Friday, April 25, 2008

Come sleep with me please just sleeping, nothing else. I need to hold you.
from a 702 phone number, Friday, April 25, 3:24 AM

I was absolutely fast asleep when I received this text. (I know, I know, I shouldn't leave my phone on while I'm sleeping, but I couldn't help it; I was expecting a phone call this morning.) I woke to the sound of my phone vibrating, looked at the text, was unable to make heads or tails of it, and decided to go to the bathroom.

When I came back to my room, I read the text again, just in case it was important, at which point I decided it probably was. I didn't want some poor 702 lying in bed alone and crying just because I can't get my act together to type a few words in the middle of the night.

So I sent my standard "Your text message didn't reach Leila" yada yada message, only to receive this in response:

This guy i used to date sent that to me and on ur blog u analyze texts and i wanted 2 no wat u thot
from a 702 phone number, Friday, April 25, 3:36 AM

This is an astonishing use of cell phone technology that had never even occurred to me. I mean, it takes some patience, for one. For all 702 knew, I wouldn't get around to posting and commenting on this text for another week.

Furthermore, it assumes that I actually KNOW SOMETHING; i.e. that my commentary on her ex-boyfriend's text message might be in some way helpful or enlightening. I feel rather weighed down with responsibility.

So, okay, 702. You wanted 2 no wat I thot? Here's what I think:

1. A text message like this is always flattering, because it's an ego boost to believe that boys have trouble getting over you.
2. When boys claim in the middle of the night that they just want to sleep with you, "nothing else," they are lying.
3. If you might be interested in getting back together with this boy, then that's a conversation you need to have in daylight hours, looking at this all in a "big picture," "long-term" sort of way.
4. If you're not interested in getting back together with this boy, then you should ignore him or text back, "No," or, "Stop it," or "I've already told you to leave me alone."
5. Under no circumstances should you be like, "Yeah, sure! I'll be right over!"

All that being said, you probably shouldn't listen to me. I make this stuff up as I go along.

I texted as much of that as I could fit into 160 characters back to 702, and here's what she replied:

Yehhh he sounds really desperate too.. Very unattractive lol
from a 702 phone umber, Friday, April 25, 3:43 AM


Then I went back to sleep.
passed d interview w amor. they will find next week kung 10 year visa. i do nt know wher s ima
from a 323 phone number, Thursday, April 24, 11:44 PM

Lot of different languages going on here. "Amor" is Latin and Spanish for "love." (Though, in this context, I think it's referring to Amor Ministries, since they seem to deal with visa-type things.) "Kung" sounds like a Chinese name, as in "kung fu." Meanwhile "Ima" is Hebrew for "mother."

Even though I don't know what language we're operating in here, this still seems like very good news. Getting a 10 year visa is extraordinary. I'm a little surprised 323 uses no exclamation points. This is at least as exciting as that text I got a few weeks ago that said, "Wats goin on.!!!!!?????"
Yeah but i cant, my moms being a huge bitch, im really sorry
from a 978 phone number, Thursday, April 24, 7:38 PM

Moms were such a great way to get out of things back in high school. If you didn't want to go, you could just say, "My mom totally sucks and won't let me." And what are your friends supposed to say to that? They can't blame you; obviously you WANT to be there. And they can't be like, "Yeah, your mom DOES suck"-- because, dude, she's your mom!

It's a lot harder to work this excuse once you're an adult.
Was up
from an 808 phone number, Thursday, April 24, 4:35 PM

Sitting in my pajamas in my mother's house, eating her food, mostly.

Have you ever noticed that "sitting in my pajamas" is nearly always my response to these "was up/wat up/what's up/wuz up" texts?
May not need a planner we ll taljj
from a 201 phone number, Thursday, April 24, 11:46 AM

The only types of planners I know of are party planners (the people) and day planners (the notebooks). I wonder which one this refers to. Not hiring a party planner is a major decision, so hopefully one that 201 is not making lightly.

Meanwhile, how annoying is it when you're using the 'tap' method, and you hit the same key twice, trying to get, say, the letter 'k', and instead you wind up with two 'j's in a row? It happens to me too often that I end up with a question mark followed by a period instead of a single goddamn exclamation point.
Hi leila, its been a while...just dropping a line, so pick it up!
from a 914 phone number, Wednesday, April 23, 9:40 PM

Obviously Leila will never respond to this message, from which you should extrapolate, 914, that she has become infinitely more cool since the last time you saw her, and she no longer has use for you and your lame friends and your lame nights out. (At least, that's what I'd extrapolate, if I were 914.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Are you having a good break hope this makes it better! Elena acosta from class
from a 917 phone number, Wednesday, April 23, 9:16 AM

Quite probably this girl. She lives in a 917 area code and is young enough to still be in college (thus the reference to class).

That said, I would have assumed that this text came from a high school student, since I know the public schools are on spring break this week. The elementary school next to my building has been eerily silent. I don't think colleges have April spring breaks. So that's hard to reconcile.
it was supposed to be the brown kid, why would i want to adopt a white kid?
from a 781 phone number, Wednesday, April 23, 12:03 AM

I probably know this person. Uh, not because I know a lot of racists. Just because I know a lot of people from 781.
Hey. Got your number from Colin. Hope that's ok. Wanna hang out sometime this week? Karaoke was fun. Call me. - J
from a 562 phone number, Tuesday, April 22, 7:01 PM

Oh my goodness! This may be the first time I've ever been asked out via text message! Or, okay, it's not ME being asked out, per se, but still-- first dates!

I did try to construct some sort of reality in which this was intended for me-- because I DO sing an awful lot of karaoke, and it IS fun-- But I don't know anyone named Colin. Nor do I know anyone named J. Nor from Long Beach, California. Alas.
Jenkins Hi Leila,
Can u call me, when u get a chance?

from a 203 phone number, Monday, April 21, 2:06 PM

There are too many Leila Jenkinses on MySpace for this to be at all helpful. I also tried googling "Leila Jenkins" + Connecticut (holla 203), but that was useless, too. I wish this Leila had a more esoteric last name. Like "Hoodwink." When I type "Leila Hoodwink" as a phrase into Google, nothing comes up at all.
expect me my wife and my friend roberta.
from a 917 phone number, Monday, April 21, 11:39 AM

Okay, I'll add you all to the guest list. But only if Roberta is hot.
She broke up with him?
from an 865 phone number, Sunday, April 20, 11:08 PM

NO! Did she really?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fwd:Fwd: This is it GIRLS.If we can get 1000 Girls to send this we can be in the Guiness Book of World Records keep thiz going plz
from a 719 phone number, Sunday, April 20, 9:34 PM

If I were like ten years younger and received this text, I would have spent ages puzzling over how this worked. I would not have for one instant doubted that we would indeed be in the Guinness Book of World Records. I would simply be unable to figure out how they tracked who all had sent and received this text. I might have imagined that there are tracking devices on our phones. I might have gotten an old Guinness Book out of the library to see what the previous record was. I was an astute researcher. But this did not make up for my naivete.
Hey waz up
from a 719 phone number, Sunday, April 20, 12:06 PM

Right now? Reheating matzah ball soup. Trying to do laundry. Waiting for Emily to come over. Listening to the delinquent youths holding court outside my building. The usual.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Church today at 815 You need to hurry up and get here or we are out of singingers. I WILL NOT BE HAPPY IF YOU ARE think about it
from an 828 phone number, Sunday, April 20, 6:35 AM

This is from the same 828 who texted Leila last week to say, "I really dont understand why you are doing this..i just wish we could talk this out.." They obviously have a very acrimonious relationship. It occurred to me that maybe I am part of the reason for their fighting; that is, maybe they are misunderstanding each other in part because they keep missing each other's text messages. So I called 828 to explain the situation, but she didn't answer (perhaps she was still at church?). I left a voicemail explaining the whole deal and found myself doing my best to defend Leila ("If she wasn't at church today, that wasn't her fault, she just didn't get your text..."). So we shall see.

Or, more likely, we will never see.
We r in beltsville. A bit of traffic earlier in va...
from a 301 phone number, Saturday, April 19, 5:43 PM

This also has the ring to it of someone running late for a dinner engagement. Upon receiving it, I read this text aloud to my friends Robert and Lucy, and they got very excited because apparently THEY live near Beltsville. Somewhere in the greater DC area. I can't say I'm surprised there was traffic; I mean, it's the seat of our nation's government for lord's sake.
can u txt?
from a 305 phone number, Friday, April 18, 9:21 PM

Some days, 305, it feels like I can't do anything else.
Baby last night was so good:-)
from a 702 phone number, Friday, April 18, 7:10 PM

I feel pretty eh toward the emoticon at the end of this sentence. Presumably 702 and Leila shared a wild night of passion, and a colon-hyphen-closed parenthesis seems somehow to minimize the night's significance. Also, don't you think 7 PM is a little late in the next day to be talking about how good the previous night was? I'd think such a statement should come by 5 PM at the latest. Then again, I guess it depends on when you woke up.
1 down, ten billion to go.
from a 707 phone number, Friday, April 18, 2:45 PM

This could be referring to any number of things. One exam down, ten billion to go? One CD burned, ten billion to go? One child home from school, ten billion to go? My writerly feedback is that I like the phrasing for I admire hyperbole, yet I would urge some clarification.
I think the paper mache penis would be a brilliant idea. And some dressed as sperms being chased by it down the halls.
from a 541 phone number, Thursday, April 17, 11:36 PM

Call me paranoid, but I just have trouble believing that this is an actual misdirected text message. Doesn't it read far more like a 20-year-old guy who wants to see his words posted to my blog?
from a 201 phone number, Thursday, April 17, 5:29 PM

Ah, yes, "Shoot." One of the few swear words (as it were) that predictive texting will recognize.

Unrelated to this text, I want to make two notes. First is that my blog was featured in the May issue of Details magazine. (Thank you to reader Phil for bringing this to my attention.) This is pretty awesome, since Details is a legitimate news source; however, it is intended for men, which may explain why I've gotten comments recently from readers who know how many holes there are in a golf course and whether there are baseball jerseys buried under Yankee stadium.

Alternatively, maybe everyone knows those sorts of things, not only men's magazine readers, and I just don't pay enough attention. That's actually more likely.

SECOND NOTE: Today is my birthday!