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Thursday, October 4, 2012

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309 Days of Unanswered Texts

Texting can be like a reverse Brigadoon, with people emerging from and disappearing into the fog. Sometimes my phone registers an incoming text on duplicate: Hey! Hey! But sort of like email threads where you can now tell — whoa! you've spent 17 emails just figuring out which movie to see with your friend! — text logs can be eerily distilling things. Have you really not texted that friend since 2010? Sometimes you notice how someone replies almost entirely with the same text (I have a correspondence consisting almost entirely of "amazing"s and smileyfaces). But nothing is quite so haunting as being on either side of a one-way conversation. I'm reminded of that Police lyric about 100 billion bottles washed up on the shore, 100 billion castaways looking for a home. Here, as an object and kind of meditation, is one such conversation, from a friend of a friend of a friend's girlfriend, who was nice enough to give her number to a guy.

Richard Morgan's phone has four blank texts from someone identified as "!" that are all from December 31, 1969, at 6:59 p.m. He is too scared to respond to them.



131 Comments / Post A Comment

Briony Fields

This....is beautiful.

Beatrix Kiddo

@Briony Fields And...a little scary.

beatrix

This is pretty much the best article@l

evil melis

pool party

this and every Sunday

hey

hey

do you have fb

pool party

gonna have a pool party

2 to 8

this sunday

every sunday

ceaseless pool parties

parties without end or consequence

no escape

iknowright

@evil melis

infinity pool

The Lady of Shalott

@evil melis It's like Texts from a Ghost That Drowned And Wants You To Drown Too (With a $10 Cover Charge)

wee_ramekin

@evil melis Who is coming to this guy's pool parties?!?! I really doubt that he has enough friends to fill an entire pool every Sunday.

I sense that had the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend's girlfriend showed up, she would have found that it was just her and this guy in a darkened jacuzzi, with no one to hear her scream...

The Lady of Shalott

@wee_ramekin AND who CHARGES their friends $10 a head to go swimming in his pool??? I was hoping that it was like, a "Pool Party" at a club or something where women could wear bikinis. But everything about this is mysterious.

hands_down

@evil melis It's like you just rewrote "Less Than Zero" for the Facebook age. Bravo.

City_Dater

@evil melis

I just tried beatboxing under this in my mind and it sounded really good. This guy should play it at his "partys."

City_Dater

@The Lady of Shalott

He's probably an "event promoter" -- I'm picturing any one of several disgusting rooftop hotel pools, full of icky people who are thrilled to pay $10 a head to listen to terrible music in their bathing suits.

fondue with cheddar

My computer sometimes does this funky thing where it changes all the fonts in my gmail. Right now everything's italic so it looks like I have an inbox full of emails from @evil melis and A Ghost.

Titania

@wee_ramekin He's a party promoter. It's less creepy when you think of this as, say, a rooftop hotel pool in NYC that is basically a daytime nightclub.

MilesofMountains

@Titania Nope, I think "NYC nightclub where you float around in the filth and body secretions of the other club goers" is still pretty horrifying.

Emby

Guy, if you're inviting a lady to a pool party, just comp her the damn $10, geez!

VDRE

Especially after the post the other day about "Ms." I am confused as to why this guy thinks he can get a girl to text him back by saying "Hey miss". I guess it's really not much worse than "hey girl" but it feels worse.

Genghis Khat

@VDRE It's feels very ESL.

iffie

@VDRE it's totally summer heights high!

Bloodrocuted

@Genghis Khat "I thought 'Miss' was formal-polite!"
"Yeah, only if you are LITERALLY a maidservant in the middle ages."

BoozinSusan

@iffie THANK YOU! I had the voice of that character saying "hey miss hey miss hey miss" in my head and couldn't figure out where it was from! Whew.

aliceandstuff

I never get texts from my friends, somehow I completely missed out on that part of culture.

KeLynn

@aliceandstuff - I get texts mostly for "practical" communications. Like "the address is X" or "I'm running 5 min late" or "I got us a table in the back." But actually getting/sending texts to "chit chat"? Me either.

every tomorrow@twitter

@aliceandstuff I have one friend I text, and mostly we either send each other photos of funny things or call each other names. Or talk each other out of buying things. There is some occasional TELL ME NOT TO BUY THESE SHOES *PHOTO*

Other than that yeah it's all "I'm going to be late" or "I'm outside open the door".

fondue with cheddar

I'm so embarrassed for this guy.

Also, my computer did the December 31, 1969 thing once. Wacky.

professionalmess

@fondue with cheddar (formerly jen325) Mine too! What is that? Did they invent date stamps on 12/31/69 or something?

Emby

@professionalmess It's the day before UNIX launched!

iceberg

ughhhh i am the person who texts/messages people and then realises wayyyyy later that they don't text back and are NOT interested.

depressing

wee_ramekin

@iceberg Are you also a person who then continues to text for a year after you have received no response? 'Cuz if not, I think you're good, iceburgie o' my heart.

paddlepickle

There's a guy I was casually involved with very briefly who texts me the words "What's up?" approximately every three months. I am very curious to see if this trend continues until one or both of us dies.

Katie Heaney

@paddlepickle nooooooooooooo

paddlepickle

@Katie Heaney He switched to 'what's up' after his initial "Horny?" was met with a tepid (nonexistent) response.

Katie Heaney

@paddlepickle NOOOOOOOOOOOO

paddlepickle

@Katie Heaney I can never decide if I should respond and tell him to go away, or continue to not respond and see if he actually does this for the rest of our lives. Tough decisions!

Katie Heaney

@paddlepickle oh he will. he will. I'm a big fan of CONFRONTATIONS and TEXTING SASS. but maybe that's just me.

flanhoodles

@paddlepickle I met a guy at a club, and we exchanged numbers. We ended up at the same outdoor concert and made plans to meet in the beer garden (via text, obv). He saw me, looked me over and literally leapt over the beer garden fence, to never be seen again.

Yet still, once every few weeks, I get a text from him that says some variation of "Whuts up?"

cecil hungry

@flanhoodles I... there are no words for how this story makes me feel. Sad, maybe. Also laughter.

I used to get texts from an occasional fuck buddy that said only "sex?" It was especially fun when he would text my friends similar messages on the same night (differing orders though. Sometimes I would be the first [of my friends] he tried, sometimes 3rd or 4th). Did he think we wouldn't talk about these things?

flanhoodles

@cecil hungry You should mostly feel laughter. It was one of those things that was so much more absurd than it was insulting that I was able to laugh about it almost immediately. Plus, bad date blog fodder!

But, also, what is the deal with the dudes who send booty texts to multiple women in the same friend group?! We definitely talk about it. Duh.

paddlepickle

@flanhoodles I think dude-friends don't talk the way girl-friends do about stuff like that a lot of the time, so they don't realize. Like, my girlfriends are gonna know about it if some guy I went on one date with texts me "Hey what's up" (and will probably co-write the response), we are DEFINITELY gonna know about it if a guy texts all of us at the same time. But that may not be obvious to him.

Audley

@paddlepickle Seriously, the whole "if you send two ladies who are friends the exact same note, they're going to know about it" thing is a plot point in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Surely by now dudes should have figured out that's not a terribly great idea.

paddlepickle

@Audley I wish one of my friends had also slept with my 'what's-up-every-three-months' dude, because I am really curious to find out if those are all mass texts.

cecil hungry

@Audley To top it all off, 99% of the time we were all hanging out together when he tried it!

Harry: "Whatcha doin' C? Wanna come over?"
Cho Chang: "No thx, hanging out with Hermione and Ginny."

1 Minute Later
Harry: "Sex?"
Ginny: "..."

Mariajoseh

@paddlepickle 50% of my comments on the hairpin are about harry potter references, so it's my duty to tell you how much I loved this. (Alsoo, what the hell? does he mean it? isn't it like a not-so funny joke? I can't believe someone would do that!. But I guess that yes, of course some guys do that...)

Kulojam

@paddlepickle I have this. It is going on 8 YEARS. But he alternates his forms of communication: Facebook friend request, linked-in contact request, email message, text and so on. But I get one every 3 months, like clockwork. We went on maaayyyyybe 4 dates? In 2004.

Chesty LaRue

@paddlepickle My persistent "what's up" texter has recently missed his three-month appointment... He kept coming to town without telling me until the night before and then mad when I was busy, so that's what he gets, I suppose.
I like to think he got a little girlfriend who he texts "what's up" to when he wants to hang out.

itiresias

@Chesty LaRue when i first started dating my boyfriend, i ignored a few texts over a weekend from my occasional "whats up" fuck buddy. on saturday night they changed to "are you home tonight? are you at your apartment?" i didn't answer cause it was a little too weird and persistent for my taste/his usual behavior. i texted him in the morning "hey, i started seeing someone and it's getting pretty serious so you probably shouldn't text me those things anymore." he responded "i slept in the park by your house last night because i was locked out of my place and none of my friends would pick up their phones. but oh that's really awesome you're seeing someone, i'm so happy for you!!! good luck :) !!!"

OhMyGoshYouGuys

This guy says "Miss" a lot, therefore I'm reading the texts in the voice of Jonah from Summer Heights High.

iceberg

@OhMyGoshYouGuys ah this makes this a milllllllion times better

Lucienne

@OhMyGoshYouGuys The same thing made me hear Lauren Cooper.

iffie

@OhMyGoshYouGuys YES!

Katie Heaney

Oh jesus CHRIST!!!!!!!!! For pete's sake! Criminy! Jeez louise!

Reginal T. Squirge

Also terrible: When your friend reveals a GREAT TRUTH in a text, you respond and then... motherfucking crickets.

All I can think is, "Oh, no! My text made them hate me forever and now they'll never speak to me again!"

Emby

@Reginal T. Squirge That's "catastrophic thinking" in a nutshell. Hoo boy, anxiety is fun.

Reginal T. Squirge

It is also my ENTIRE LIFE in a nutshell.

Emby

@Reginal T. Squirge "Help help, I'm stuck in this enormous nutshell, how did I become trapped in this enormous nutshell" etc. etc.

Also, read this: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-face-adversity/201103/catastrophic-thinking

Reginal T. Squirge

GAH! It's like this Breazeale guy knows me! When it's not me thinking that my friend isn't answering because I've driven them away forever it's me thinking they're not answering because they must be dead.

Although, this doesn't keep me from acting. It motivates me to send 50,000 more (unanswered) texts hoping I can fix the catastophe that only exists in my head.

So... who wants to be my texting buddy?

faience

@Reginal T. Squirge This describes my current relationship with a close friend to a T. I dont hear from him for months, he sends me an epic text message, I text something back after much thought and 9 times out of 10 no response. Then depending on the nature of the great truth, I may frantically call him and leave a worried message that I also dont get a response to. Repeat every two-three months or so.

null

@Reginal T. Squirge Maybe your friend's drafts box is filled with texts they considered sending in response, but ultimately abandoned because none fully conveyed their thoughts.

raised amongst catalogs

@Emby That's what it's called? Good to know -- says the girl who lies awake many nights working out escape plans for the inevitable day her car ends up landing in a body of deep water.

raised amongst catalogs

@Reginal T. Squirge I love the tags on that article.

Tags: afghanistan, anxiety, bad weather, belief, catastrophe, catastrophic thinking, crisis situation, deployment, nbsp, o clock, police officer, ruminating, stress, traffic accidents, worst case

O CLOCK?!?

Emby

@this brave bird (formerly vanillawaif) It's always Anxiety O'Clock for the catastrophic thinker!

Maladydee

@Emby So I'm not the only one that does that! Catastrophic thinking is the worst, and it's a habit that I am only slowly starting to break/work around.

Danzig!

@Reginal T. Squirge This is my life as of this week. Seriously strains friendships, that catastrophic thinking.

Real talk warning: I went to see The Master and it brought up a lot of old suicidal depression (Awesome movie! Maybe not the best for people with longstanding PTSD issues) and it was real bad, so I walked around Manhattan trying to shake it off. Knowing that my best friend back home would set me straight, I called and left a message, saying that I was trying to get myself NOT to kill myself and I needed her help.

I have not yet received word from her. So that put me in a pretty terrible catastrophic thinking place. Best case: She's lost her phone and can't check voicemail. Worst case: She's decided I'm too fucked up to deal with and is ignoring me even when I plead with her to help me save my life. Shit sucks.

Lulu22

@Danzig! Holy crap. I hadn't made that connection, but the same thing happened to me after seeing that movie, except for the texting-a-friend part. I just drove around staring into the void and crying my face off in the dark and then went to bed. The next day sucked too, but I pulled out of it after that. If you're triggered again and can't undo it alone, you can always try calling a 24-hour crisis line. That way you immediately connect with someone who can talk you out of your mind-trap and your friendship doesn't start to get that sucky lopsided feeling that can happen when the darkness hits. Been on both sides of this one, so not preaching, just saying. I hope you're feeling better today.

Punk-assBookJockey

@Reginal T. Squirge Me too! I only recently realized that most people do not think "This could be the last time we ever see one another" when departing from loved ones, or immediately think that the worst has happened with every unexpected phonecall. The steps in the article are basically cognitive behavioral therapy, which is what my therapist helped me do and I have considerably less anxiety now.

chickaboom

@Danzig! this happened to me last week, where i got broken up with by my boyfriend of x years and tried desperately to reach my friend with 3 calls, a voicemail and a text. i was convinced she hated me and just didn't want to hear my shit. turns out she was in a part of her building that gets no service and she didn't receive any of it. when are we going to get cell phones to work all the time so that these weird social in betweens don't happen?

good luck & don't give up on her yet.

wee_ramekin

This really creeps me out. These texts went on for almost a year without response, and this guy just kept texting anyway. This might seem like a histrionic leap, but I feel like this is one of those guys who wouldn't stop if you were making out and told him "No".

bitzy

@wee_ramekin This is his attempt at spitting game / party promoting via mass text. He got her # and she went on some "possibilities" list that he sends all of those out to. The ones on FB get their messages that way, but these women have not divulged that info (I wonder why?) so they get the mass text treatment.

In college, there was an acquaintance of mine (who went by Firstname M. Lastname I, as in "the first" but he had no children...) who did this all the time to any girl whose number he had. Several times I was hanging out with a bunch of girlfriends and about half their phones go off at once with "Hey beautiful what r u doin?" Hilarious.

wee_ramekin

@bitzy I definitely think this is a promoter, but it's still creepy. Especially since he indicates in many of his texts that he knows she hasn't responded back, but keeps contacting her anyway. #shudder

skyslang

@wee_ramekin But she never did tell him to stop, so we'll never know if he would or not!

werewolfbarmitzvah

Okay, now that I see it in action, I do NOT like this "miss" thing one bit.

ayo nicole

I thought two weeks of this kind of behavior was bad. This is incredible.

muffalutta

I have a very, very similar collection of texts from a guy. We had one of those breakups where everyone leaves feeling not-angry and generally positive- I should have known it was too good to be true. I now get weekday afternoon texts asking if I want to "grab some dranks" or "kill a bottle of wine."

The Lady of Shalott

@muffalutta In fairness, weekday afternoons are the time I do most want to kill a bottle of wine.

yeah-elle

Ugh, I have this with Facebook messages. Once almost a year passed without a peep from him, and I thought I was free and clear...and then, lo and behold, he poked me, and then sent me a message asking if I'd like to be in a music video he was filming.

wee_ramekin

@yeah-elle Delete and block him!

paddlepickle

@yeah-elle I have a Facebook list called "Guys I Made Out With Once Who Will Not Go The Hell Away", and that list is blocked on my chat. Pro tip.

yeah-elle

@wee_ramekin Ugh, I would, but he's the housemate of a friend, and avoiding confrontation seems like my best bet...until my friend (or he) moves, in which case, deleted and blocked foreverrrrr.

@paddlepickle Oh man, I have chat turned off because that thing makes me break out in hives.

muffalutta

@yeah-elle also sometimes you want to pull up the messages and have a good chuckle? I'm an asshole.

paddlepickle

@muffalutta Yeah, and if I'm feeling like no boys like me I can be like 'well hey at least this one nincompoop does! Look at all these messages!' I'm pathetic, you're an asshole, wheee!

yeah-elle

@muffalutta "do you think im cute ? : )"

Ahhh I'm a huge juicebox :( :(

Chesty LaRue

@yeah-elle I had an ex-umfriend who I hadn't talked to in a year and a half and had deleted from FB (not blocked, rookie mistake) just randomly start messaging me here and there. He said Merry Christmas, so I reluctantly said same to you, which was clearly leading him on, because I got bi-weekly messages from him about whatever until I just sent back "unsubscribe," to which he sent a huffy reply and hasn't tried again.

yeah-elle

@Chesty LaRue "Unsubscribe"!! Cackling over here.

bridgethegap

am i the only one that got the impression he's just a really crappy/desperate party promoter?

City_Dater

@bridgethegap

You are not the only one.

He's that guy who leaves hair gel smears when he hugs you. And he hugs everyone.

TheclaAndTheSeals

@bridgethegap Yeah, this screamed event promoter to me.

bridgethegap

@City_Dater ugh, that guy!

Slutface

Currently dealing with boyfriend who used to text me good morning and goodnight everyday for four months straight, but for the last month, I'm lucky if I get so much as an email from him. I think we're over?

cecil hungry

@Slutface Maybe he went over his allotted text messages and racked up a huge bill. Or it's over. Or his fingers fell off?

muffalutta

@Slutface You probably haven't been inviting him to enough partys and spots lately.

Slutface

@muffalutta Or happy hours nxt thursday?

Judith Slutler

@Slutface idk, I totally go through "must text goodnight" phases and then think "eh, this is probably getting annoying" and then quit for a while? I should ask my boyfriend whether he thinks we're over whenever I cool off on the goodnight texts!

Chesty LaRue

@Slutface I got phased out by my four/five month (ex-)boyfriend too! Want to be bffs?

Slutface

@Slutface Yes! Those cowards!

Chesty LaRue

@Slutface Check the HFC if you're on there!

lora.bee

I don't believe I had ever told a guy that he could "txt" me to invite me to "partys and spots".

Maybe I am missing out?

fabel

@lora.bee I'm betting she didn't tell him, but he suggested it.

"Can I get yo numbaa?"

"uh...actually, I have a boyfriend."

"Nah miss, just to you know, let you know where the parties & spots are at."

*sigh* "Sure..."

Titania

@lora.bee No, you're not missing out. If I had the texting charges from every club promoter who I gave my number to between the ages of 21 and 23, I'd take myself to Paris for a week.

lora.bee

@fabel This is my new line.

"Can I get yo numba?"

"Only if you promise to txt me to invite me to partys and spots!!"

Blackwatch Plaid

Hey

Hey girl

Hey girl I'm having a pool partty for the cool kids at my school

We have popcorn, hot dog buns, and hamburger patties

Ur on the list bb

Lol u got fb?

frigwiggin

That song was the only thing that made this better. Holy guacamole!

Blackwatch Plaid

@frigwiggin We've got chips! So come take a dip, cuz my pool rips!

space opera

He sort of seems like a club promoter, because of the whole list thing? Which should theoretically make it less creepy-- his job is to find a bunch of ladies to fill up the club, so it isn't like he is only stalking her alone-- but ultimately the whole practice is somewhat creepy, so never mind. My friend gets texts from a club promoter about upcoming events and he ALWAYS uses hashtags. You can't use twitter hashtags in actual conversation!!

mystique

So...is there a possibility of too many texts over a span of time? Is like 3 unanswered texts REALLY BAD over a couple days??

The problem is I like Emma Watson am a "mad texter." Also a student with a lack of motivation to interact with actual people :/

paddlepickle

@mystique Kinda depends on your relationship with the person/how well you know them. Girl who gave you her number at a party? 1 unanswered text and you drop it. Good friend of long standing? Bother away.

Decca

@mystique I text a ridiculous amount as well, mostly to my sister. One day we texted the entirety of Jennifer Lopez's "Let's Get Loud" to each other, tag-team style.

bella brunette@twitter

I feel like this is what happens after you give your number to this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTFZyl7hfBw

bella brunette@twitter

@bella brunette@twitter Let's try this again: Can I Have Your Number?

Maladydee

@bella brunette@twitter Oh god I am doing a full-body shudder after watching that. eeeeeeeeeuurgh.

Amphora

@bella brunette@twitter Yes! The only good thing to come out of Mad TV. "The back of yo head is RIDICULUS!"

tessamae

Soooo this is a bit old, but I still howl with laughter every time I read it. And the guy in this is actually a friend of a friend too, which makes it even funnier because it becomes more real life? And also kinda sad.

Texts from JJ

martinipie

@tessamae Oh my god that's like knowing....some kind of demi celebrity! I am so curious about that girl!

tessamae

@martinipie Me too! One day at work, we totally Facebook stalked her out using connections of connections. She sadly (smartly?) had her privacy settings high enough that we could only see a profile pic but let's just say, you wouldn't have been surprised about the way she looked. Not that there is a specific I'll-fake-a-pregnancy-through-text-messaging look, per se, but more we did the "Hmm, seems about right" when we saw her. Poor, poor girl. And poor, poor Kevin, as the BuzzFeed article only covered a FRACTION of the texts. They apparently went on for months and months! And would drain his phone battery so he always had to constantly charge it due to their overwhelming frequency! Hee hee heheheheeee now it's making me laugh again...

Judith Slutler

@tessamae oh my lord. I am halfway through this and completely horrified! What goes on in this lady's mind wtf

CrescentMelissa

@Emmanuelle Cunt I know I have the sads now for her. It must be very hard being inside of her head.

frigwiggin

I didn't even know what a club promoter was until today. Thanks, Hairpin!

KeLynn

@frigwiggin Me either! I like living in the Midwest right now!

carolita

Anyone who makes a "Brigadoon" reference is alright with me!

FickleMoon

Such a modern phenomonen, caused largely by the iPhone. There's nothing more depressing than looking up a conversation with a friend to find it's all from you, one-sided. 'Hey let's meet up' 'Hi, are you free next Weds?' 'How are you?' :(
It also makes texting A BOY more than ONCE IN A ROW a fraught social proposition.

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