Yesterday over coffee with a wonderful woman I know, we were discussing business projects and she kept checking her infernal crackberry, er...I mean blackberry.
Cell phones have become the single biggest nuisance in the world, as far as I am concerned and July 1 can not come soon enough in California - the law will be hands free cell phone use whilst driving.
Anyway, I finally asked my friend what the hey was going on and she launched into this long tale of dating woe. I'll give you the short version of it.
They met, he wooed her with cute texts, as they got more involved, it was long phone conversations and sexy voicemails.
As soon as he wanted out, he was back to texting her - several days after she would send him a message.
She would call all her friends, polluting their brains for hours with advice on the best way to devise a cute text, guaranteed to bring him out of hiding and back to boning her senseless again. She would do an hour of yoga, light incense and after sessions with her unpaid shrink friends, muster up the courage to peck out these harmless words on her crackberry:
She: Hi, how are you? I miss you. Just wanted to say hi!
Four days later:
He: Fine. Busy.
What an ass, right? Unfortunately, she's not seeing the text for the trees. She has been dumped. Duped. Digitally avoided.
She was spending sleepless nights wondering if he was dead or injured...lying in a ditch moaning her name.
"No," I said. "He is not."
"He doesn't even pick up the phone when he sees my number now." Fresh tears streaked down her face.
"Hon, brace yourself. It's over."
With tears drenching her stupid crackberry, she scrolled back through three months of cute and sexy texts from him, trying to prove to me their relationship was live, not memorex...look, look how adorable he can be. I knew before she did that it was over, but now, as she backtracked their messages, she could see he was giving her not even the bare minimum.
He was giving her nothing.
For him, she was a done deal. He was off to dazzle the next dizzy dame with his digital dexterity.
"Gimme your cell phone," she insisted.
I resisted, but she was threatening to pull my pants down in public, so I handed over my cell phone as I wondered why the atmosphere at Aroma Cafe was suddenly so tense.
I noticed the entire place filled with people's maniacal thumbs wielding emotionally unstable, socially incorrect messages of love, loss and longing and my friend still got her bozo boyfriend's voicemail.
She handed back my phone and we ordered another coffee.
I tried to explain the digital dating world. Forget that he's just not that into you.
This is worse. In the 'old' days he would leave you a message on your answering machine when he knew you were at work. Then, with the evolution of communication, he would leave it on your voice mail. Now, when and if he feels like it, he texts you.
Yeah, pal, so am I.Somehow, accidentally, her elbow pressed her phone's dialing pad and she reached her boyfriend. As we talked, we could hear a man's voice suddenly saying, "Hello? Hello?"
"Oh, my God..." my friend paled and picked up her phone.
"Who is this?" I heard him ask.
"It's me," she squeaked.
"Me? Me who?"
Then, when he realized who it was, he apologized for his gaffe saying, "I'm sorry. I didn't recognize your voice because I deleted your number from my phone."
Ooooooh....she'd been digitally deleted!
"What's he saying? That he only recognizes my voice when he sees my number?" she shrieked.
"Yes," a guy three tables down piped up.
My friend went home sobbing. She called me last night to say he'd sent her a text. Eight hours after their excrutiating phone call.
This is what he typed. Verbatim.
"I loved being with you. I'm not emotionally available right now. Forgive me."
"He wrote loved, past tense." My friend was racked with non stop tears.
Geez, I was impressed he bothered to even text her again...but then she is a very nice woman...and a well known one. He was being smart, not romantic. Is this what love has come to? That we are all numbers just one thumb away from oblivion?
I try to imagine one of my book characters digitally deleting his lover. Would Kimo ever text Lopaka: Fine. Busy?
Well no. My Phantom Lover series is about love and romance. Not digital delusions. And I can't imagine any romance reader would think this is a classy way to dispose of an unwanted relation ship. It's not the world I choose to live or dream. I prefer to engage with the person I cherish...I guess that makes me a dinosaur....