We’ve all sent that text, the one you wish you had read just one more time before clicking send. If this has happened to you, hopefully, it ended in a chuckle for both you and the recipient. Or maybe you saved yourself from looking like an idiot by editing before sending it. Well here’s a story about one of those messages that I sent, with a few lessons to live by.
One night almost 2 years ago, I was out with high school friends at a bar for an annual holiday get together. I was thinking about another good friend of ours who couldn’t be there because he lived out of town. This guy was a great friend during the worst years of my life, aka, high school. We were as close as a girl and a boy could be without being romantic. I loved him. But life gets busy, and although we had made attempts to stay in touch throughout the years, it had been at least 10 years we had seen each other or had spoken. We reconnected not too long before this dreaded incident, the weekend of our 30th high school reunion, he had even stopped at our house for a really nice visit with me and my family. So, on the night of this particular annual holiday get together, he crossed my mind, and I thought it would be fun to give him a ring from the bar so everyone there could say hello. Cute, right? Getting no answer, I sent a text, “Hey just wanted to say hi, thinking of you”. To which he responded, “I’m out, but can I call you tomorrow morning”? To which I replied, “Yes! It’s a phone date! Talk to you at 10am 😘”. And that’s where it all went wrong….
Well, at about 9:45 am, while my husband and I were having coffee at the kitchen table, I received a text from my friend, that took me by surprise, to say the least. My friend was dating someone new, and neither of them had appreciated the “phone date” reference in my text the previous evening, or my kissy emoji. He proceeded to reprimand me for my flirtatious texting from the night before, and he was also certain my husband would not appreciate it. He ranted for three paragraphs while my face deepened red with each one. Holy shit, was this really happening? I was quite seriously embarrassed. At this point, my husband, having seen my shocked facial expression, asked “who on earth are you texting?” I briefly summarized the story and handed him my phone. After perusing the message, he handed it back to me with a chuckle and said, “wow, that’s pretty funny”. I wasn’t worried about my husband, we were cool. He knew my text had been in jest, and that I can be “charming” sometimes. But, I was worried about what my friend thought of me. His words made a big impression, they were cutting. I knew my text had been misinterpreted, and I wanted to explain. But it was clearly too late. My friend, who apparently didn’t know me at all anymore, had already decided I was a flirty, disrespectful, and possibly unhappy wife.
So many thoughts were running through my mind. My friend had judged me without giving me a chance to explain. I realized that we clearly didn’t know each other at all anymore, because if we did, he would have known I send kissy emojis to everyone. (They’re fricking cartoons people!!!! Come on!!!!) He would have known I love my husband and don’t engage in any kind of unfaithful behavior including phone sex with old friends. I would have known that either his new girlfriend was jealous, that he really was an arrogant asshole, or that he lived in a glasshouse. But I guess neither of us will ever know, as neither of us has cared enough to reach back since.
Lessons to Live By
So, lesson number one, you and your high school friends are not who you were 30 years ago, and you might not actually pick that person as a friend today. Just because you are bound by history doesn’t mean you have to still like each other or stay in touch. Lesson number two, even the best-intended text messages are often misinterpreted. Think before you send, or better yet, when in doubt, don’t send at all or pick up the phone. And third, perhaps there was a tiny bit of truth to what my friend said. A married girl be shouldn’t be sending text messages to their high school buddy after a couple of drinks, or maybe even at all. 😘