Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Reading Between the Texts: There's Been Some Kind of Mistake

The Texts

Him: So did we make out last Friday?
C: Uhhh, hahaha … uh, yes.
Him: Okay, I just wanted to let you know that I’m just not looking for anything right now.
C: Me neither. We’re on the same page so don’t worry about it.
Him: Well, I mean, you’re a very attractive woman but I’m just so busy now that it would be hard.

The Analysis

K: Is this the hot mean neighbor, or the Swedish guy you can’t understand, or the DJ-slash-waiter?
C: None of the above. It’s this annoying guy from class who starts every sentence with “Actually.”
K: What’s wrong with you?
C: I don’t know. He just kept looking at me that night so I was like, ugh, fine.
K: So you’re trying to tell me that you’re okay? Because I think he and I agree that you seem pretty devastated.
C: I’m not!!! Like, imagine if vaginas had their own little mouths, and that little mouth threw up. That’s how I feel when I think about having sex with him.
K: Look, I know you’re hurting. But you’re a very attractive woman. You’ll be okay.
C: Maybe I could win him back if I Say Anything him.
K: Maybe you could get him back if you wear a pregnancy prosthesis and run into class and scream “IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT.”
C: WAIT. His Facebook says he is in a fucking relationship!! Already?
K: Hahaha. Another one bites the dust.
C: I mean, I don’t want to date him and I don’t want him to want to date me, but I also don’t want him to want to date anyone else, or ever be happy.

The Text

Him: We’re not Facebook friends anymore?? I’m really sorry, I really owe you an apology. I hope sometime I can see you and say sorry in person.

The Analysis

K: I’ve never heard of this person.
J: Me either practically! We literally dated for one week three years ago.
K: What is he apologizing for??
J: I DON’T KNOW!!! I feel like he thinks that because I defriended him I must be grieving our lost relationship.
K: Ugh, he probably does. Some people don’t take that defriending shit lying down.
J: Then there needs to be a “reason” box that pops up for defriending. And you’d have to explain, like, “This is an ex that I hope gets buried in the desert like Aladdin, only he doesn’t ever get out,” or whatever. And then Facebook takes any contact information you two had for each other away.
K: That seems a little Big Brother-y.
J: Yeah, but I feel like maybe Facebook could make better decisions for me than I could, at this point. I mean, I f-ing texted Elevator Guy the other day.
K: Was that the guy who tried to like, run away from you inside an elevator?
J: Obviously. It’s like you just enjoy saying that out loud.
K: And isn’t he also the one who traced your lips with his tongue?
J: I mean. It’s just hard to remember if that was real or if it was a nightmare I had.
K: Okay well when you get home tomorrow to your family and Mark Zuckerberg and I waiting solemnly for you in the kitchen, you’ll know why.

The Text

Him: I’ve just really been wanting to kiss you.

The Analysis

K: I just keep staring at my phone, waiting for it to explain. I’m having déjà vu.
R: This is the best day of my life.
K: I mean, he literally used that line on you too, two weeks ago!!! Right?
R: Yes. Those were the exact same words and everything.
K: What if he’s got a system where he mass-texts girls just to see who responds???
R: Ahhh! He probably doesn’t know we’re friends who could corroborate evidence, so this is an unforeseen glitch in the operating system!
R: HE IS. He, like, comes to your door asking to kiss you and is also like, “Pills to enlarge your organ. Fifty percent off.”
K: Or like, “We can kiss, and then I can give you the insight into your mystical fortune. The stars are waiting.”
R: I can’t believe this. I don’t know why he thinks this would work.
K: Are you serious? It worked on you, like five seconds ago basically.
R: Oh yeah. Well, I don’t know. I just didn’t really have anything to do that day. And also he gave me flowers.
R: You’re mad that I got flowers and you didn’t, aren’t you.

The Text

Him: Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we dated.

The Analysis

K: Oh that’s funny, because sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I snuck into his house and filled his mouth with caterpillar cocoons while he slept.
E: What???
K: I don’t know, it was the worst thing I could think of at that moment. Agaagghh it’s making me feel sick, kind of.
E: I just hate him. And love him. It’s like he knows exactly what to say to make me furious. But in a hot way.
K: Yes. Angry and aroused. “Angaroused.” Haha.
E: Also, what about that time when I was actually trying to date him? Because he didn’t seem all that interested in finding out what would happen then!
K: I feel like boys do this a lot. I mean, honestly. Get a different hobby.
E: Seriously. Like, what, you like me a lot more now that we never see each other in person and barely ever speak?
K: I find that’s when I’m at my most appealing as well.
E: What should I say back?
K: Just write “MURDER,” and then one minute later send a wink face.

Previously: "She isn’t EVIL. She’s just, like, mildly horrible. Mildly to moderately."

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

205 Comments / Post A Comment

The Lady of Shalott



@The Lady of Shalott It has been waaaay too long. I mean, even a week is too long.

Luckily for Alice

@The Lady of Shalott I have been screaming with silent excitement!


@The Lady of Shalott I am saying the same thing, over and over, in my head. READINGBETWEENTHETEXTSYESYESS

Nicole Cliffe

@fabel K: Oh that’s funny, because sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I snuck into his house and filled his mouth with caterpillar cocoons while he slept.



@Nicole Cliffe OMG Katie, "just write MURDER and then one minute later send a wink-face". THIS.
Seriously, what is there not to love?


@Luckily for Alice I may have screamed with not-very-silent-scream excitement and my boyfriend was getting concerned..


@MoonBat I am SAVING this one.


I love this!! ♥@l


"I mean, I don’t want to date him and I don’t want him to want to date me, but I also don’t want him to want to date anyone else, or ever be happy." YES. THIS IS MY LIFE.

Also, MURDER!!!

So happy this is happening again.


@miwome I feel like this is a feeling that ought to have its own word, like schadenfreude.


@miwome I sent my boyfriend the killing curse from Harry Potter via text when I was angry at him once. MURDER texts really have a way of getting things done!


@chickaboom Lebenlangfreudlosigkeitswillen!


@miwome Yes. once made out with a guy who somehow got the idea that I was super into HIM. I was not. In fact, the morning that happened, I woke up, heard his voice (oh, study abroad) and thought, "If I never have to hear his stupid voice again it will be too soon." I was suffering from an extreme lack of choice, and then it turned out he was the worst kisser in the world. It was the most insulting thing and it did make me all "Stop dating him! Stop rewarding that kind of behavior! Ugh, are you serious? Do you not understand how much he sucks at kissing, and, thus, never deserves to be happy?"

ARGH why do they get away with getting the ego-boost from the false confidence? I'm doing it. From now on, I'm just going to assume everyone I ever kissed/flirted with (If, you know, I even did, I can't remember, gosh, so many people, how can I be expected to keep track) is desperately in love with me, and I just can't, guys, I'm not in that place right now, I'm sorry, you're great, though.


@chickaboom Well, after dicking around on Google Translate for 25 seconds I have come up with Liebeleugnungfreude, which supposedly means "love denial joy."

@Marzipan I cosign your entire last sentence.


@travelmugs This made me laugh for about 30 seconds straight. Well done.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@Marzipan Uhhh that may have been exactly what I thought through all of high school. So I was like a boy, I guess? A boy that liked skirts and heels and other boys and thought all the other boys loved me (which is funny because I only ever dated/made out with virginal nerds)?


@miwome This is the most perfect and true sentence that has ever been written.

one cow.

I just love these so much. There are few things that I read that actually make me laugh out loud. But THESE! These, every time! Love.

one cow.

@one cow. AHHH, I didn't mean this to imply that The Hairpin isn't funny. Oh, dear. Everything is funny all the time, never change, Hairpin, I love you, upside-down stamp, etc!


K: Just write “MURDER,” and then one minute later send a wink face.

Oh Katie, you're my favourite.

Artressa Vandelay

@likethestore: I'd actually like to change the signature on my work e-mail to that! screw this regards and thank you business.


"Oh that’s funny, because sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I snuck into his house and filled his mouth with caterpillar cocoons while he slept."

AAAAAAHHHHHHH yes, I feel this way too, sometimes.

bouncy castle

"filled his mouth with caterpillar cocoons while he slept" is making me laugh in little violent spasms that hurt really bad because my ballet teacher made us do ab work in class yesterday aaahhh oww


@bouncy castle It made me snort laugh desperately in my office. I had to pretend to have a coughing fit and run to the bathroom.

Julie the T

This is my favorite thing on the internet. It is always the funniest/most awesome thing I've read all week! Always! Please keep doing Reading Between the Texts forever and ever! Thanks.


"E: Also, what about that time when I was actually trying to date him? Because he didn’t seem all that interested in finding out what would happen then!
K: I feel like boys do this a lot. I mean, honestly. Get a different hobby.
E: Seriously. Like, what, you like me a lot more now that we never see each other in person and barely ever speak?"

It is a genius variation on the theme of "It's not a compliment to tell me you think I am really cool and pretty, but not cool and pretty enough to, you know, make an effort for."


@PistolPackinMama If I were to Tumbl, my Tumblr would be named "If I'm So Awesome, Why Won't You Date Me?" and it would be filled with nothing but examples of fuckwittery like the above.


@MoxyCrimeFighter Please do this. Tumblr is waiting.


@PistolPackinMama I would subscribe to that Tumblr.


@PistolPackinMama My dude friend calls this "digging for a bone" - like a dog will come back around digging to see if that bone he buried is still there. He doesn't want the bone, he just wants to make sure it's still there.


@MoxyCrimeFighter Oh man, I had a sad really drunk night where I annoyed my friends with my equivalent of that tumblr: "My life is cute! Why won't anyone come share it?" My friends are saints for putting up with this.


@parallel-lines Ugh this is so apt!

Alibi Jones

Dibs on Human Spam as a Halloween costume!




“This is an ex that I hope gets buried in the desert like Aladdin, only he doesn’t ever get out”

This is the most amazing thing I've ever read on the internet. Ever.


J: Then there needs to be a "reason" box that pops up for defriending. And you’d have to explain, like, "This is an ex that I hope gets buried in the desert like Aladdin, only he doesn’t ever get out," or whatever. And then Facebook takes any contact information you two had for each other away.

I wish I was a computer programmer for this very reason. Facebook/Tumblr/Twitter/web sites that suggest "people you may know!" need some kind of algorithm to keep two people who have lots of friends in common but are not friends with each other from popping up in each other's "you should follow" lists. I unfollowed my ex-boyfriend on Tumblr for a reason, STOP SUGGESTING I FOLLOW HIS STUPID ALL-CAPS RANTS ABOUT THE DETROIT TIGERS AND HIS FUCKING VIBRAM FIVE FINGERS. (That said, if Tumblr keeps bothering me with his stupid blog they have to be annoying him with me too, so I guess that's OK.)

Porn Peddler

@Clare I just had a moment of facebook rage over seeing some tiny mention of a woman that I loathe with a white-hot blind fury that remains inexplicable even given good reasons to hate her...my rage, though, is just...out of control. I'm pretty sure she has been suggested as a friend and what have you, and FUCKING RAGE SPIRAL


@Clare Off topic: FUCK those shoes. They are not made for people with abnormal toes! I feel slighted!


@Third Wave Housewife I'm...well, I must say, I'm intrigued.

Does Axl have a jack?

@Clare I am (kind of) a computer programmer, and am therefore convinced that whoever made the Facebook friend suggestion algorithm is an evil genius. Exhibits A and B: my ex mother-in-law (no friends in common) and a boyfriend-ish's incredibly, stupidly, insecure-making-ly hot ex. Constantly.


@Third Wave Housewife
Oh my gosh, there is this PERSON. And if anyone killed her, I am like 75% vegetarian, but I would eat her whole body so they wouldn't get caught. That's how much.


@Third Wave Housewife I am right there with you. Thousand fiery suns, wish she'd fall on a bunch of knives, etc.


@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Same, also can't do toe socks (conjoined toes).


@Inkcrafter And if anyone killed her, I am like 75% vegetarian, but I would eat her whole body so they wouldn't get caught. That's how much. I am literally weeping with laughter right now. Amazing.


@Clare Seriously, facebooks STOP THAT. Facebook feels the need to tell me that I should friend someone from high school who passed away in May (and who I hadn't been in touch with for years, and so this suggestion is kind of years too late), which is like the biggest dick move ever, FACEBOOK


Guys you are not taking me seriously.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@Third Wave Housewife OMG YES. My high school, uh... frenemesis? Her name ALWAYS comes up when I type in her first name in the search (because it is also the first name of my pseudo-sister, who I am actually Facebook friends with and actually interact with on Facebook). And Bitch Girl's name always shows up ABOVE the sister-type! WHAT IS THIS FACEBOOK I DO NOT WANT TO RECONCILE WITH HER GIVE IT UP.

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@Inkcrafter I am taking it seriously, because I understand this Feeling.


@Inkcrafter I hurt my throat trying not to laugh out loud at that and get busted reading the hairpin at work.

Oh, my lord. The accuracy!


K: Just write “MURDER,” and then one minute later send a wink face.



"I've just really been wanting to kiss you"...I really think that might be some kind of text-spam. Unless it's a Thing now that boys are doing? Because....Whisky Guy does that (or similar) about every three weeks or so. And then can never work out his schedule in order to facilitate, you know...actually kissing me.


@CleverPseudonym Maybe it's some sort of Rich Santos-driven plot?


@Ophelia It might be. I hadn't considered that. I've been out of the dating pool for about 5 years, so just assumed it was Something New the Kids Are Doing. It's not my favorite, I'll be honest.


@CleverPseudonym RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICH! What happened to our Rich Santos music column? Come back Rich! I think, I think I love you?

RIIIIIIIIIIIICH! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiich? Rich!


@franceschances I've just really been wanting to read your music column.




@emilylouise Sometimes I just wonder what would happen if this column and I dated...


@wee_ramekin All I have to say is careful what you text it.


oh how i've missed you

Katie Scarlett

The "actually" people! They're terrible!


@Katie Scarlett

Incandescent rage! They don't necessarily mean to, but they sound so damn arrogant!

Reginal T. Squirge

@Diana Oscar Nuñez?

Lily Rowan

@Katie Scarlett Actually, no they aren't.



@Katie Scarlett Actually, the "literally" people are, literally, the worst people in the entire history of the world. They literally make my head explode.


@Katie Scarlett UGH I have a friend who starts every sentence with "basically" and I KNOW it's because he has trouble putting his thoughts together and it is an unconscious stall technique but it still drives me crazy and then I end up DOING IT TOO and driving myself crazy.

J Walter Weatherman

@mabellegueule My roommate ends every CLAUSE of every sentence with "or whatever" (e.g. "We could go to the store or whatever and pick up some apples or whatever and then come home and cook dinner or whatever.") and it is seeping into my soul and driving me mad.


@Katie Scarlett What about people who preface questions with "I was just gonna ask" or statements with "I was just gonna say?" I think they are ACTUALLY the worst.


@J Walter Weatherman
That one sounds like me when I am talking to a hot prospect. "I'm going to this poetry reading or whatever in case you also had to go for class or whatever and if you wanted to sit together or whatever I'm bringing oreos. Or, whatever you want. Whatever." is probably a conversation I have had.


@Katie Scarlett @Bene
The "literally" and "actually" people always make me wonder if they're using those words to tag the stuff they say that isn't total horseshit, as opposed to the rest, which is?


Oh my god guys I ACTUALLY do this all the time.



@Inkcrafter In all seriousness, I actually have to take the word whatever out of my vocabulary. It is literally my most overused/worst hedging word.

Katie Heaney

@redheadedandcrazy um I say "literally" alllllllll the time, which I feel is cool as long as you're not a juicebox about it


@mabellegueule I have a rebuttal! I used to know a guy who would respond to every use of "literally" with a horrible smug smirk and, "Oh really? You're LITERALLY going to [blah blah]? LITERALLY?" I don't even misuse "literally," so it was always directed at other people, but he was just such an asshole about it that I literally wanted to stab him in the balls every time.

Katie Scarlett

@dipsomaniacal I HATE HIM




@mayonegg YES. THIS. And there are at least two in every class I've ever taken, it feels like.


oh! there are to many favs to pick a fav. how about just noting how GENUINELY EXCITED I AM to see it back.

Katie Scarlett

@deb Agreed. This Reading Between the Texts was a goldmine. Perhaps the best yet?


@Katie Scarlett yes! I thought it was THE BEST YET, but was hesitant to write, so it would not be confused with my eagerness to just read them all the time. You have made me confident though. Def the best yet!


My new hobby: dating two different girls who are friends and then treating them differently (e.g. the flowers).


@Andy Dangerous The Koran warns against this- if you are going to marry more than woman, it is forbidden unless you know you can financially and emotionally can treat them all equally.

And you can only be with four, so make sure you pick wisely.

(This comes to you from Ask the Text of a Major Mono-theistic Religion...)


@PistolPackinMama Duly noted, but I prefer poly. Mono's for the squares. Also, I'm not sure that this sort of dating would be sustainable for long enough that marriage would be an issue.


@Andy Dangerous Considering it's a recipe for the slighted lady to get angry and MURDER. ;)


@Moxie I am thinking, that it's less the legal/religious state of your relationship/s that is the comparable situation here. It's more that, if you are seeing more than one lady, the ladies are consenting to this state of affairs, and you don't treat the ladies equitably as you all define it, the serenity and peace of your personal life will be severely disrupted.

Or, as The Everpresent Wordsnatcher suggests... MURDER.


@PistolPackinMama Oh, I sort of thought that this was an experiment. Science before self or something. Also, doesn't NO IT'S FINE kind of preclude MURDER?

Ham Snadwich

@Andy Dangerous (zomg, names are confusing) - Gotta have a control group. Still might get murdered either way, which might affect your results.


@Andy Dangerous (zomg, names are confusing)

Wellll, the issue here is this part: "and you don't treat the ladies equitably as you all define it."

Just cause y'all agree on how things should be between you doesn't mean all parties will act as they agreed they would/should.

Or, the dude in the texts is just being a choad, because it never occurred to him that these things might, you know, matter. Or it did occurr and he doesn't care.

Either way... MURDER


@Andy Dangerous (zomg, names are confusing)
"NO IT'S FINE" is just girl-code for "MURDER". Are you seriously the last guy on earth to realize this?


@MoonBat Sorry team, I thought a little tongue-in-cheek regarding the absurdity of differential treatment of two girls who are friends (of each other) and lovers (of choadtexter) would be great. We're now bordering on obnoxious trolling so I might have to pull out. The stupid internets can't convey my arid wit.
Who even dates two girls who are friends anyway? Is there any possible way for that to work out well? Outside of some sort of fantasy, I mean.


@Andy Dangerous (zomg, names are confusing) I am aiming for funny tounge in cheek AND also accurate social commentary.

(Also, I suppose dating two friends etc etc is possible, maybe even nicely. But to me it sounds like The Rom Com From The Tenth Circle Of Dating Hell. So I'm thinking the best thing to do there would be pass. Or... MURDER.


@PistolPackinMama MURDER


@Andy Dangerous (zomg, names are confusing) ;)

femme cassidy

@PistolPackinMama Two of my dearest friends dated the same guy AT THE SAME TIME. They had a whole big Conversation about how it was Totally Okay and everyone would be Respectful and whatnot and, of course, three weeks later they are both crying and I am calmly explaining to Dudebro that, for the sake of all of our emotional well-being, he and I can no longer be friends and also I'm going to have to eviscerate him with this rusty spatula.


@femme cassidy oy. Yes. Hell. Tenth circle of. The one where your heart freezes and shatters into icy, icy shreds.

femme cassidy

@PistolPackinMama Conversation with Dude Who Made Two Of My Friends Cry:

Him: I'm probably the worst person in the world to be giving you advice...
Me: You could have stopped at "I'm the worst person in the world," and I would have agreed with you.
Him: (saddest face I have ever seen on anyone who wasn't a cartoon puppy dog)


@femme cassidy You: *takes picture* ah yes, this will bring me great pleasure for years to come

and then a wink


Despite there being absolutely no possibility of my ever meeting the classroom "Actually" blowhard, the fact that he immediately put up an
"in a relationship" status on Facebook makes me angry. Hm.


@BoozinSusan I assumed that he was ALREADY in a relationship and just didn't mention that before the makeout sesh. That's why he wasn't looking for anything because he already has it!

Katie Heaney

@Rosebudddd You would think, but that actually gives actually guy too much credit. :(


This is hilarious but I'm afraid it doesn't help my already overly-cautious and overly-analytic practice of texting ladies. There's so many ways to misconstrue shit! No, it's fine, just keep it light and funny (pep talk).


"Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we dated."

Translation: I was a wishy-washy asshole but I just wanted to make sure you would still sleep with me, you know, if I decided I wanted to do that kind of thing.


@parallel-lines so true.


@parallel-lines like, like, like, a thousand times LIKE!


@parallel-lines This makes me livid. It's not even a question, like. What would happen? DATING, PROBABLY! WHAT DO YOU THINK, WORLD PEACE?


@rayray A cure for HPV, effective talks about the separation wall in Israel/Palestine, a precipitous drop in maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, and a prosecution for war crimes of Gee-Dub.

That dude has no sense of social obligation, clearly.

(Also... I know, right. We would go out and do fun stuff and be nice to each other and make out because while we are all special special snowflakes, generally dating tends to follow a recognizable trend. How stupid is that guy?)


@PistolPackinMama Unless he's actually some sort of you from the future or past or something. Maybe when you finally lean in for a kiss you'd tear a big gaper through spacetime and really fuck things up.
But probably dating.


@Andy Dangerous (zomg, names are confusing) Soooo... you're saying the dude is... Matt Smith/ David Tennant/ Chris Eccleston? And that I am the Doctor?

If so, I'll risk a little rupture in the fabric of space-time. It'll make a hell of a Live-Tweet documentary.


@PistolPackinMama Also, that would mean I am a choad.

Oh dear.


@PistolPackinMama choadtexter? I'm getting confused.


@Andy Dangerous (zomg, names are confusing) wibbly wobbly, timey wimey


@PistolPackinMama Would you please film that for... a friend. I need it for a friend.


Ahhhhhhhh!! This makes me SO HAPPY. I love reading between the texts, these were particularily great.


My favorite part of this is the nicknames for the dudes. BECAUSE I DO THAT TOO.

Turkish ballet dancer, part-time mortician, Segway guy... Yep. What are some of YOURS?


@aproprose Mysterious Hat Guy


@aproprose Sawdust Man


@aproprose The Cabbage Patch Kid. "Patches" for short.


@aproprose The Dude With the Dragon Tattoo


@aproprose 'The old one', 'the one who doesn't wear shoes', 'the small one', 'potato guy'...

The Lady of Shalott

@drunkennoodle Tooth Licker, Denny's Waiter, World's Worst Second Cup Barista (although he was just "World's Worst" in the phone)

raised amongst catalogs

@aproprose One New Year's Eve about seven years ago, a guy came up to me and, without a word, took my hand and led me to the dance floor. We dance for about four songs straight, without ever speaking, and then parted ways without so much as a "hello." Because he was both mute and a cutie, I dubbed him The Mutie.


@drunkennoodle This made me laugh out loud at my desk.


@AudreyStapina glasses guy, goatee guy, man of many shirts, Zima guy (I am old, and had terrible taste in make-out partners in my 20s).


@aproprose PTB...Pierced Tongue Boy. AND HE DIDN'T EVEN PUT IT TO GOOD USE. Four years later, I'm still annoyed.


@aproprose Laundry Girl! Scottish Laird. Jesus Penis.


@aproprose Tiny House, Freelance Botanist, Haircut, Dolphin Man, Mr. Worldwide, the list goes on and on and on.


@Apocalypstick 'splain, please, re: Jesus Penis. Did it have a beard? Walk on water? Was actually black even though everyone assumed it would be white?


@Ophelia hahaha this comment is amazing.


@drunkennoodle Me and my friend had codenames for the entire staff of a bar once. We wanted to do at least 50% of them so it counts. Their names were Fluffy, Short Boy, The Cat in the Hat, Jeremy's Brother, Jeremy's Fake Brother, Bouncer A, Bouncer B, Bouncer C, Bouncer WTF, The Real Bouncer B, The Child Catcher and, inexplicably, Cunt.


@rayray Beige, Human Anime Pillow, He Thinks You're Good Enough to Kiss but not Enough to Date. There are more.


@PistolPackinMama HAH I thought of others: Bandana Man, Cokehead, Scandinavia.


@aproprose The best one was for the worst guy: a guy I dated in college who my friends called the Rock 'N Roll Boyfriend. I didn't really like him very much, but I think I kept it up for the nickname. There was also the musician who dumped me that a friend dubbed The Guy Who Loved Bluegrass More Than He Loved You. And The Sweater Guy and Mr. Unibrow and The Most Awkward Boy In The Universe.

A couple years ago, at a bar in Brooklyn, I met a guy with a ridiculous ironic Williamsburg-asshole moustache that, as I told the friend who was with me at the time, made him look like my uncle. So we called him the Moustache Guy.

Reader, I('m) marry(ing) him.


@aproprose Oooooooooooh this old game. Let's see...I've got:

• Ugly/Hot Mike (he was ugly and hot)
• Breast Biter (and not in a good way...)
• Chicken Fingers (our code name for a no-neck football player in college who brayed "CHIKKUN FINGURS!!!!!!" upon the sight of said meats and then proceeded to take the entire pan)
• Asshole Brian
• The Racist (we got rid of him right quick)
• Blue Lights Guy
• Shane-Gay (any ladies who have seen The L-word will understand this one)

and finally....

• TSG [Taco Shack Girl (soooooooooooooooooooob)]

raised amongst catalogs

@aproprose I just remembered that I had a Tiny Tim. Tiny, because of...well. AKA, Is-It-In Tim.

ETA: He was great but his commitment issues drove me to mock his junk.


@wee_ramekin this makes me suspect that my friends are calling me chicken fingers behind my back!


@redheadedandcrazy I knew a guy, freshman year of college. We were in Oedipus together. He was tall, waify, and cute. We made eyes at each other during rehearsals, and had pun wars afterward. Because I was sure he was gay, I dubbed him "my gay soulmate." Well, turns out he wasn't gay, and after a rather passionate makeup session, he became "my non-gay soulmate."
Also, other nicknames for guys: Shoeless Ben (the philosopher), Douchey McSloan (an MIT guy). In middle school, "Darb." Making a massive assumption that no one would figure out that we were talking about our classmate Brad...


@aproprose Tank Top, Sasquatch, Pompy (he had a pompadour), The Stripper, and Married Guy.

Katie Scarlett

@vanillawaif I have a Tiny Tim but it's this one girl I know who is awful AND who very closely resembles the ukelele player and novelty song singer from the 1970s, Tiny Tim.


@aproprose Hmm let's see. I seem to exclusively nickname the boys I've dated and hooked up with and rarely reference them by their real names. I've got Flipper (walked with his toes out), Shrinkydinks (for obvs reasons), Mike 1, Mike 2 (and 3 and 4), the Neighbor, Backwards Hat Boy, Army Boy.... the list goes on.


@rayray <3 "The Real Bouncer B"


@klibberfish He was way more badass than the original. What were we to do.

raised amongst catalogs

@Katie Scarlett Oh, dear, how unfortunate!


@aproprose - catboy, gay morrissey, physics guy, edward cullen jacket guy, fantastic mr. fox, senor bana del ray (he wears ray-ban hipster glasses), monkey on crack, sleepy babe, bialann babe, cat babe, classics babe, awkwardly hungry babe, musical ron, and the feral dick wildebeest*.

(the babes, ron, and the wildebeest are members of a group called the seven deadly babes composed of attractive strangers at my friends' college which they have challenged themselves to befriend or seduce. i think they've gotten five out of seven currently.)


@aproprose I have a passing crush on someone lately I can only think of as The Fishmonger because I don't actually know his name, only where he works, ugh.
The last time I saw him was at the bus stop though, but Bus Stop Dude just doesn't have the same ring to it.


@aproprose gchat boyfriend, rock climber, and dump truck guy

Chesty LaRue

@aproprose Pineapplehead, Revvin' Kevin, Blue Jay, Dozer

the angry little raincloud

@aproprose Nipple Boy. Hot Bike Man. The Young Banker (I'm not young). Bag Check Guy (reminder: I'm not young. Why do I date guys who are bag checkers?). So many more...


@aproprose I ALWAYS DO THIS. Recent examples: Tiny Dancer, Puffy Jacket, Extremely Cute Basketball Guy, Puffy Vest, John Deer Salesman, Half-Asian Mathematician Pot Dealer, Toilet.


@aproprose Ugly NASA Intern, Smokey McSmokerson


@Ophelia Sadly it is not as good as any of those options (though now I'm trying to imagine a water-walking penis, thanks), it was a contraction of his defining characteristics being a) very, very, scarily religious b) kind of a dick c) mind-searingly hot.


@aproprose jello, blondie, biology boy

ayo nicole

@aproprose hoodie stains

Manchester Tart

@aproprose Tall Boy, Plane Boy, Half Man Half Beast (one of his arms was incredibly hairy and the other was not?), the feathery stroker, bus-type head, the infant (far too young for me), Old Steve and New Steve, as well as just 'Steve'.


@rayray I definitely had a "The Cat In The Hat", once. We shortened it to CITH, though.


There are so many nicknames. Horse, Kittenface, Roo, Blondie, Smarties, CITH(aka The Cat In The Hat), Mother, Brother, Cupboard Boy, Lost, HotGoth, Texas, The Frog Prince, Minion, Goggles... Wow. I haven't even thought of these names in years. I'm sure there was more.


Just when I thought this feature could not get any funnier...it is my favorite thing on the Internet. Why do boys always do THIS?

E: Seriously. Like, what, you like me a lot more now that we never see each other in person and barely ever speak?
K: I find that’s when I’m at my most appealing as well.


@drunkennoodle And if you are moving to a different state or another city too far to sustain any kind of newer relationship, they will be ALL OVER you, confessing secret crushes they have harbored for many years.

Or so I've heard.


@Bebe It's like they have a sixth sense that says "Oh, you're finally almost over me? I should probably text you something vaguely flirtatious completely out of the blue and then start ignoring you again a week later."


@drunkennoodle What IS that? Do they teach at Super Secret Dude School?


@drunkennoodle OK OK OK but it's not like you ladiez don't ALSO pull this shit! BECAUSE YOU DO! It's the human condition to desire what you can't attain. Or something.


@Bebe Ohmygod, a boy did this to me, and I didn't realize it until reading your comment just now. So true!!! Stupid boys.


@Emby Excuse me, but I make my love and affection clear through numerous drunk texts and unambiguous facebook late-night messages.


@drunkennoodle yeah I don't know what the eff is up with this shit, but I've experienced it too and LIKE @Smallison didn't even realize it was happening at the time! Ohhhh FML.


@drunkennoodle "I should probably just randomly email (email?!) you that stupid photo of the two of us with the SpongeBob Squarepants mascot along with a message of how I care about you." Thank you for that.


@lora.bee Goes well with "I should probably text you a year after our first date and let you know that I'm at that restaurant again. And then tell you I remember how good the burger was."


@drunkennoodle "I'll just facebook message you at an emotional time of the year, and tell you I know how hard this time of year is for you, and how I'm thinking of you."



@Craftastrophies Also, I will sign this missive with "Love, [my name]"



This just makes me wish I was in college again....a goldmine of fuckwittery texts.


@c8te oh gah I am an OLD because most of us didn't even have cell phones until after we graduated! still, I am making up for lost time with gallons of fucketyfuck texts.


@thisisunclear Yeah, sad I don't still have my phone from then. But old facebook messages live forever!


@thisisunclear YOU'RE old? We barely had the telephone when I was in college. Reading between the telegrams was not such a fun game.


@pinkmoon Imagine if Katie had been a telegram operator person and then she could give you her interpretation of each telegram you got, when you got it! That would be marvelous. Katie Heaney, born too late.

Katie Heaney

@c8te oh believe me, I punch myself EVERYDAY for not cataloguing every last text I/my friends received back in college. I know there are SO many more that have just been buried in the sands of time (??)


@Katie Heaney Remember when cell phones held like, 50 texts, and you had to go through every couple months and do a purge. A fun activity with friends.


@c8te And remember when you only got 50 texts over the course of a couple months??


The only appropriate response to that first text is, "You wish."

Inspector Tiger

aaah, I was so excited to see this post, and then all my expectations where fulfilled and more. I'm so happy now. aaah.


These are awesome, I am crying laughing, I can't believe I never read these before other than the little thing about my pathetic and horrible gender being the butt of every joke. But hey.








@Inconceivable! With your icon, this is the best thing ever.


@Inconceivable! Murder?! That is INCONTHEIVABLE.

the angry little raincloud

"C: I mean, I don’t want to date him and I don’t want him to want to date me, but I also don’t want him to want to date anyone else, or ever be happy."

This! This! A million times, always this!


I would totally text back either MURDER or GENOCIDE with a wink face. Even if I liked him, cuz that's how I roll, lol.


@Megan Patterson@facebook "GENOCIDE" followed, a few minutes later, by "lol" also works.


I think Katie might be one of the funniest people alive, judging by how hard I laugh every time I read Reading Between the Texts.

Anita Ham Sandwich

Ahh, I'm going to steal "angaroused!"

In exchange, I offer "hangry." For when you're hungry and angry.
And my favorite, "hornery." For when you're horny and ornery about not getting any right that second.

Creature Cheeseman

@Anita Ham Sandwich My friendgroup does hangry (for some reason it is almost always in reference to wanting fried chicken). I can't wait to bring them hornery.


@m.cat Hornery is exactly the word I needed on the weekend, to explain to my boyfriend why his behaviour was not appropriate. Thank you.

Atheist Watermelon

What is wrong with these men?!?!?!?! I vote stuff ALL their mouths with caterpillar cocoons. Although granted, they've supplied you with some amazing material, these are hilarious... So maybe just keep them all in a cage and only let them out when you're going to do another of these posts. :-D


Winky face is aaaaalways part of my text-related advice giving. I just never thought to put it with MURDER!!! before.

Lili L.

HUMAN SPAM!!! Brilliant!!!


@Lili L. I'm gonna call people "Spam juice" and see how that goes. Or wait, Spambox.


If there was ever Hairpin Reading Between the Texts Merchandise, I would probably buy some.

Katie Heaney

@theharpoon in my dream world I am also a boomerang cell phone manufacturer/vendor so I'll keep you updated on that.


I have a suggestion for thehairpin2.0:
We need blood pressure readings to go along with comments. They could be numeric or even descriptive, like "cool as a cucumber," or "I'M LITERALLY PUNCHING YOUR STUPID AVATAR ON MY MONITOR AND NOW MY KNUCKLES ARE BLEEDING AND..."


@Andy Dangerous (zomg, names are confusing) mine would likely be set to "MURDER" at all times and as such, would probably factor against me in matters such as health insurance premiums & court hearings


I just wanted to share that I have a "Reading Between the Texts" song. Like, a song that makes me think of this column that I also listen to when reading. And it is PERFECT. LOL by Little Jackie. Seriously, the refrain is:
"LOL I text your cell, gotta spell out 'go to hell', toss you in the trash, then reduce you to an acronym, 'wtf' you reply, I laughed so hard I almost cried, beat ya to the punch line, broke your heart before you broke mine"

Katie Heaney

@MissMushkila !!!!!


I've been human spam and had my mouth filled with caterpillar cocoons. I feel it's a really important experience to go through if one wants to not totally suck for all of life (given that one actually learns the lesson which is maybe like "lol" amirite?).


God I had such an awful, shitty week and this made it so much better. The part about Aladdin? And your family/Mark Zuckerberg waiting in the kitchen? Amazing. Please be my friends.


I need you to know that I participated in bar trivia for the first time last night and insisted upon naming my team "Team Murder" in honor of this column. That "Murder" ";)" text series is my favorite idea EVER.

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