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Reading Between the Texts: Is THIS Flirting?
Him: Nice job today. My teeth feel very clean.
K: Uhhhhhhhh gross?
C: He was my practice patient in lab earlier. For, like, a cleaning.
K: What? Did you FLOSS him??
C: Um, yesss …
K: I don’t know how you can think about kissing him anymore. Or even talk to him. After your hands were in his mouth. As a dentist I would be too embarrassed to see any patient more than once I think.
C: Well anyway, in between the various cleaning tools or whatever he was teasing me, SORT of? By like, making fun of Chicago. He was like, “Your hometown is the most promiscuous city. I read it in an article.”
K: IS that teasing you? Or is that like. Pointing out a statistic.
C: It’s the dumbest kind of flirting.
K: It’s like, “Something about you is horrible and I don’t like it.”
C: He is so cute though. Sooooo cute.
K: He doesn’t seem that cute.
C: Yeah he’s not that cute.
Him: What are ur hobbies interests?
K: Are there really no commas or backslashes or anything? “Hobbies interests.”
J: No. And it’s “your” like “u-r.”
K: You’re not going to respond, right? You can’t possibly respond.
J: He is reeeeaaaaallllyyyyyyy hotttttttttttt.
K: Is that worth it, though? I mean, haha, what am I talking about. I sort of know that it is but I felt like someone should say that out loud. For the record.
J: It’s good that he’s showing an interest in my personality, though, isn’t it? That’s what you do when you like someone.
K: Are you asking me? I don’t know. I have no idea.
J: It is. I think. I’m going to say, ummm, ahhh … “water sports.”
K: Wait. WHAT?
J: What? I was on the swim team in high school. I’m taking a water aerobics class at school. That counts. I sent it.
K: That isn’t … that’s not—
J: Look, I’m not going to tell him, oh, knitting and watching Chopped, am I?
K: That sounds great to me.
J: He wrote back “lol, cool, what kind.”
K: What are you going to say? I’m worried about how long this could go on for.
J: I don’t know. I think I need to look at his Facebook pictures to get re-motivated.
Him: It was great to meet you. :) I had a lot of fun.
K: I can’t think of anything funny or charming to say under these high-pressure situations and this is why I avoid them!!!!
C: You don’t have to be THAT charming back. This is just, like, the post-date evaluation to see whether you both want to go on another one.
K: But if I text back something STUPID, he won’t WANT to go out again. I mean, god. Think things through for once in your life.
C: Anything you say WILL BE FINE. Almost anything.
K: So I’ll just be like, “Same … and same.” Is that what you think is appropriate here? Oh my god, I’m starting to die.
C: Yeah, no, that is not … great.
K: I seriously get unlikeable as soon as someone likes me.
C: Maybe say something about the museum you went to, like, “I learned a lot about … whatever thing.”
K: I actually DON’T want it to sound like I’m turning in a book report?
C: Haha. “In conclusion…”
K: Can I just not respond at all? Is that mysterious? And he’d be like, “whoa, whaaaat, she didn’t even say ANYthing, I’m very intrigued, she is alluringly distant, I better just ask her out again now without any more lollygagging or interpretable punctuation?” Is that … a thing?
C: If you do that he’ll for sure think you don’t want to go on another date.
K: The first one feels so long ago now that I honestly don’t even remember if I do.
Him: Okay, we’ll see you then. Stay warm.
R: This is the type of bullshit that I hate. A cute guy should not say nice or thoughtful things when he appears to be dating someone else. Ever.
K: I know. It’s like, don’t comment on the temperature conditions of my body unless you want to be on it.
R: What does he care if I freeze to death? He literally does not care.
R: Ugh, and this WOULD be a flirtatious thing to say, if he were flirting with me. You know?
K: Totally. That’s why I feel like there should just not even be any words or phrases that work both as flirting and as everyday language. It isn’t actually fair, because I am so tired.
R: We should make up a separate flirting language.
K: I feel like maybe us speaking an invented language at hot guys is not necessarily going to help our situations?
R: Well not NOW, no. It would be for the good of our descendants.
K: Haha, but we probably won’t have any. Right? Because of this very problem!!!
R: For everyone else’s descendants, then. Goddd. It’s like we have to do everything around here.
Previously: “don’t forget your roots”
Katie Heaney lives in Minneapolis and writes the most beautiful goddamn text messages that the world has ever not responded to. Her first book, Never Have I Ever, can be preordered on Amazon or IndieBound.