I have a problem. It’s a texting problem. The second I get a smart phone in my hand, my already embarrassing level of candor is multiplied by 10. Add to that a few drinks and I make Michele Bachmann look capable of intelligent discourse. The problem – although not limited to exchanges with significant others – gets particularly acute during break-ups. It’s so bad I delete my text history the next morning before reading it.
I know what you’re thinking. “This has an easy solve.There’s an app for that.” Well, yes, there is an app for that and, no, it does not solve my problem. Drunk Dial No! is fairly effective… until you figure out in the stall of a disgusting bathroom of some dive bar at 3 am that you can just send an email…
Suddenly you’re leaning against the side of the stall, slurring along to Don’t Stop Believin’ and squinting at your phone, writing a typo-ridden dissertation on everything you’ll regret saying for the rest of your twenties. After a couple of these email catastrophes you learn texting is better… at least there’s only so much you can write in that little window.
The thing I find interesting about texting and break-ups is how I can categorize the stages of my grief by the type of texts I send.
Stage I: The There’s-No-Way-This-Just-Happened-To-Me Phase:
Stage II: The I-don’t-know-how-I’m-still-living-when-the-most-perfect-person-in-the-entire-world-is-no-longer-in-love-with-me…wait-what-if-he-never-loved-me? Phase:
These are the worst. Think of the most demoralizing act a person can perform. If you’re not thinking about writing a text message in this state of mind, then you clearly don’t have text messaging as a part of your phone plan.
Stage III: The Now-that-I’m-over-that-douchebag-all-the-hatred-I-should-have-spewed-out-during-our-break-up-fight-will-now-explode-from-me Phase:
These are my second favorite type of texts. I have some of the most rational, cool-headed friends, but at this stage we all manage to find hiding deep within ourselves some fantastic psycho-bitch who is able to blend eloquence with pure, unadulterated hatred. I’ve wished sunburns upon hipsters headed to Bonaroo and referenced the DSM-IV in my name calling. One of my friends refused to call her cheating ex by his name and instead called him ‘white trash’ for over a week… to his face.
My absolute favorite texts, however, come from a stage somewhere in between heartbreak and hatred. Those first moments that you start to see the light at the end of the devastating break-up tunnel are miraculous. The first time you see a teenage couple and you don’t feel the overwhelming urge to go tell them all the reasons they’ll break up when they go away to college are victorious and even more exhilarating is the moment you realize it’s been a week since you’ve spent your lunch break screen-shotting pictures of cats and adding them to the ‘My_Future.Options?’ folder on your desktop.
It’s in these moments that you feel as though you should say something to the ex who crushed your heart only a few short months before. You want to write something definitive to take back all that Stage II pathetic but there’s still a part of you clinging to the last few strings of love wrapped loosely around your heart.
These are The Lost Text Messages. If only you had a little more hate you could finish that “Why I Oughta…” statement with something stronger than “take you to coffee and explain to you how I’m thankful for the personal growth I’ve experienced as a result our failed relationship.”
In honor of The Lost Texts, I’ve included a few of my personal favorites from over the years:
I almost wish I’d sent them…