Dead Serious

 

I learned a valuable lesson recently about texting.  Like most people I have a love/hate relationship with my cell phone. I didn’t want one when it first came out.  I actually said, “Why would I need to call someone when I’m not at home?” That seems like a lifetime ago. Want to feel old? The first text message was sent in 1992.

My children cannot believe I was born before smart phones and lived to tell about it. They wouldn’t last a day not being able to make a call because a sibling just booted up the computer to play World of Warcraft. They will never know the pain of dragging the phone down the hall into your room, closing the door with a bulky cord jammed in the frame, getting situated on your bed only to get a busy signal over and over. If I don’t respond to my child’s text within seconds they text, call, text, text, call and text again. Meanwhile, they are upstairs in the same house and their emergency is needing a snack.


Texting has given people 24 hour access to us. There is no relief and that is unhealthy, especially in an abusive relationship. That keyboard is a powerful weapon. Over time, the simple ping notification will stop you dead in your tracks and make your heart race. Sure, it could be something as simple as your mother reminding you what time Christmas
 dinner will be, a friend sending a funny meme, but it is often something much more sinister. Consider yourself lucky if you have never been on the receiving end of rapid fire texting where the sender just wants to remind you what a “worthless cunt” you are.

 

I try to choose my words carefully when communicating via text. I certainly wish I would have during a recent exchange. I sent a message to a contractor who had done work on my house. A few weeks went by and I finally got a response. He appreciated sarcasm as much as me. We joked often. So, I responded, “Nice to hear from you. Was my text delivered pony express? Lol” My high school social studies teacher would have been proud. Moments later my phone rang.

“Hello!”

“Hi Deanna. This is ****’s sister. He died.”

“Wait, what?”

I was confused. I pulled my phone away from my ear to double check who had just texted me.

“I’m sorry. Who?”

“**** is dead.”

“Dead?”

“Yes. He died in a car accident a few weeks ago.



Apparently, there was a tragic accident, but the company was going to continue using his phone for the business. I apologized profusely for my message and her loss. Then, I hung up and sat in silence; stunned. If this were an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” I would laugh at how much Larry David just humiliated himself. Unfortunately, it was me. I just sent a dead man a snarky text message because he didn’t respond in weeks. I texted a dead man about pony express. As I sat with my foot in my mouth, inside the hole I crawled into; the only comfort I had was knowing this man would have LOL’ed at my faux pas.

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