I shouldn't be surprised. With a name like Leila...
Yeah that was real cute trying to get loud yes i erased the pictures just leave me alone or else i will expose u stay away

from a 443 phone number, Sunday, November 18, 9:42 AM

from a 443 phone number, Sunday, November 18, 9:41 AM

Okay, WHOA, drama on the high seas! These were both from the same person, obviously, and when I got the first one I thought it couldn't get any better, and then I got the second one and thought again.

Dear readers, I open this up to you: What the heck is going on here? It sounds like 443 is trying to blackmail Leila (the phrase "expose u" has a particular ring to it), but what were the pictures of? And if you erased them, how are you going to carry through your blackmail plans? And why is 443 saying she won't pay. Isn't it Leila who would pay in this instance? What does the phrase "trying to get loud" mean? Would that have made any sense to the intended Leila?

Truly, an enigma wrapped in a mystery etc.
The LOVE of ur LiFE will CaLL u at 10:50 pm, KiSS u 2morrow, or ASK u out. send 2 10 pplz if u want it 2 cum true.
from a 404 phone number, Sunday, November 18, 5:57 PM

I don't know if you knew this, but I actually work in children and teen media. It's true. I do marketing for kids book. So when I get texts like this, I view them as a golden opportunity to get inside the mind of a young adolescent, to figure out what appeals to them, what really "makes them tick."

The answer, apparently, is "stupid stuff."
Hey girl i got my new phone!
from a 949 phone number, Sunday, November 18, 8:46 PM

Hey that's great! So, listen, your new phone has this thing called "texting," and you should learn how to do it right before you and I become regular correspondents.
FWD: FWD: Ok this is freaky send this to 8 people then look at ur wallpaper! ?*3(r)!n*?
from a 360 phone number, Saturday, November 10, 10:49 PM

Ok this is freaky send this to 8 people then look at ur wallpaper.
from a 480 phone number, Sunday, November 11, 7:09 PM

FWD:FW: From: 503xxxxxxx Msg: FWD: FWD: Ok this is freaky send this to 8 people then look at ur wallpaper.
from a 480 phone number, Monday, November 12, 9:47 AM

FWD: FWD:FWD:Fwd:FWD: FWD: FWD: FWD:FWD:FWD: FWD:FWD: FWD: FWD: FW:)Ok this is freaky send this to 8 people then look at ur wallpaper! <3
from a 917 phone number, Monday, November 12, 2:23 PM

FWD:--ORIGINAL MSG: forward this to ten of your friends and then look at your wallpaper. don't get mad this is funny.
from a 404 phone number, Monday, November 19, 7:25 PM

Wow. This is easily the most popular chain text I have ever received (and I receive a lot of chain texts, being, as I am, Leila). I mean, I got it from five DIFFERENT people over the course of nine days.

I'm still not going to forward it to eight people, though it is true that, the more you hear something, the more likely you are to believe it to be true. Having gotten this text from so many sources, I'm kind of beginning to accept it as fact. Yet the rational part of my brain is still like, "Why would it make any difference to my wallpaper if I sent the same text eight times? That makes no scientific sense whatsoever." But then again, neither do the Leila Texts. Cell phones do crazy things sometimes, I hope this blog demonstrates. So maybe they do crazy things with their wallpapers. Who knows?

It's a pity it isn't "Ok this is freaky receive this from 8 people and then look at ur wallpaper!" Because then I would already be more than halfway there.
Did we win the game on friday?
from a 404 phone number, Monday, 10:52 PM

Ah, 404 person, don't you wish you received Leila Texts? They so frequently offer up sports information-- that Tom Brady had a boy, for example, or that the Bruins won-- it seems that if you got Leila Texts, you would have probably already received one answering your question. The Leila Texts are a fount of sports wisdom.
I dont wana talk bout it in front of some ppl.
from an 860 phone number, Tuesday, November 20, 7:07 AM

Fair point, 860 person, but you've aroused my curiosity now. What don't you wana talk bout in front of some ppl? Can't you at least text it to Leila? I promise I-- I mean, she-- won't tell a soul.
FWD: FWD: FW: From: +1203xxxxxxx Msg: Fwd: Pls say tehilim for mendel lev ben yehudit a 10 day old baby w/brain bleeding. Send to 10 ppl thnx.

from a 201 phone number, Tuesday, Noevmber 20, 1:20 PM

There was obviously a whole phone number there, before I replaced it was 'x's. The rest of the text is exactly as it appeared on my phone, though.

This all strikes me as kind of fishy. Not that I am inherently opposed to saying prayers for Jewish infants with brain damage. I just don't know how much power those prayers hold when they have been commanded by a much-forwarded chain text. That's my only hesitation.
Hey what r u guys doing tonight?
from a 201 phone number, Saturday, November 10, 5:39 PM

Aw. Poor kid wants to be invited along to one of Leila and her friends' famous crazy Saturday evenings. Unfortunately, kid, that ain't happening. Not until you text Leila correctly.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

cell FWD: Fate determines who walks into ur life. U decide who stays & who walks out. Send to friends u never want 2 lose.
from a 480 phone number, Saturday, November 3, 1:43 AM

You know, when I was in high school, I, too, was very into quotations and aphorisms. So I relate to this girl. However, I like to believe that my chosen quotations were more substantive, since I tended to take them from Oscar Wilde and Blaise Pascal and Dorothy Parker, whereas 480 seems to have gotten hers from The Big Book O' Illogical Schmaltz.
SHAWTY U A 10! send dis to da 10 prettiest girls/ Hottest guys you know. If u get 1-2 ur ok 3-4 ur hot 4 or more ur f
from a 360 phone number, Friday, November 9, 9:23 PM

I really want to know what happens if you get 4 or more. "ur f." F what? Is that short for "fucking gorgeous"? I hope so.

I got this text message only once, which I guess makes me just "ok," but that's still better than any of you lot reading this blog, because I doubt you've ever gotten any.

Also: I was previously unaware that "shawty" was the new cool way of saying "shorty" (as in "go shorty, it's your birthday, we gonna party like it's your birthday"), but I have now duly taken note.
I want 2 come 2 the dark side 2morrow
from a 201 phone number, Friday, November 9, 3:28 PM

My hope is that this person is not kidding. My hope is that 201 lives in a town where Leila has formed a coven of evil witches, and 201 has been refusing to join, despite Leila's encouragements that 201 would make "a very powerful witch." But today something momentous happened, making 201 realize that she cannot make it on her own, she is too weak, and her only option for self-preservation or success is 2 come 2 the dark side. And Leila, had she received this text, would have responded to 201, "you are making the right choice," and then would have sat alone and cackled to herself, "One more for my coven! I am winning them over, one by one! This town will be ours!"
good luck woman! we'l b thinking of u!
from a 619 phone number, Friday, November 9, 10:35 AM

Aw. That's sweet. I regret that Leila didn't receive this text. I think it could have really boosted her confidence as she went into... whatever she was going into.
Hey baby
from an 814 phone number, Wednesday, November 7, 8:54 PM

Slightly more intriguing than a "hi" text message, as there's potential for romance in this text... but still, for lord's sake, say something significant! Words are a precious commodity!
Do u have those movies i am being charged for? How long have you had them.
from a 916 phone number, Wednesday, November 7, 7:21 PM

Contentious! This is totally the sort of text you send to your roommate whom you hate, or some irresponsible "friend" who's always taking your stuff. If Leila were 916's actual friend, then 916 would have called Leila to say, "Can you return my videos?" But at the point where it's a text message, that's basically like, "I can't even TALK to you, just return my shit so I don't have to keep paying money for YOUR POOR JUDGMENT."
R u tryin to wirk there o
from a 540 phone number, Tuesday, November 6, 9:17 PM

You recall from a few weeks ago my analysis of how you can tell when someone is using predictive texting and when they are using letter-by-letter texting. Well, this text is interesting because it's easy to tell that they sent it from their computer. The giveaway is the word "wirk." This can't have been an abbreviation-- "wirk" and "work" both have four digits. And, on a phone, the "i" key and the "o" key aren't near each other. However, they are next to one another on a computer keyboard.

A typo of "work" in predictive texting would be "world" (if you accidentally hit the "3" key at the end of typing "work") or "york" (if you accidentally hit the "next word" button). A typo of "work" in letter-by-letter texting would be "wnrk" or "worj," if you hit one letter key too many times, or not enough. But "wirk" comes only from a computer keyboard.

Or, potentially, from someone who has no fucking clue how to spell "work."
Whats good erything ok going good i hope
from a 540 phone number, Tuesday, November 6, 8:42 PM

This seems like overkill, doesn't it? "Whats good"? "erything ok"? "going good i hope"? Dude, you can just say, "Are you ok?" or, "hope you're doing well." Leila's a smart girl (I assume). She'll understand you the first time through.
FWD: Hey i want 2 have a movie night or some sort of gathering!
from a 201 phone number, Monday, November 5, 9:01 PM

As usual, my most exciting invitations come from people who were actually trying to invite a different Leila (not me).
r u goin 2 ski skool???
from a 206 phone number, Friday, November 2, 9:11 PM

No, though I wish I were, because my skiing could really use some work. However, I do want to throw out there that even if I were going to ski skool, I don't know that I would have made that decision by November 2. You know? It hasn't even snowed yet. I haven't taken out my winter coat. It seems early in the season to making such important decisions.
When are you guys getting ready?
from an 814 phone number, Friday, November 2, 4:23 PM

Never. I am never ready.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Trick or treat smell my feet give me something good 2 eat if u dont i dont care ill pull down ur underwear

from a 360 phone number, Tuesday, October 30, 1:26 PM

Seriously, who decided it was a good idea to give cell phones to nine-year-olds?
Wed is going to suck. Bus is at 7:15am for noon flight
from a 303 phone number, Friday, October 26, 5:25 PM

Ughhhh that IS going to suck! Leila will have to wake up at like 6:45 AM, and that's still assuming she's finished all her packing the night before. I don't envy the girl. Move closer to the airport, why don't you? If it's a noon flight, you don't really need to be there before 10 AM, which means you must live nearly three hours away from the airport?!? Unless the bus is stopping many times along the ride there, and 303 person just happens to live right at the beginning of the route. Or maybe this trip is being organized by someone incredibly neurotic who insists upon their all arriving at the airport four hours before the flight leaves.

Regardless, 303 person and Leila have my pity.
FWD: FWD: Shes having the baby! the classroom is mine i am so excited
from a 765 phone number, Wednesday, October 24, 8:08 AM

Okay, here is what I'm surmising happened:

Some woman-- say her name is Ann-- is an assistant teacher to some other woman, say, Bonnie. Then Ann finds out that Bonnie is pregnant! Ann is excited because this would make her the head teacher. But then Bonnie has second thoughts. She considers abortion. Ann waits on pins and needles.

But then Bonnie decides: "Shes having the baby!" Gleefully, Ann texts her best friend, um, Cara. Cara forwards this text to their mutual friend, Diane, who works at the school with Ann, assuming Diane will be pleased for Ann.

Only here's the catch: Diane only PRETENDS to be friends with Ann. Really she HATES her, and she sees in this forwarded text message the opportunity to BRING ANN DOWN. So she forwards this text message to Leila, the SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, as a way of saying, "Look how callous Ann is! She doesn't even care that Bonnie is having a baby. All she cares about is getting her own classroom."

But that's where Diane went wrong. Rather than addressing the forwarded text message to Leila, the principal, she sent it to me, Leila, the Verizon text girl. So her little ploy to bring down Ann in the eyes of their shared boss won't work, after all! I have thwarted you, Diane!

(That is the most logical explanation of this particular text message, right?)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hey. Do you wanna go to walmart with us tonight? After edward gets out.
from a 281 phone number, Tuesday, October 23, 6:50 PM

Ooh. I do wanna go, actually, as my coworker Jillian recently informed me that Walmart stocks Rice Krispie Treat cereal. Unfortunately, person, you do not know who I am, and 281 is in Houston. So I'm afraid that, this time, I must respectfully decline.

(Please note: Now would be an excellent time for the Rice Krispie corporation to send me complimentary boxes of cereal, as thanks for all the good publicity I'm giving them. Just a thought.)
How are u?
from a 714 phone number, Tuesday, October 23, 11:51 AM

Creepy ex-boyfriend/stalker text. Obvi.
Love you, too.
from a 303 phone number, Tuesday, October 23, 11:36 AM

This is a weird one. It appears like this 303 person was in the middle of a texting conversation with Leila. Like she texted him to say, "Love you," and now he's texting back to say, "Love you, too." But if that were the case, why wouldn't he just hit the "reply" button to her text? Why start an entirely NEW text message and type in the "send-to" field as L-E-I-L-A?

The ways in which people interact with their technological devices are fascinating, unpredictable, and inexplicable.
do ya luv it or do u luv it
from a 763 phone number, Friday, October 19, 5:30 PM

Oh. Hmm. Tricky grammatical question there. I think "do u luv it," because "u" sounds more like "you," but "do ya luv it" is still understandable. It may be like pronunciations of "neither": they're both valid. You say "tomato," etc.

And, yes. I luv it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

wat was the foundin date of 1st church. do we need 2 print religion
from a 763 phone number, Monday, October 15, 10:33 PM

I wish I knew the answer so I could help this kid out, but sadly I don't even know what the 1st church is. Honestly, though: Isn't this what Wikipedia is for?
Got the message got the time did not get the airline dc
from an 808 phone number, Monday, October 15, 8:19 AM

I texted this person back and told him to re-send the text, but I hope he managed to do so before Leila was actually airborne. It sucks to be wandering around an airport, trying to figure out... was it American? USAir? Who knows?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Omg leila im scarred now
from an 808 phone number, Sunday, October 14, 4:12 AM

Sometimes I'm jealous of other people. I believe that when other people receive texts at 4:12 AM on a Saturday night, those texts are pretty much guaranteed to be from their boy/girlfriends, texting to say, "hey baby im drunk an i love you so much xxx"

Other people never run the risk that their 4:12 AM messages will be Leila Texts from Hawaii (where the time difference means that it is not, in fact, 4:12 AM).

Other people have all the luck.
I think i pulled my groin mustle durin soccer
from a 310 phone number, Saturday, October 13, 10:32 PM

Sometimes, instead of sending a text like this to your friend Leila, you accidentally send it to me. And that is pretty much the 21st Century equivalent of "Smile! You're on Candid Camera!"
I love this! go bruins! u c l a ucla fight fight fight!!!!!!
from a 310 phone number, Friday, October 12, 11:39 PM

Once again, the Leila Texts teach me important things about sports. Apparently UCLA has a team called the Bruins. And apparently they are winning. This can turn out to be incredible conversational fodder.

"So, did you hear Tom Brady had a boy? And how 'bout them Bruins, eh?"

Honestly, with news sources like this, I don't know why I ever bother to read the paper.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Im going to hebrew school
from a 310 phone number, Monday, October 8, 9:39 PM

Oh, man, that sucks. I'm sorry. I have been in your boat, child, and it is no fun. Just keep your head down and eat a lot of kosher candy. That's all the advice I've got for you today.
It's Stephanie. For cleaning today key is under mat.
from a 203 phone number, Tuesday, October 9, 8:43 PM

Is Stephanie texting Leila with this information because Leila is Stephanie's house cleaner? I don't know many people close enough to their house cleaners to text them the location of their hidden house keys. My mother has house cleaners, but honestly I doubt she knows their cell phone numbers at all.

I wonder how much Stephanie pays Leila to clean her house. More or less than $85 per week, do you think? I should ask her and then use that information to reply to the 909 person from last month who wanted to know if $85 per week is good for a house cleaner. I think that would be a real service that I could provide.

Funny, isn't it, how many text messages revolve around house cleaning?
Where the address
from a 409 phone number, Tuesday, October 9, 2:23 PM

Um, 10 Elm St., some city in southeast Texas, right?

Well, okay, maybe not street number 10. Maybe not even Elm Street, either. But probably some city in southeast Texas. I looked it up.

Does that help you navigate any, 409 guy?
Good luck at practice
from a 646 phone number, Tuesday, October 9, 6:06 PM

What a sweet text message! Thank you! Thank you for your good luck wishes! (Again, unless you are a creepy ex who's just looking for any desperate excuse to send Leila a text message.)

I wonder what Leila practices. Soccer? Violin? Debate? I hope it's something cool. Like basket-weaving. Does one practice basket-weaving? Is that the terminology?
Dumb ass
from a 248 phone number, Wednesday, October 10, 11:04 AM

Maybe 248 thought Leila didn't respond because she was offended. Maybe when he sees her later, he'll be like, "Hey, sorry about the text I sent you earlier today. Obviously you're not a dumb ass. I was just kidding."

And she will say, "What?"
come here
from a 763 phone number, wednesday, October 10, 4:22 PM

No. Maybe. Where's 'here'?

Oh, wait, I just looked it up. Minnesota. Definitely no, then.

Monday, October 8, 2007

c Just poured 1 gal distilled h20 in fountain will need more tomorrow
from a 310 phone number, Sunday, October 7, 1:09 AM

This sounds like an intense science project. This obviously belongs in the "Materials" section of a lab report. As in:
1 beaker
1 fountain
a centrifuge
1 gal. distilled H2O

However, I still don't understand what the "Method" section would be. Or, more to the point, the "Hypothesis." Because my working hypothesis right now is, "If I pour 1 gallon of distilled H2O in the fountain today, then I will need more tomorrow."
from an 805 phone number, Sunday, October 7, 11:06 PM

Shut up.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Cell 573**** I will have a car tomorrow so you dont need yours. I will take you home after
from an 801 phone number, Thursday, October 4, 11:46 PM

Obviously the text included the full phone number, but, as you know, I try to preserve the strangers' privacy when I can.

So... this sounds fun, doesn't it? Leila doesn't need her car because the 801 person will take her home after. But after what? That's the question. After a party? After apple-picking? After her court hearing? Isn't it existential to think that we will never know?
Call me after 3, ok?
from an 814 number, Friday, October 5, 10:34 PM

3? That's a pretty arbitrary time, don't you think, 814 guy?

Well, maybe Leila wouldn't think so. Maybe Leila knows that you have a meeting until 3. Or maybe you are an elementary school student and don't get home until 3. I guess Leila would know.

Personally, though, I want to know what the heck is so special about 3 that you can't receive calls before then. Picky, picky.
hey u just wanted to say hi
from a 909 phone number, Friday, October 5, 6:09 PM

As with the 949 person who asked Leila "how's skool" a few entries back, this text could either be really sweet or really annoying. It all depends what Leila's relationship is with the 909 guy. If it's a friend of hers who lives in a different state and they don't get to talk all that often, then it's nice of him to text just to say hi, just so she knows they're still friends.

On the other hand, if this is a boy with whom she once, a number of months ago, went out on a date, and she's been avoiding him ever since, and he's still texting to say, "hey u just wanted to say hi," then really he should just lay off. And had Leila received this text, as was intended, she would have turned to her friends and been like, "God, that guy is still texting me, and he has nothing to say, even; he can't even come up with a good pretense for texting me."

It's all a matter of perspective, is the point.

To ponder: Is a text message saying "hey u just wanted to say hi" better than those text messages that I constantly criticize that just say "hi"?
R u going to the hw game i am
from a 310 phone number, Friday, October 5, 7:33 PM

You know, a number of colleges have their homecoming games this weekend. (I learned this from my coworker Leslie, don't worry, it's not like I actually have any sense of when or what homecoming is.) Do you suppose "the hw game" is supposed to be "the homecoming game"? Or is that too much of a stretch?

In my experience, "hw" stands for "homework." But "R u going to the homework game i am"? No. That makes no sense. Homework is never a game.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

FWD: Men are like toilets. They're either dirty, unavailable, out-of-order, or FULL OF SHIT. If you agree, send to all of your girls.
from a 646 phone number, Tuesday, October 2, 5:50 PM

While I appreciate the "boys suck" sentiment, I honestly find this analogy to be a little factually inaccurate. Although some toilets are dirty, unavailable, out-of-order, or FULL OF SHIT, many toilets work fine. For example, today I used the toilet in my office. It was fine. Then I got home and used the toilet in my apartment. Also fine.

So men may still be like toilets, but at that point all you're saying is, "Men are like toilets. They're either dirty, unavailable, out-of-order, FULL OF SHIT, or-- and this happens most often-- perfectly normal and usable and fulfilling their purpose."

Sort of diminishes the statement's power, doesn't it?
MUAHHH!!!! I WANT ONE BACK! You've been blown a KISS. If u get 1-3 ur sweet, 4-6 adorable, 7-9 freaking hot! So start kissin!

from a 928 phone number, Tuesday, October 2, 7:55 PM

I only got this one kiss, so I guess I'm just sweet. Which would really be a compliment, if I didn't know that the other two options were "adorable" and "freaking hot." Sweet doesn't sound so great any more, when compared with freaking hot. But I guess I take my compliments where I get them.

P.S. I have NO FUCKING CLUE what that random string of punctuation at the end of the text is. Is it supposed to look like a kiss, maybe? I don't know, maybe kisses do look like a string of colons and percentage signs. I mean, who's to say?
Bourne is awsome chicken is in the frig as of 12:30
from an 865 phone number, Tuesday, October 2, 6:18 PM

Ahem. This is where the PR people for The Bourne Identity are supposed to give me free CDs and liquor and stuff because I mentioned their movie in my blog, and that is good advertising. In fact, I not only mentioned it, I called it "awsome."

Go on, then. Show your gratitude. I'll accept even free Bourne clip-on earrings (if they exist). I am not picky.
c Anyone sign up 4 10
from a 310 phone number, Wednesday, October 3, 12:38 PM

Ooh, uh, no, I don't think I saw anyone sign up for ten. But, um, maybe I did, and I just didn't know that that was what I was looking at? It's hard to say at this point, really. Care to give me a hint?

Monday, October 1, 2007

yo wats up
from a 763 phone number, Sunday, September 30, 3:38 PM

Aw, jeez, not much. Just tooling around the Internet, updating my blog when I should be going to be bed; you know, the usuals. Thanks for asking, though! Wats up with u?
still at l a x plane f up
from a 425 phone number, Saturday, September 29, 4:19 PM

Sometimes the Leila Texts make me feel like I'm part of this whole big community, like we're not all so different as we feel, like I really have a lot in common with this multitude of nameless, faceless text message senders. We all sometimes get bored. We all celebrate birthdays. We all want to know what the plans are today. We all sometimes get stranded in airports. It's a small world after all.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Did u get ur phone to work
from a 703 phone number, Tuesday, September 25, 8:18 PM

I guess this 703 guy will take Leila's lack of response as an implicit "no."
Happy birthday! loue, aunt jody
from an 814 phone number, Friday, September 28, 6:44 AM

I live in the EST time zone, so it can't have been any later in the morning where Leila lives. When Aunt Jody texted her birthday wishes, it was definitely 6:44 in the morning. Being awake at 6:44 AM sounds like a devastating start to a birthday. I'm glad I was able to intercept this text and perhaps allow Leila to sleep in a bit later. Think of it as my own little birthday present to her.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

R u free today
from a 310 phone number, Saturday, September 22, 2:08 PM

Why, yes! I am! Why? What are our plans?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Salu on est entrain de manger
from a 702 phone number, Wednesday, September 19, 2:07 PM

I ran this message through Babelfish, French to English (although this may or may not actually be French). Babelfish translated the phrase as "Salu one is spirit to eat."

I can't decide if it makes more sense in English or in French. Maybe I should run it through again, like in Swedish to English, and see if that makes it any clearer.
Biscuits r not cute. We r feirce
from a 517 phone number, Thursday, September 20, 1:09 PM

Potential album titles for Leila's new electro-rock 'project'?
I need corporal punishment
from a 517 phone number, Thursday, September 20, 1:49 PM

This is a pick-up line from a sadomasochist. There is no question in my mind.
FWD: FWD: Me w/out you is like a camera w/ no flash, a car w/ no gas, a stripper w/ no ass & a pimp w/ no cash send 2 all your friends
from a 626 phone number, Thursday, September 20, 10:04 PM

Some B-average 10th grader out there is right now thinking, "Yes! I am a POET! Cell phone users across the nation are reading MY POETRY! I am like the POET LAUREATE of cell phones!"

Who are we to disabuse the poor tyke of her illusions?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hey leila! Hows skool? I have not talk to u in a long time. Text me back k well ttyl
from a 949 phone number, Monday, September 17, 10:24 PM

This is sweet. It's nice to think that there's some mensch out there who's like, "You know who I like? Leila. Really it's a pity we've fallen out of touch. I think I'll just send her a text message, nothing too significant, no big gesture, just a nice note to let her know I'm thinking of her."

Sometimes my friends do this for me. Like send me postcards for no good reason, or facebook wall posts. Mostly it makes me feel guilty.

Of course, maybe this 949 person has some insidious intention, like really he has a crush on Leila and he has "not talk to u in a long time" because she is avoiding him. So this text is him trying to play it cool, as in, "Oh heeeey, long time, no see, I was just flippin' through my contacts list and, boom! There you were! Random! So, how's skool?"
from a 408 phone number, Tuesday, September 18, 7:16 PM

By now you've all heard my little rant against texts like this once, but SERIOUSLY. Was this really worth the ten cents it took to send it? It's true, Leila didn't text you back, 408 guy, because she didn't receive your text-- but it could have EQUALLY WELL been that she elected not to text you back because she had NOTHING TO SAY IN RESPONSE.

"hey." Sheesh. Could there BE less of a conversation starter?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Albert already decorated for my birthday. He said he doesnt have a sister to help him decorate. He did it nice!
from a 916 phone number, Wednesday, September 12, 1:02 AM

One thing I like about texting is that you can nearly always tell when someone uses predictive texting and when someone spells things out. The errors are different, for one. The abbreviations, too-- in predictive texting, it takes considerably more effort to type "bcuz" than "because." If this same text were written by a person who did not use predictive texting, it would look something like the following:

Albert alredy dedorated 4 my bday. he sed he doesnt hav a sister 2 helq him decorate. he did it nice!

Of course, both versions are equally easy to read. It's six of one, half-dozen of another, really.
If u can will u please take your granny to the toilet around 5 or 6 pm thank you mom. Let me know. Text me. We are suppose to be shopping but at movies.
from a 916 phone number, Saturday, September 15, 7:17 PM

I called this woman back, obviously. I mean, while I am on occasion heartless, I don't really want someone's grandmother to die from a bladder infection just because I couldn't get my act together to call a wayward text messager.

It impresses me how consequential the messages are that people will text to one another. I don't know why this impresses me; I, too, often use texting to convey important information. But I like to think that if a senior citizen's health were at stake, I would actually place a phone call.

No. I just thought it over. I probably wouldn't bother.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

hey call me im bored in dance class wishing u are here did imention im very very bored bye bye ttyl ttfn l8r g8r
from a 415 phone number, Tuesday, September 11, 9:14 PM

This girl should hook up with the 608 area code girl who was so bored at the library last weekend, and then they would both stop being bored. That would kill two birds with one stone.

It seems wrong that this girl should be very very bored, though. What dance class gives you time to text? This is obviously not like advanced ballet here. Maybe it's a social dance class. Whatever it is, they should really be working the kids harder.

I find it funny that, when people are bored, they text their friends (Specifically their friends named Leila). I mean, I do the same, all the time, so I absolutely relate. But I still find it funny. What did humans do when they were bored before the advent of texting?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Salam kola ghermezi:) khufiii
from an 818 phone number, Monday, September 10, 11:57 AM

Sometimes the Leila Texts make such little sense, out of context as they are, that they could practically be written in a foreign language.
Other times, they actually are written in a foreign language.
It can be hard to figure out which is which, but I'm pretty sure this is an example of the latter.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Hey is 85 a wk good 4 a house cleaner?
from a 909 phone number, Thursday, September 6, 9:17 PM

My God, I have no idea. How many days a week is the cleaner coming? How big is your house? Of course, even if I knew the answers to these questions, I would not know what a good price is for a house cleaner. If it were a manicure, I would tell you: $10-$15. If it were a vodka cranberry at a bar, I would tell you: $4-$7. But a house cleaner? I would call my mother.

It fascinates me that there exists some Leila (in California, it seems) who would KNOW these things. Some Leila who, when her friends are getting housecleaners, are like, "You know who we should ask about this? Leila. She is like the expert at pricing out cleaning services."

If I ever become rich enough to get my own house cleaner, hell, I'LL text this Leila to ask what I should be paying. I would be grateful for her advice.
you best be ready for the smack down! Haha
from an 860 phone number, Wednesday, September 5, 10:35 PM

I'm not sure how I would respond to this text, if I were the intended Leila. "Oh, I am ready, don't you worry." Or, "Ahh! No, not the smack down!" Or, "You'll never get me!"

Text message flirtation is not my forte, apparently.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hey justin now has txting
from a 307 phone number, Tuesday, September 4, 4:24 PM

True. Too bad Justin still doesn't know how to use it properly.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Its been over an hour
from an 810 phone number, Saturday, September 1, 10:58 PM

I was at the movies with my mother and my friend Emily on Saturday night. When I emerged, I had this text on my phone. This pleased me; it makes me feel lonely to turn off my phone for two hours, and then turn it on again to find that no one has tried to contact me for the entire time that I have been incommunicado.

Emily was less impressed. "They weren't actually texting YOU," she pointed out. As though this makes a difference.
Hey what are the plans for tomorrow
from an 814 phone number. Saturday, September 1, 8:53 PM

I regret not calling this person back. Like, what if he and Leila had made tentative plans for a date, so he was texting to see what they were going to do? But then she didn't receive his text, so she assumed that he didn't actually want to go out with her, and he assumed that she's ignoring him, and now their chances at a relationship are ruined.

And if they ever discuss it, it'll be, like, he'll work up all his nerve to say to her, "Leila, why did you never text me back that time I asked about our plans? You could have at least written back to say you weren't interested."

And then she'll reply, "You never texted me."

And he'll say, "Yes, I did!"

And she'll say, "Look, it's fine that you didn't actually want to go out with me. I can handle it. But don't lie to me and pretend like you texted me when we both know you didn't."

And Leila will think he's a liar, and he'll think Leila's a bitch, and it will be all because I couldn't be bothered to call back some 814 phone number.

(Alternatively, maybe 814 is just Leila's best friend, who, failing to receive a response, just phoned Leila up an hour later. No biggie.)
I am at the library... And I am bored!!!
from a 608 phone number, Saturday, September 1, 4:55 PM

I don't know where this 608 character goes to college, but wherever it is, she can't be more than two weeks into the new school year. If she's ALREADY so bored of the library that she's texting Leila about it, then I feel pretty bad for her. It's a long nine months between now and graduation.

On the upside, girl, at least you get cell phone reception in your library. My college library was a goddamn Faraday cage. When I was there and bored, I couldn't text anyone for moral support, least of all someone else named Leila.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

FWD: FWD: --ORIGINAL MSG: Ur LOVE wil cal u ' 10:55 pm, KIS u 2morrow, or ASK u out. If u BREAK the chain ul have bad luk. Send dis to 10 ppl
from an 808 phone number, Friday, August 31, 3:39 PM

Oh my God, I cannot WAIT for 10:55 pm. That is going to be the best minute EVER.
Ok. Luv ma
from a 504 phone number

My ma never texts me. She wouldn't know how if she tried. She would also never say she "luvs" me, because she actually loves me, because she is my mother.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cierra left her pillow case.
from a 916 phone number, Thursday, August 30, 1:29 AM

Somewhere, there is a Leila who would be deeply affected by the news that Cierra left her pillow case. This is obviously a relevant piece of information, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why. I have never in my life of texting felt the need to inform a friend that someone left her pillow case (though I have also never felt the need to inform a friend that I only roll with P.I.M.P.S., so perhaps I shouldn't use myself as a texting reference point).

The best explanation I can come up with for this text is that it is code for something like, "Cierra hooked up with a really hot guy," or, "The Nazis surrendered," or whatever.
Hey its beth! i wanna see u!
from a 518 phone number, Wednesday, August 29, 4:00 PM

This sort of text always unnerves me because it could conceivably actually be for me. I might know someone named Beth, right? And she might want to see me? I don't know where 518 is, and I can't offhand think of a Beth who would want to see me who is not already saved in my contacts list, so I am going to assume this is a Leila Text and will not call this girl back. I figure that's a safer route than calling up this stranger and being like, "Beth! I wanna see u, too!"
Fwd: Fwd: I only roll wit P.I.M.P.S. (Pretty Individuals Makin People Stare) and you're one of them send this to 10 of ya prettiest friends!
from a 925 phone number, Tuesday, August 28, 1:12 AM

This text awoke me from a deep sleep. I'm going to tell you something: It was well worth waking up for.

Monday, August 27, 2007

FWD: FWD: FWD:FWD: FWD: FWD:FWD:Fwd: Fwd: I better get this back! i love you to death ;) today is bestfriendz day snd to 10 friendz u kant imagine losin*
from a 201 phone number, Saturday, August 25, 3:26 PM

Bestfriendz Day is my favorite holiday, though I'm not sure how Kant would feel about having his name, however accidentally, associated with this concept.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

FWD: -No matter where life takes us promise we'll always be friends send to ten great friends including me=)
from a 925 phone number, Thursday, August 23, 4:46 PM

This particular chain text seems considerably less instructive than the "HIV needles in gas pumps" chain text I received last week. Heartwarming, perhaps; instructive, certainly not. Doesn't this person know that "instructive" is the new gold standard in text messaging? She really ought to follow the "Tom brady had a boy" model.

Going back to that one, by the way... I am so excited to now have that piece of knowledge, without having had to exert any effort to obtain it. I intend to make a lot of casual conversation about it. "So, did you hear that Tom Brady just had a boy?" I will not make casual conversation like, "So, did you hear that no matter where life takes us promise we'll always be friends?"
Tom brady had a boy
from a 408 phone number, Wednesday, August 22, 7:33 PM

I just looked it up on Yahoo!News, and this is, in fact, true: Tom Brady did have a boy. See how useful the Leila Texts can be? If only more people would text facts to one another, instead of cryptic party invitations (c.f. the "party @ masons" text and the "partyy at marks" text). I would become a whole lot smarter as a result.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hi leila love you!
allarie e-mail adress.

from an 845 phone number, Monday, August 20, 4:09 PM

The actual text includes a full email address, of course, but I've removed it here to protect the sender's privacy (as much as I can, given that I'm posting her private correspondence to the entire Internet).

It often baffles me the places where people do and do not exert effort to use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. For example: putting the hyphen in "e-mail"? That seems pretty hard. It takes at least a couple extra keystrokes. And it's not like Leila wouldn't have known what Aly was talking about had Aly just written "email." So the hyphen wasn't for clarity, or for speed. What was it for? These are the sort of linguistic questions that I grapple with daily.

P.S. Aly-- I love you too. (Possibly.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

heyy partyy at marks on wed. from 5 to there or be square!
from a 631 phone number, Monday, August 20, 9:56 PM

I often receive texted invitations to events that I cannot attend (mostly because I don't know where they are being held, or who invited me). It's sad, because it's like I'm very popular... only not really.

Also, as a side note: I find it odd that both "hey" and "party" are spelled with two 'y's at the end. Either would make sense-- "heyy" sounds debonair, and "partyy" sounds like a badass shindig-- but one immediately following the other reads as a little awkward. Not that it matters to me; I'd still love to go to Mark's party on Wednesday. If I knew who Mark was.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Allie says hi
from a 413 phone number, Sunday, August 19, 7:39 PM

I actually know people from the 413 area code (it's the Berkshires), many of whom would send me texts similar to this one. So theoretically this message could be intended for me, and not another Leila. Only I don't know anyone who spells her name "Allie." So this could be someone I know in the Berkshires, texting me to say that someone I don't know named Allie says hi.

Most likely, though, it's someone I don't know in the Berkshires, texting a Leila that I don't know, to say that Allie (whom I don't know) says hi. So this is not actually my concern at all.
park ey did you ever take a music class in college
from a 714 phone number, Sunday, August 19, 5:57 PM

The difficult thing about predictive texting is that it really could be anything. "ey" is obviously not a word. But had s/he typed a 4 after it, it would have turned into "fyi." Not that "park fyi did you ever take a music class in college" makes sense, either. Maybe s/he just put the space after the wrong letter, and it was supposed to be "par key." At least keys have something to do with music.

I haven't yet made sense out of this text, but I have raised an important point, which is that mis-typed predictive texts are not as straight-forward as you might assume.

And to answer your question, 714: Yes. I did take a music class in college.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

quick question how do you get your ankles so high above your head
from a 785 phone number, Friday, August 17, 9:25 PM

This is a different phone number, obviously, from the 713 booty text that I posted a few days ago, the one that asked some Leila, "a hoe," if she was busy. But I'd like to believe that both the 785 person and the 713 person were trying to reach the same Leila. 785 is in Kansas and 713 is in Texas, which would make this one Leila pretty nationally renowned for her sexual prowess and availability.

I guess it's more likely that they're two separate Leilas, that there's one Leila in Texas who's "a hoe," and one Leila in Kansas who can get her ankles really high above her head. Also, there's a Leila in New York who receives a surprising number of misdirected risque text messages, but as for that, well... whatever.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Be careful when u go get gas people are putting HIV+ needles under the handles, supposed to be on the news,forward this to everybody you know!
from a 916 phone number, Thursday, August 16, 5:20 PM

Sometimes a little beauty like this falls into my cell phone and then I have to thank God for the Leila Texts, because otherwise how would I become aware of breaking news stories like this one? And thank God I have a blog, because otherwise how would I ever be able to share such nuggets with you?
15/16/17/and 18 year olds that i don't even know uu know? and plus idk if evan could go yet because hes camping right now and(ugh i hate my parents for
from a 626 area code, Thursday, August 16, 12:46 AM

This text woke me up last night. I didn't understand it when I tried to read it then and assumed that was because I was asleep, but I'm awake now, and still I don't understand it.

Maybe she's only like 14 years old and she isn't sure if she wants to go do this thing because there will be so many older kids there? But why enumerate each of their ages ("15/16/17/and 18 year olds")? That's a lot of detail.

You definitely get the impression, though, that it's not worth going to this thing without Evan. He's probably her boyfriend. They're probably inseparable. Each day that he's away camping is like a bullet through her heart.

I wonder what her parents did this time. Something supremely awful, for sure.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Omg i just got my nails dun r u gonna get urs dun??? Or r u getting glu ons plz get them dunso im not the only 1!!!
from a 949 phone number, Monday, June 18, 7:04 PM

Prom season's a bitch.
Just made the bus we will discuss harry this week
from a 201 phone number, Friday, July 20, 3:47 PM

I enjoyed this text message because I received it a mere eight hours before I, too, purchased my Harry Potter #7. The idea that we all care so deeply about HP-- even those strangers living in the far-off 201 area code-- made me feel like I belong to an extraordinary community.

I'll use this as an excuse to quote Benedict Anderson's IMAGINED COMMUNITIES. He talks, as I do, about reading. (He's talking about newspapers, I'm talking about Harry Potter, but it makes no difference.) Anderson writes: "[Reading the daily paper] is performed in silent privacy, in the lair of the skull. Yet each communicant is well aware that the ceremony he performs is being replicated simultaneously by thousands (or millions) of others of whose existence he is confident, yet of whose identity he has not the slightest notion."

Which is the best summary I have ever heard of the experience of reading HP7 on the day it came out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hi @ masons house on sat...3 til ? ..its franks bday...please come by if ur free...
from a 562 phone number, Thursday, July 26, 6:52 PM

Thank you for your kind invitation, but I'm afraid I must decline as 1) I was busy and 2) I just looked it up, and 562 is in southern California, which seemed a far distance to travel just for Frank's birthday party. No offense to Frank, who is probably a charming young man.
no way
from a 617 phone number, Monday, August 13, 11:39 PM

This reminds me to tell you: if you want to try out a Leila Text for yourself, you're definitely welcome to, but you need to indicate that your text really is intended FOR ME and not for some other Leila. I assumed this one was for me because it's from a 617 area code, but otherwise I wouldn't have replied. Like I mentioned, replying to the Leila Texts makes me seem creepy, so I generally avoid it.
R u goinmg to the poool today
from a 973 phone number, Tuesday, August 14, 3:13 PM

I sort of wish I had gone to the pool today, but sadly I was busy. Fortunately it wasn't so hot that I felt I NEEDED to go to the pool. I don't know how hot it was in the 973 area code (wherever that is). Pretty hot, I'd guess.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Grand Canyon AZ rim has.. El Tovar Hotel... Bright Angel... Yavapai.. Kachina and Thunderbird Lodges
from an 805 phone number, Friday, July 20, 9:00 PM

Your guess is as good as mine.
Leila in the house!
from a 703 number, Friday, July 20, 10:29 PM

I hate getting Leila Texts at 10:30 on weekend nights, because I always hope they're from one of my friends, asking me to hang out, when really they're from strangers in 703 area codes, wherever 703 is.
Kari called me like 3 days ago..i totally forgot to tell u!
from a 510 phone number, Tuesday, July 31, 12:53 AM

I have no idea why this statement is significant. Had Leila been waiting for ages for Kari to call? Maybe Kari was out of the country, or in the hospital or something, and she's now reemerged back into society? I think Kari and Leila aren't all that close.
Hey! I started a garden today! I got my dirt,my seeds,and my water,all i need is a hoe. U BUSY?
from a 713 phone number, Monday, July 30, 11:05 PM

This is the first booty text I have ever received. I totally love it. I wonder what the real Leila would have done, if she had received this text like she was supposed to. Would she have been like, "Ew, you're so skeezy," or would she have been like, "YES I am so there!"? I wonder if this other Leila is a slut.
in a way it was like she was threatening me to sign. i told her i was not going to sign and to call me to tell me what "things" she was talking about.
from a 281 phone number, Tuesday, July 31, 5:54 PM

This text is absolutely RIFE with drama. Who is "she"? What is she threatening you to sign? I kind of assume an apartment lease, but I have no basis for that assumption. And what "things" WAS she talking about??? I honest to God want to know.
hey stranger what's up with u
from a 714 phone number, Monday, August 6, 5:15 PM

I wonder if that's just a turn of phrase or if, when this person sent this text, s/he knew that it was going to reach an ACTUAL stranger.
Today is sexy friend day. And BABY you know you are sexy! Send this to all ur sexy friends (including me). if u get 5 back,u r sexy 2the max
from a 626 phone number, Thursday, August 9, 8:53 PM

Honestly, I had not even realized there was such a thing as "chain texts" until I started getting the Leila Texts. But apparently they're all the rage with young teenaged girls.

At least, I assume this comes from a young teenaged girl. I suppose it could be from a 50-year-old man, who wants to tell his friend Leila that BABY she knows she is sexy! You never know.
Hey! I just got a job offer.can you do pro's & cons wme over brunch
from a 909 phone number, Monday, August 13, 1:49 PM

This one I actually called back. I rarely call the Leila Texters, because there are a lot of them and it's always awkward to explain. The conversation, when I do bother to call, generally goes as follows:

THEM: "Hello? Who is this>?"
ME: "Hi, sorry to bother you, but you just texted me."
THEM: "Um, no, sorry. You must have the wrong number."
ME: "Were you trying to text your friend Leila?"
THEM: (obviously creeped out) "Yes..."
ME: "Right, your text came to me by accident. You see, there's this weird thing with Verizon..."

That was pretty much what this particular phone call went like, except one-sided, because I got the girl's voicemail. I left her a message that ended lamely with, "Congratulations on your job offer! Sorry, that was weird, never mind."

My co-worker Leslie suggested that I should have offered to do pros and cons with her. It was a good idea; I am excellent at pros and cons.
from a 707 phone number, Monday, August 13, 2:45 PM

Why do people send texts like this? It drives me crazy. Every week, the Leila Texts include like two messages that say "hi" and nothing else. Even if I WERE the Leila you were trying to reach, I wouldn't text you back. It's not worth the one cent, or whatever it costs to text nowadays.
I am drunk i love you even when i am sober!
from an 810 phone number, Sunday, August 12, 11:22 PM

This is a sweet text, though I kind of feel like 11:22 PM on a Sunday is a reckless time to be sending out drunk texts. Personally I like to reserve those for, say, Saturday, 3 AM. Maybe this 810 person doesn't have a job? Or maybe s/he just doesn't mind showing up hungover to the office on Monday morning. It's probably a she. I don't know many guys who drunkenly text their love to girls. That's a chick thing.

What Are the Leila Texts?

When you send a text message on the Verizon network, you can address your text by choosing a name out of your contact list, or you can address it by typing in a phone number. You can also type in a name. And if you type in L-E-I-L-A, then-- bizarrely-- your text will come to me.

This is a blog about the texts I have received. All of them are from strangers, intended for some other Leila, but obviously they missed their marks.

Some of these texts are funny, some are sad, and nearly all are confusing. I speculate as to who they're from and whom they are supposed to go to-- and I welcome you to speculate, too-- but of course we're just guessing. A few words can tell you only so much of a story.

Welcome to the Leila Texts. Small glimpses into strangers' lives, courtesy of a technological glitch.