Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Reading Between the Texts: ‘Tis the Season

The Texts
Him: “Merry Christmas! :)”
B: “Thanks you too, btw who is this?”
Him: “It’s ______, how have you been?”
B: “Oh RIGHT, good! How about you?”
Him: “Good. :)”

The Analysis
B: Ugh, I cannot take another year of this.
K: What do you mean? He sends you that every year? With all the smileys and everything??
B: Yes! Every Christmas he texts me and I put his number back in my phone. And then EVERY year I take it back out, and then the whole thing happens all over again. It’s like the Matrix, practically!
K: Or Inception!!
B: Yeah. I mean, I didn’t see either of those movies but I can’t imagine that this situation is very far off.
K: Why don’t you just keep his number so that you can choose not to respond when you see that the text is from him?
B: Impossible. If I have his number in my phone, I WILL do something terrible. Like, for instance, text him at 2 a.m. to ask him if he thinks I’m pretty.
K: … Maybe it’s just better if you don’t have a phone. Maybe we could get you a carrier pigeon.
B: I feel like I’d probably just end up training it to go coo outside his window when I’m drunk.

The Text
Him: "On this day, our Lord and Savior the Baby Jesus was born below the Star of Bethlehem. Let us celebrate this day in remembrance of He who died for our sins so that we may live. John 3:16. Merry Christmas and God Bless."

The Analysis
K: Jesus Christ. Literally!!! Hahahahaha. But seriously, what the shit.
E: This is pretty much par for the course at my school. But do you think it’s good, though? Like, keeping in mind that he's nuclear-level attractive?
K: Er, I guess? I mean he did bless you. Theoretically that means he hopes you continue living, at least. That’s always a good place to start.
E: Right! But I can’t tell if it’s a mass text or not. It took up two texts, I feel like that’s not standard procedure for mass texting.
K: If he sent that to JUST you I feel like it’s potentially the most terrifyingly intense text that has ever been sent. Like there are at least three too many mentions of Jesus.
E: Maybe. He did say “let US celebrate,” though! Yeah??
K: That’s true. So maybe he wants to go Advent wreath shopping with you. Or else he potentially wants to exorcise your demons. It really could go either way.
E: To be honest I’m sort of fine with either of those options. I feel like there’s probably a lot of touching involved in an exorcism.
K: It is going to be SO stressful deciding what to wear to your exorcism.
E: OH MY GOD I know. Let’s practice some makeup looks just in case.

The Text
Him: "Hey! I’m back in town for a few days! Wanna get dinner tomorrow?"

The Analysis
J: What is this horseshit?? This…this…ASS…message?!
K: Calm down! Is he back in town? Where did he go again?
J: Motherfuckin’ TONGA!!! Just, you know, took a little unannounced trip to Tonga!!
K: Well wasn’t it technically with the Peace Corps?
J: Allegedly.
K: Does he realize that tomorrow is New Year’s Eve?  And that if you two were to hang out it would mean that you would be together for the whole year, according to The O.C.?
J: I’m sure he knows. I’m sure this is juuuust what he wants. To just take me out for some “dinner” and act all “nice” to me and sprinkle “confetti” on me and kiss me at midnight and then leave me AGAIN, like some worthless piece of beautiful, poised garbage.
K: Yeah, you definitely shouldn’t go. You’re getting all splotchy just talking about it.
J: I won’t. I’m not spending New Year’s Eve with him, even if he IS hot.
K: I feel like he sort of looks like a caveman. Like a homo erectus.
J: I know. I think I’m, like, programmed to go after a man who looks like he could kill me a woolly mammoth if I got hungry.
K: That is disgusting.
J: Maybe. I bet they were good.

The Text
Him (?): “<3 Happy Valentine’s Day! <3”

The Analysis
K: OMG. All this time I’ve had a secret admirer and never knew it.
R: Or maybe it’s someone you know? Whose phone number you deleted?
K: OR maybe it’s someone I know, whose phone number I DIDN’T delete, but who is contacting me from a covert line because his main line has been compromised.
R: Do you have a lot of spies in your contacts list?
K: Not like a SPY, like perhaps an ex-boyfriend whose stupid annoying beautiful perfect slimy new girlfriend checks his outbox.
R: Oh, I see who we’re talking about.
K: It’s just, maybe he finally realized that his girlfriend is a mistress of evil deeds and also that I am his one true love. And he’ll tell me that, and then I can be like, “Never can you have me, so long as we both shall live.” And then he’ll start to cry, and I’ll lean in very close to touch his cheek for just a second and whisper, “I pity you,” and then I’ll jump onto my horse and I’ll be like, “Let’s GO, Reginald,” and we’ll ride away.
R: She isn’t EVIL. She’s just, like, mildly horrible. Mildly to moderately.
K: Ugh I know. I never wanted to be that girl that always hates her exes’ new girlfriends. But also I feel like I can’t help it if I just want to shoot her with a crossbow a little bit.
R: Oh well yeah, that’s completely reasonable. I want to shoot her with a crossbow. I mean partly that’s just because I love crossbows.
K: I know. They are underutilized in modern-day society.

Previously: Why Do You Still Have My Number?

Katie Heaney lives in Minneapolis and writes the most beautiful goddamn text messages that the world has ever not responded to.

Photo by vovan, via Shutterstock

181 Comments / Post A Comment

Feminist Killjoy

finally! i was wondering what happened to reading between the texts!



I am so happy to be reading between the texts once again! J


How this is not the internet sensation that's sweeping the nation is beyond me.


@leastimportantperson Like, why have I not been emailed a link to this by at least four separate people?


@leastimportantperson This could easily be its own website. I'd read it every day.

femme cassidy

Your (imaginary?) horse's name is Reginald. That right there makes you automatically too good for this juicebox.

Also YAY Reading Between the Texts is back!!!

Katie Heaney

@femme cassidy ugh, yes, IMAGINARY.


@Katie Heaney I like the name 'Reginald' because it starts with 'r' just like rampant so then you could have a family crest with Reginalds rampant on it and that would be amazing.

femme cassidy

@wee_ramekin Thank you for volunteering to help me start a band called The Rampant Reginalds!


@femme cassidy This might also be the place where I share the fact that my ex called vaginas "Vaginalds". It might also be the place where I share how awesome I think that is.

Nicole Cliffe

@femme cassidy Reginald 4-eva!

Someday I want to own a Belgian Warmblood, so I can name him "Poirot."

(Everyone needs a dream.)


@wee_ramekin I remember you telling us about Vaginald before and I may or may not have spread it liberally amongst my friends. *looks at floor* that's creepy isn't it.


@rayray Haha, no more creepy than me occasionally referring to my vagina by a name that my ex used. Because it's just so. good.

Seriously though, I think it is the best. And I love that it has hopped over the ocean and is now being used in the British Isles.


@wee_ramekin :) I assure you it sounds sooo refined when we say it.


@Nicole Cliffe Will he have the tidiest little moustache? WILL HE?


@figwiggin Ha, I thought you were asking this about Vaginald.


@rayray Okay so also (probably TMI?), sometimes I combine "Vaginald" with "genitalia" and come up with "Vaginalia". Is that weird? #yes


@wee_ramekin Vaginalia sounds like the hottest new winter holiday.


@rayray I love that you are the hairpin's go to person for absurd slang spreading.

*subliminal plug to keep 'doucheblanket' going*


Guys, maybe "Vaginald" can be our shibboleth! In case we're ever infiltrated by someone from Reddit or 4chan who wants to bring down our beloved Piniverse.

"What do you call your vagina?"
"KILL HIM WITH FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


@wee_ramekin ™ melis, of course.


@Katie Heaney
Katie! I have a grumpy (no, not grumpy! aloof!) white gelding named Roydan, would you like to borrow him for your getaway? You can call him Reginald, even (it's not as though he comes when called, anyway).

Katie Heaney



@rayray I had to keep alt tabbing because I'm at work, and I clicked away as I read that and I thought it said something about liberally spreading your vaginald.

I'm not sure if I was relieved or disappointed when I clicked back to clarify.


@figwiggin Actually I think Vaginalia sounds like Lars Von Trier's latest movie about a planet about to hit earth. A planet...called Vaginalia.
"It just seems...so friendly." "It rises like the moon and casts a blue light over everything."


@BoozinSusan Aaaaand this comment will seem very odd to people who haven't heard of/seen Melancholia. If you haven't seen it, do!


@BoozinSusan Susan, do you do your boozin' in Austin? Because if so, we need to go get drinks. You're hilar.


@wee_ramekin Aww, one more reason I wish I were in Austin! I am a Boston-based boozer, myself. But you should come up here and meet our 'Pinners - we've got a good bunch!


@BoozinSusan And as a super commenter you'd get a hero's welcome here, too. We'd lay out palm fronds at your feet, ply you with margaritas (or your drink of choice), and @boy_of_destiny would play you a song on his lyric guitar, or lute or whatever.


"I feel like there’s probably a lot of touching involved in an exorcism." brb laughing forever


The carrier pigeon line was genius. I never thought about what drunk dialling would have been like in olden times.

The Lady of Shalott

@teaandcakeordeath Drunk carrier pigeon-ing, or maybe drunken letter writing. "its about ten in the evening, I have supped this night on leg of lamb with mint dressing and parsley sauce, and about half a quart of fine Madeira. Now, tell me true, are thou affianced to be wed to a lady of good standing whose name I have heard much mention of in the past fortnight? Dost thou think that I am fair of face?"

I don't know what that was even, like Austen by way of the sixteenth century or something.


@teaandcakeordeath Haha, check out The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon! It's the (real) journal of this court lady in ancient Japan, and when she talks about her lovers it's almost like an old-time SATC or something. They would send little secret invitation poems on carefully selected paper via their attendants!


@The Lady of Shalott
Good idea! Im kind of taken with the idea of drunken sonnet writing.
Shall I compare thee to a summers day?
I am so wasted, please call me pretty.
The iambic pentameter is a fun challenge.

I think dating might be a lot more fun with little secret invitation poems. Either more fun or more creepy.


@thenotestaken That's...pretty sexy actually.


@thenotestaken You made my life by mentioning The Pillow Book! One of my favorite books, ever. Loves me some Medieval Japanese palace courtyard gossip, for reals.


@thenotestaken Ugh, and I bet they were written in calligraphy too. WHATEVER. We have text messages now. *buries head in hands*

Artressa Vandelay

You had me at "Impossible. If I have his number in my phone, I WILL do something terrible. Like, for instance, text him at 2 a.m. to ask him if he thinks I’m pretty."

I've never sent that exactly, but yes.... DELETE, DELETE, DELETE!


@Katie: go Katniss Everdeen on that bitch's ass


@arizonatime YES! I was thinking the same thing.
Also this really needs to be a weekly column.

Anna Jayne@twitter

"I think I’m, like, programmed to go after a man who looks like he could kill me a woolly mammoth if I got hungry."

Katie Scarlett

@Anna I think I'm with you. I love a LOT of hair all over, and what is a caveman if not hairy, right? But if that hair comes with a super thick neck and a brow ridge, you can count me out.

I had a class with one guy in grad school who had this stupid haircut and looked like a caveman (in a bad way) and -- I can't really explain how this worked -- but when he talked, his voice was so low yet nasally that it sounded like he was pooping out of his mouth.


@Katie Scarlett And I just spit tea all over my keyboard.


@Anna Jayne@twitter I'm not, but I wish I wassssssss. I'm apparently programmed to go after boys who can build me a hackintosh and then make ambient music on it. I worry we'll all starve to death, come the zombie/pandemic/end of oil/climate change apocalypse.

Fortunately, I can grow the !@#$%& out of some vegetables. But must I do everything myself?!


@laurel Nah, it's fine. If you pick carefully, they'll be the ones rigging up water filtration devices and welding shit together to make complex self-loading crossbows.


Christmas texts from exes are the worst. Ex-Mas. That's what it is. Especially when they're all, "I miss you and still think about you a lot." Eff off. You broke up with me.

I meaaannnnnn ♫ ♬ Rockin' around the Christmas tree, at the Christmas party hop ♫ ♪


@Emby DUDE. Okay, yes. That. Ex-mas indeed.

Also?! How do you make musical notes?!


@wee_ramekin I just googled "musical symbols" and there was a search result that had them, so I just copied and pasted!


@Emby you need this http://usefulshortcuts.com/downloads/ALT-Codes.pdf It is literally the most useful document I have tacked to my cube wall.


@solidgold Thãt îs sö còól, thanks


@solidgold YES! THANK YOU!


@Emby My favorite was the "Merry X-mas!" facebook message I got from a dude I went on one date with, once, and then after that he would facebook message me like all the time, but never asked me out for a second date, and when I was all, "What gives?" he said he was still deciding. Like, weeks after the date. Wtf?

Anyway, I feel like the "Merry X-mas!" was also a super passive-aggressive ding at the fact that I'm only half Jewish (the important half, but still), which was apparently 50% less Judaism than he requires in his girlfriends.


The OC has forever ruined New Years for me. Why? Because no dude has ever acted like THIS to be able to kiss me at the countdown so we can be together the whole year!



@emilylouise WHERE WERE YOU YESTERDAY, missy? Huh? HUH?! I missed you.

Uh...I mean. Hey Girl (read in the style of Ryan Gosling).

Princess Slayer

@emilylouise Heyyyyyy look at that now I have this strange urge to rewatch seasons one and four of The OC!


@wee_ramekin oops I meant @wee_ryankin
(good one, huh?)

You noticed I was gone?! Awww, that warms my <3.
This is a sad week because yesterday (and tomorrow! nooo!) I have to be out of the office, assisting onsite at an event that my agency is running. Which means NO laptop, NO internet, NO Hairpin. Fate worse than death!
I seriously sat there thinking "I wonder what I'm missing, I bet there are so many good Ask A _____ columns" haha. I'll just equal it out by commenting incessantly on everything today?


@emilylouise That is a good one.

Well, you totally missed A Queer Chick! And also there was a mean guy in the comments who was making me really mad and you missed that too. Now I know what a troll is.

Also, that is a fate worse than death. I wonder if you can somehow convince your bosses that your laptop with direct access to the 'Pin is necessary. You know...for research?


@wee_ramekin I saw the AAQC in the top header! So I have to go back and read that one. And OH NO, a comment troll?! :(((((((((( I know that is one of your fears/hates. And mine, too. Now I'm going to read all the comments and get mad.

"Heeeyyy bosses, I know I'm supposed to be sucking up to clients and uh, you know, WORKING here, but I really think it would behoove the company if I were to have my own personal laptop so I can comment on a blog all day, you know what blog where I wrote that article that semi-badmouthed our agency and its misguided media efforts? Yeah, that one. I really need to do some... research... on that site. For this event. Now. THANKS!"


@wee_ramekin I hope you will forgive me for being a little bit internet creepy. But. Your commenting style, even when you are telling misogynists to step off, is so sweet and sincere, it warms my cold, ashy heart a little bit. "Really mean guy" indeed. You are a picture of charity. That guy was making awful comments.


@AnthroK8 Aw :). Not creepy at all. I'm smiling at my desk with the good-kind-of-hurty cheeks that you get from smiling real hard.

Also, I guess you didn't see the comment where I told that dude to fuck off. I had to stop commenting after that, because I was like "Self, THIS IS HOW THE MISOGYNISTS WIN".


@emilylouise I may have quit commenting because I was going to descend into internet-spittle. So, I empathize. You're still really nice.


@AnthroK8 Heee! Thanks again!

So, also, in the depths of my soul, I am not really nice. Because I am really tempted to go to the store, buy a small tin of Vienna sausages (the really, really tiny ones) and then cook them and then stab each one with a fork, yelling "HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT, JASON?! Tell that to your precious johnson!".

Which is really childish and stupid.

And it would also make me feel so good.


@wee_ramekin Ahhh that guy was horrible, largely due to his 'I donate to planned parenthood and therefore cannot be wrong about anything related to ladies ever' stance. For some reason thinking you are a progressive feminist while actually being a dick is so much worse than just being a dick.


@wee_ramekin Please know that your beautifully snarky retorts talked me down from several rages yesterday. "Really mean guy", indeed.


@Princess Slayer Because seasons 1 and 4 were the best, right? I am kind of embarrassed by it but I love The OC, especially season 4.

Katie Heaney

@phlox hold up. season 4 was the BEST? I am missing something here! I quit 1/3 in because I missed Marissa too much. I have 1 & 2 on DVD and watch them regularly though. And I cried when Marissa died. And then I couldn't go on without her.


@Katie Heaney The first three or four episodes are not the best of the season, but Taylor and Caitlin and Julie are the most awesome, ever, in season 4. And the finale is so sweet!


@phlox WHOA WHOA WHOA, season 4?! I'm with Katie here. Call me old-fashioned, but season 1 will always reign supreme in my heart. After they killed off Marissa, it just was never the same. I remained faithful to the end, but... everything was tainted.

And never say you are embarrassed by your love of the OC. Be proud. Be like me and spend half your afternoon watching the entire BestoftheOC channel on YouTube.


@wee_ramekin But that means you are the nicest! Because you're not wandering through life unruffled and unnoticing. You notice, and you CHOOSE the good side. Much harder.

Also, that sounds delicious and I want some delicious voodoo sausages.


@emilylouise That one was so good because frankly beautiful Marissa Cooper is kind of wooden, NOT that I love her any less, but she really looks so good when she's sad, and when she's making out, so in this clip she really shines. I just got so sad though because I was like, "Neither of them know she's going to die young and beautiful," oh the OC what have you done to me?


Wow, that religious quote...

Are these actual conversations that you are sharing with us? Like cut-and-pasted from IM? Either way I want to be friends with you.

Nicole Cliffe

@illcommunication I don't want to know if they're not real. Katie Heaney is like Santa to me.

Katie Heaney

@Nicole Cliffe The texts are all too real, I can tell you that much!

Nicole Cliffe

My holiday season? Made.


@Nicole Cliffe Yes, Virigina, there is a Santa Claus.

Fear Biter

@wee_ramekin "Yes, Vaginald, there is a Santa Claus"?



Fear Biter

@wee_ramekin Initially I thought it was what you had written and after I was all "AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH!" for about 10 minutes, I was saying "Vaginald,Vaginald,Vaginald,Vaginald,Vaginald..." over and over again. Sometimes in my head, but sometimes out loud. I am now totally destined to call someone "Vaginald" by "accident" today.


THANK PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED JESUS! i missed you between the texts. xo.


KATIE! I love this series so much! You are awesome.

Okay now, on a mostly unrelated topic, I have been waiting for precisely the right opportunity to share some amazing text messaging with the internet. About two weeks ago I got this text from a wrong number:

"Hey Lover, its Penny A friend of a friend is looking for private corset/lingerie construction classes. Can I put them in touch with you?"

Although several people urged me to play along, I am completely incapable of doing something like that to my Lover, Penny. So. I texted back, "hi! I think you have the wrong number, sorry".

The reply was "So this isn't Anastasia?"


@E Noooooo you hafta play along! Anastasia and Penny 4 eva!


@E I had a weird text message exchange a while back wherein a girl thought I was her... boyfriend? Hookup? I don't know. But she definitely thought I was cruelly pretending not to be him.


@Gnatalby Aack, yes, why does that happen? Some lady sent me a picture of herself in some revealing positions, and then refused to believe that I wasn't Jared.


This is the best. Weird holiday moments and reading between the texts.


I am officially calling every text I ever receive "this ASS message."


@youresmalltime It reminded me of Zoolander, where he talks about "your ass face". or was that a different Ben Stiller movie?


@heyits That was Waiting for Guffman, which is better than any Ben Stiller movie ever. Although I do like Zoolander.


@theharpoon thank you! The phrase has been stuck in my head for years, and for some reason I always thought it was Ben Stiller. And yes, Waiting for Guffman is infinitely superior.


Whoa whoa whoa. That is an incorrect inverted apostrophe in the head. In the name of all that is sacred to hard-drinking librarians, make it stooop!


@noReally Oh gosh! What should it be?! Ah! I don't know and I want to know!


Katie Heaney

@noReally scroooooooge!!! haha jk.


@noReally "hard-drinking librarians" I... I thought I was the only one!


@noReally I noticed the other day that, when viewed from the side, my boyfriend's nostril looks like a closing apostrophe. Or, I guess, a comma, but an apostrophe is what came to mind. This is while we were having a fight.

I don't know, this seemed like as good a space to share that as any.


@katekari I used to be a member of a whole club of hard-drinking librarians that met once a month. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, MY CHILD!


Ahhhh, please please please can we have Reading Between the Texts all the time? Katie Heaney, you are such a tease! Reading Between the Texts is all like "hey girl, what's up...haven't seen you in a while ;)," and we're all like "oh heyyyy, what's goin---OHMYGOD I LOVE YOU READING BETWEEN THE TEXTS," and then it's all "was good 2 catch up. I'm gonna be super busy with stuff for the next while but we'll totally hang out sometime." Oh Reading Between the Texts, why do you always do this to me? Why do I always do this to myself?


@MagentaGalaxy Yes yes yes yess, this is perfect


@MagentaGalaxy Yesss exactly. I love youuuu Reading Between the Texts!!!

Although, you know. Relationshapes turned up every week regularly and told us ahead of time he was going to leave and then... just... left. So maybe this Pavlovian thing RBTT has going on is... kind of... preferable???

Katie Heaney

@MagentaGalaxy oh my GOD! Reading Between The Texts has TRANSFORMED INTO ONE OF THE BOY TEXTERS!!!!

*looking around wild-eyed and frantic*


Alright Hairpinners, my own text-dilemma. How do I stop myself always being the last one to text in an exchange with a girl that I like? I'm never the one the ends the conversation - even though I always tell myself I will be the one to do this - and I'm just worried it comes across as desperado.


@Decca Same! I just see it as being polite and always replying to people? I dunno I never worried about it before AND NOW I AM.

Blousey Brown

@Decca Oh yeah, that's me too. I'm an over-communicator, and I think that I tend to worry too much about being rude or abrupt. I've been trying to stop doing it, but I usually feel guilty about it. Write back soon!


@Decca I ALSO see it as being polite and always replying to people! I also respond to texts super fast which makes me think I come across desperate but I literally just forget to respond if I don't right away. I admit that I do have my phone too close to me at too many times of the day (all the times of the day).

No answer for you, just commiseration.


@Decca I always figure, then it is their job to get back in touch if they want to text me. So I don't have to worry about when it's okay start a text exchange. It's like "you know I like you, because I replied to your last exchange. Ball's in your court."

Or, heart/vagina's in your court, I suppose.


@AnthroK8 btw my dream is that one day I'll be in a relationship where I don't have to worry about these things

aha ... ahahaa... ahahahahahahahahahaha *quiet sobbing*


@redheadedandcrazy I love you cos you always think the same as me. Never stop.


@Decca and @everyone Blah. Same boat. I always have this problem when I like someone (or.... the whole time in my last relationship, hahahaa..? :( ) Finally I just had to force-teach myself to "play hard to get" via text by not answering sometimes, even if I would reallyreally want to. It sucks. We should not have to worry about these things.


@rayray and everyone

Yeah, in a way it's just being conscientious and polite and nice, and I tell myself that most of the time I'd rather be seen as a friendly person than a mysterious "hard to get" person...but truth be told sometimes I wish the heart/vagina was in my court! Why is life harrrrrd.

Oh, and @Blousey Brown, you reminded me how in secondary school we used to put "Wb" at the end of messages to friends, which was a demand that they write back and if they didn't, they were automatically mad at your for something. If only everyone still observed that insane teenage rule.


@Decca Sometimes I will just make up a thing that I have to do, especially if I get the text in the middle of the day when I am at work. Like, I will respond, and then end the text-sesh soooooooo much sooner than I would like to by lying that I have to get back to work. Because I worry a lot about being overly-responsive to people, and because when people cut of texts or G-chats too soon, I feel so ashamed because I think it's that I've been talking too much. So sometimes I try to head that off by doing the afore-mentioned.

@Blousey Brown Your worries and my worries are perfectly aligned.


@Decca But the heart/vagina IS in your court... there is freedom in surrendering, for one thing.

The other thing is, I think there is merit in walking away from the Cosmic Debit-Credit balance of Liking Someone sometimes. Like, if that other person is nice and kind, and you don't have to worry about them disdaining or taking advantage of you, then. Well, who cares if they know you like them a lot?

Whether or not you like them more than they like you is sort of irrelevant if you look at texting as a way of telling people what you think rather than establishing the relative like-ey-ness of your various likes.

Besides... you are putting the heart/vagina in their court by making them always make the first move. (This is making romance sound like sex-chess.) It's scary! Even if you are pretty sure you like a person and they like you.

Of course, this means I have to resist sending them texts after I have replied to a text.


I, of course, struggle to follow my own advice. Which is why Reading Between The Texts makes me feel like I am one among the many as opposed to a lone, sad person.


@AnthroK8 You're wise! I've never conceptualised it as a Cosmic Debit-Credit balance before but that describes it perfectly.


@wee_ramekin And Everyone...

I may be feeling a little bit sad that the seemingly awesome Hairpinistas don't think maybe (mmaaaaaaayyyyyybbeeeee) other people receive their texts with a little frisson of excitement and glee. Like "eeeeeeeeeee ramekinlet TEXTED ME."

I mean, being sensitive to people's cues is one thing, in a general way. But having anxiety that people think you are tedious if they are always (frequently) the one who signs off first is PROBABLY REALLY VERY WRONG.

Don't be anxious! You are marvelous! And it's wonderful that you reach out to people, and none of the texts Katie transcribes should apply to your anxiety, because she is describing how when nice girls interact with manipulative and careless people. But you are not manipulative and careless, and if you come across a manipulative and careless person you figure it out and stop talking to them, and who cares if they think you are pathetic because they are juiceboxes!

Also, I am going to stop commenting now, because I REALLY DO HAVE TO GO BACK TO WORK AND I RESENT THAT SO MUCH I CAN'T EVEN...

@Decca-- ETA because we crossed wires. I know, right? Like our affection is currency or something, and giving away our like-ey-ness is just a precursor to giving away our virtue? NO! Not true! That is not how it is! Or should be!

People are lucky to have your affection and attention. Until you know they aren't into you, proceed as normal...


@wee_ramekin I would never cut off a text/gchat/HP comment with you! It makes me sad to think of you feeling ashamed. I'm the same way, I'm a super wordy and outgoing person (IRL talking or like... chat/text typing as well?) and I often get anxious if I feel like I am over-texting or over-chatting. It's a pointless thing to worry about, because if someone likes me, whether it's a friend or a romantic interest, they LIKE my talkativeness, right? And if they don't like me because of that, then who cares if I annoy them or not, I shouldn't have to change who I am.

Still, though, I worry. I would always play this game with my last bf where I would never gchat him first, so he wouldn't think I was too eager or too clingy. "Oh, you're online? I was so busy working and doing other cool things, I didn't even see you there." It depresses me to think I did that. None of us awesome ladies should torture ourselves over these trivial things.

@AnthroK8 Agreed on your last statement, RbtT is the best because it makes me feel like I'm not the only one who drives herself insane over texts/chats!


@emilylouise @AnthroK8 You two. I...I tell you what.

I really, sincerely appreciate the things that you said, because the "talking too much" thing is a really deep-seated issue for me, stemming back to when I was an over-eager student who teachers had to ask to put her hand *down* (I was really, REALLY eager). Sometimes it's extremely hard for me to step back and realize that what you guys are saying is probably true. Thank you :).



1) I was one of those students! It takes time to learn how to deploy one's chattiness to best effect and that is OKAY. School is for learning that kind of thing. I deliberately work on getting chatty students to use that skill to help others along and encourage everyone to talk. It makes them classroom facilitators and takes the responsibility off me. I think we need to a better job of that as professors, IMHO.

2) No probably about it. It is.


@emilylouise * AnthroK8 I very seriously agree with all the positive, "texting shouldn't be this hard" affirmative comments. We shouldn't have to be ashamed about liking people and wanting to talk to them! And if somebody makes you feel that way, that person is crappy.

And yet @ wee_ramekin I also do the preventative measure cutting conversation short thing. Usually to take pressure off myself from feeling like I have to continue a conversation or I guess take pressure off the other person feeling like they have to have a conversation with me.

Y'all what was dating even LIKE before texting?! The amount of energy I spend thinking about TEXTING. TEXTING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

oh and of course @rayray et al. I love you all! what was my life even LIKE before the hairpin?!


@wee_ramekin I was one of those students too. And people still tell me I talk too much. But I don't really feel it about texting? I just think that agony of someone not texting you back for hours is not pleasant and maybe it's polite to just reply? I dunno. Look at me, talking too much *AGAIN*.


@rayray Also you guys, I have to go cos I have a date :S


@rayray Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Good luck!


I love this thread.
In conclusion....

@wee_ramekin It's probably a huge shock (not), but I confess I was one of those kids, too. My parents would always be like "You don't have to always get the last word, Emily. You don't have to say everything you're thinking."
To this day my friends tease me, "You never shut up! You can talk forever!" etc. I know they say it affectionately but sometimes I can't help but think.... boy, I hope I'm not secretly obnoxious.

@AnthroK8 I feel like we wrote basically the same comment at the exact same time. :)

@redheadedandcrazy Word. I can't imagine dating without frenzied overanalyzation of every text. Or facebook post.

@rayray GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!


@emilylouise I would also like to state my conclusion which is:

a) @rayray ALSO GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!

b) re: being the kid who talked too much, I have always been the person who talked too loud. The number of times I've been told to use my "indoor voice" - not just as a kid, NOT EVEN just as a teenager, but all the time in my adult life - sigh.

"there's talking loudly, and then there's disturbing EVERYONE AROUND YOU."


@wee_ramekin You are totes loved here. 4evah. Talk MORE!!!

Coal Tar Epoxy

@redheadedandcrazy I'm with you on the talking too loud part. Everyone on my project team now knows about my blood donation today because I call my mom after to complain about the needle. I also overshare. Hey guys! I gave blood today and am going to get a huge bruise and was told I look sickly but really I'm just pale.


@redheadedandcrazy "We shouldn't have to be ashamed about liking people and wanting to talk to them! And if somebody makes you feel that way, that person is crappy." SO MUCH THIS. I recently started dating a guy who I never feel like I'm bothering with my texts, and I actually believe is happy to see my name come up on his phone. It is SO different from the last guy I dated, who I knew was a juicebox, but now I know how much exactly of a juicebox he was. If someone makes you feel shitty for wanting to talk to them, they are shitty and not for you!


@emilylouise I do this too, with my current BF! I wait for him to Gchat me, or text me, or try not to be the last one to respond to show I really don't care. But: I DO care! I don't want him to think I'm needy--but as the wise @AnthroK8 points out, since he likes me, he probably likes hearing from me and me needing him and wanting to talk to him. In fact, he probably LIKES not always being the one to make the effort first. But still I play these games! (Also a lifelong chatterbox.) So silly.

christina tesoro

@AnthroK8 & everyone re: credit/debit and talking/texting too much - I do this too and I spend so much time thinking about it/feeling self-conscious if someone knows that I like them. And I hate it...but I get uncomfortable if I feel like I'm showing that I like someone too much/more than they like me because I feel like maybe that comes across as annoying? But then the more mature, confident part of my brain tells me that's ridiculous...but I'm still definitely the type of person who like keeps an unwilling log of who-texted-who-first in my head and I'll feel discouraged when I'm usually the initiator. And then the feminist part of my brain tells me to woman up and not worry about who is initiating. But I think it comes down to wanting to know that your like-ey-ness is reciprocated.


@franceschances I'm so happy that you're dating such a nice guy (a legitimate one)! I had an amazing experience with a guy recently who like genuinely made me feel good about myself, and like he wanted to spend time with me, and was happy to see me? Frankly I didn't even know what to do with it! I'm so used to this playing hard to get bullshit. It made me super happy though, like you say, made me realize exactly how much of a juicebox my ex was.

Katie Heaney


You guyyyyys! I love you all so much. My feeling, anyway, is that nobody should feel bad about being the last texter, even though I do it all the time and sometimes wish I wouldn't, because no relationship has ever NOT started because somebody was like, "well this person is basically perfect, but she always has to say, like, 'bye' to me, and it's super gross." I mean, who would THOSE people be? (haha, the ones I always like??? noooo!!!) But really. I just...I just think sincerity is the best, and we should all do it more often.

christina tesoro

@Katie Heaney I sincerely like you. And your RbtT. And hey! Just figured out how to do this! ♥♥♥

a horde of great crab things

@AnthroK8 Sex- chess! That sounds like fun. Queen takes pawn!... I can't think of any sex- chess puns.


I knoooow, I sometimes feel like me and @redheadedandcrazy could be friends. Is that weird?
(yes a little)
Regardless I would like to read between your texts and vice versa.
(okay now that was for sure weird)


@Katie Heaney I'm in total agreement about sincerity, sadly for me it's easier said than done. I have a bad habit of dancing around what I really want to say so I don't upset other people, or make them think I'm too crazy or something.
I made a very ambitious 2012 new years resolution for myself: in all uncomfortable/confusing communication scenarios, be direct, honest, and respectfully say what I want/feel. NO GAMES, whether it's work, relationships, anything.

How will this resolution fare? I'm guessing about as successfully as the requisite "lost 5lb" and "drink less" crap I tell myself every year. BUT YOU NEVER KNOW.


@emilylouise That is an admirable resolution. My date was okay, for those of you who are interested. I got unexpectedly tipsy at the german christmas market, which was enjoyable in itself, but I got a 'cheese sausage' hotdog which squirted liquid cheese all over my date when I bit into it. :/


@rayray That's okay! It's sexy! Warm melty squirting cheese is sexy!!


@rayray Ugh, the annoying part of me wants to say "a preview of things to come?" (that joke works on a couple of levels, all dumb ones.)
Anyway: I'm always interested in dating stories! Dating stories forever! And I also always get accidentally more tipsy than I mean to on dates, so I feel you. Liquid cheese explosions aside, I hope you liked him?? And if not, onto the next.


@wee_ramekin But Diminutive_Crockery, it was a SAUSAGE. And translucent white liquid squirted out of it when I put it in my mouth. I'm just not sure it was the message I was trying to convey.


@both of you, I love that you're here to discuss the aftermath! Meh. We'll see, he seems nice but I am out of town til mid-January as of Friday so there's no pressure for immediate follow-up. I suck at dating, did I mention?

Blousey Brown

@Decca In my day, we went with a smooth W/B/S. Not be confused with the giant-B "Bad Boys Bring Babies" (at least we weren't blaming the girls?) and giant-N "Newer News Next Note." Friends Forever! Blousey + Decca = TLA!


@rayray Heeeeeeee! "Diminutive_Crockery"!!! Heeeee!


Hahahahahahahahahaha - (practiced leer) I think that's exactly the message you want to convey (throaty chuckle)!

For realz though, I'm proud of you for going out and having a time, especially since you say you suck at dating (#feel u sister). And hey, if this turns into a thing where you guys like each other, then you've got a GREAT first date tale :)! (Also, please tell me you called him 'Vaginald' byaccidentonpurpose.)


@AnthroK8 "ramekinlet" = :) + <3, so hard.

Blousey Brown

@wee_ramekin Yes! I always feel like a huge burden if people sign off before me. Total shame spiral. But here's the thing: I work from home, I'm a fast thinker/typist/texter, so it's nothing for me to just go to town on Gchat. But I know a lot of perfectionist-type folks who take forever to type a simple chat.

By the way, it won't surprise you that I also get my feelings hurt when friends or relatives set their status to BUSY. Obviously a personal attack on me.


@Inkcrafter but aren't we already friends?! I think of all of you as my friends! My friends who I can tell my deepest darkest secrets because even though this is a public site my identity is so perfectly concealed that nothing bad could ever come of it!

for realz though ... rayray, that hot dog thing would SO happen to me! I know it's terrible, but I laughed when I read that. It's just too good!


@Decca I have the same problem, don't know how to deal with it... Sometimes I try to anticipate the sign off...


@redheadedandcrazy I hear ya, I'm hoping for that to solve my Quick Draw McGraw texting style...


@a horde of great crab things But EVERYTHING about chess sounds like sex. I used to have a FwB that chessed. 'Italian open', 'forking', etc.

Said chesser also once told me that I chatted 'a lot. I mean, a LOT'. I didn't booty call him for a month because I was so mad and also ashamed. I hate that I am so sensitive about how much space I take up - with my voice, my opinion, my physical body, my possessions, my long-arse hairpin comments. It's a real issue for me, and I think for lots of women. But I am a textual creature! I like to communicate, especially through words!

Don't be ashamed, rammiekin :(

@redheadedandcrazy the other day my boyfriend asked me how my day was and I told him three stories about things that happened on the hairpin. Ok, so I don't really speak to anyone during the work day (wah!) but if you guys don't count as my friends I'm in srs trouble. Also, I reply to texts/emails/everything way too quick because I also forget to otherwise. I use this to combat the seeming too needy thing, by replying real fast the first few times, and then making myself walk away. Then I forget, then I look 'cool' and aloof. This is also the way I drink - down the first two like you're dying of thirst, nurse the third for an hour.

(This is long, but I REFUSE to apologise. I'm late to the party, mkay?) My boyfriend is an Old texter. He makes spelling mistakes, and texts in that stilted way everyone's mum does. And his replies are tardy. And he doesn't use emoticons etc, so they sounds really harsh, to my ear. Uh, eye? It was a real adjustment for me, and hard to feel like I wasn't getting the silent treatment or being rejected a bit. Also, because I only see him on weekends I have irrational fears that he will die in a car accident and no one will tell me. He has learnt to reply within 12 hours or I freak out, and I have learnt that he ALWAYS wants to hear from me. Even if I do sometimes tell him to use inside voice. :( He's a teacher with two teenaged boys. Sometimes he is LOUD!


@Craftastrophies Totally, I have given up pretending half my anecdotes are from real people and just go barrelling in with 'my friends on the internet were saying the other day...'.
I am always being told I am too loud also, but its not like I have no volume control... And people who physically *can't* project their voices, like even when doing a presentation or something, I mean WHY. Anyway yes I am wordy and long-winded and loud but some people love me for that, I guess. Or in spite of it?


@everyone You guys, I just wanted to pile on and say that I, too, suffer from the AUGH I'M NEEDY AND ANNOYING because I just do not stop responding/am always last. But the thing AnthroK8 said about the other party therefore always initiating was like a giant lightbulb over my head, which will probably keep me sane in the dark times stretching ahead. (The lightbulb looks like this!)

Anyway, just chiming in to say I am with you! And I wish we could all be calmer and more sincere. Stupid long-distance crushes with Other Complications are stupid.


Katie Heaney you are just wonderful! (ps. I had an exorcism; we had an alarming lodger who insisted. I wore duungarees and Chanel no 5. My mother was unsure about the etiquette and kept asking, 'are the demons likely to actually appear in the sitting room? Are they large? Should I...move the coffee table?" FOR REAL.)


@kadabra I sense a "the best time we evicted some demons" right here.


@kadabra "I wore dungarees and Chanel no. 5." I love this tiny description of your exorcism so much I'm almost afraid to ask for more details, but then again, you had AN EXORCISM? Um, details? (That is if it's not upsetting for you to share, I guess I can picture a few situations where it would be.)


@pterodactgirl It was great, actually! I had a tropical disease, and we happened to be living in Africa with a Holy Man. He suggested I wore a damp towel round my hair, in case it combusted. (cross heart!) And my mother prepared nibbles, just in case the demons arrived needing a piece of cheese on a stick.


@kadabra That's amazing. I will look forward to reading your memoir when it is inevitably published.



I feel like Reading Between the Texts is life a narration of my life. I swear I spent more time poring over text messages than I did on my course work at University. Of course there was always the race against the clock to reply with the PERFECT text (decided upon by a jury of BFFs) before it sounded like I was trying too hard.


Ahhhhhh!! So happy reading between the texts is back!


The fantasy scene with Reginald just about killed me. And the carrior pigeons. And the exorcism. And then I went back and read all the previous RBTT's. I might need to read them again.


Katie Heaney, you hilarious genius.


my strategy for the infrequent/infuriating texter (like #1):
Step 1: write down his number
Step 2: tape it somewhere you never look, like the bottom of a drawer (like underneath it, so you can't see it unless you open the drawer and then lay on the floor looking up)
Step 3: delete it from your phone
BAM. Or, just write down part of it if you are really nuts and then no matter what you will not be able to put it back in your phone until you get a text from him again. presto.

Coal Tar Epoxy

I just want to say, fuck smileys. They cause me way too much stress. What to they mmmeeeaaaaaannn.


"Allegedly." Hahaha oh man this is so great, glad you're back!


Have you guys had exes who you've told that you need space/no communication from use holiday texts to try and get you to talk to them again? This happened with both of my serious-relationship exes. Just happened over Thanksgiving. We'll see if he tries again at Christmas, but considering the emotional meltdown I had all over him I think he may not.


@paddlepickle I could totally see myself doing this. Oh it's the NEW YEAR. It's so SYMBOLIC. Maybe we can RECONNECT.

Thanks to reading between the texts I will NOT be making this mistake! THANK YOU KATIE HEANEY.


Crossbows. Oh.

...We Need To Talk About Katie?

Katie Heaney

@tortietabbie we do??


@tortietabbie I got that book for my Kindle because of this site, have already read it twice.


@Katie Heaney Sorry, was referencing We Need To Talk About Kevin. :)

@Inkcrafter I started reading it the day after Thanksgiving and did not move or speak to my family until it was done. God, like a punch to the gut over and over.

Katie Heaney

@tortietabbie haha. oooops.


It triple-reinforced my stance of never having children, especially if I marry. But super enjoyable.

Any One Ninja Plot

Yayyyy! OK, I'm going to read the post now.


Arggh, the New Years Eve back in touch dude! I loved him all through college, while he played with my affections to boost his ego all through college. He moved away after graduation, but came back for New Years, just as I was starting to get over him. He said, "Let's go out on New Years! I'll call you and let you know what's up." I cancelled plans with another guy, because, duh, love of my life! This was 2000, and we all only had landlines. AND I had no way to call him because he didn't give me the number where he was staying. Long story short(er), I didn't hear from him all night, I drank a sadface bottle of sparkling wine all by myself, then he called from a bar at like 11:45, all "Where arrrre you? Come out right now and you can make it for midnight!" and I was all "You didn't call me, asshole." And I hung up on him and didn't run out to meet him and it was probably the best decision I ever made and then I cried drunkenly to myself all night. The End.

Oh, not quite the end. He called me out of the blue about a year later to tell me he was having sex dreams about me. I hung up again. Now The End!


@piggie Congratulations on your strength of will. For serious, that's some tough shit you pulled!

fondue with cheddar

K: Why don’t you just keep his number so that you can choose not to respond when you see that the text is from him?
B: Impossible. If I have his number in my phone, I WILL do something terrible. Like, for instance, text him at 2 a.m. to ask him if he thinks I’m pretty.

SOLUTION! Just make an entry in your address book called DO NOT RESPOND and attribute to it the numbers of those you don't want to respond to. If you have more than one, you'll never know exactly which person it is.


@jen325 Oooh, or if you only have one person, make someone else make the entry for you, and add dummy numbers so that you don't know who is who. And one of them should be that person's number, so they will know if you are random texting.

fondue with cheddar

@Craftastrophies Brilliant!

fondue with cheddar

Ugh...I hate mass texts. When I send someone a holiday text I always put the person's name in it, e.g., "Happy Whatever Day, Susie!" That way they know I'm specifically thinking of them and not sending out a generic message to everyone in my phone.


"And then he’ll start to cry, and I’ll lean in very close to touch his cheek for just a second and whisper, “I pity you,” and then I’ll jump onto my horse and I’ll be like, “Let’s GO, Reginald,” and we’ll ride away."

I am inserting this line into all my revenge fantasies from now on


I've cooed outside windows while drunk. Like, in person.


@katie heaney - you are the reason why i just signed up for an account, so i can comment, and join in on the mean water drinking. thing.
so much of your read between the texts reminds me of what i do with my sisters (3 different time zones). I am the over-analyzer; the paranoid and OCD single living and working in a city where the male-female ratio is like 1-7...albeit it feels more like 1-50. There really needs to be a separate column for readers to submit their texts from boys so others can over-analyze and obsess and decipher together! haaaa :) Especially when we exhaust all our friends/siblings to the point of nowhere.

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