About four years ago, a guy I was interested in dating sent me my first text message. I was in DSW with Kristin. Neither one of us knew how to respond to a text message. We did the only logical thing and found a young guy in the men’s shoe section to show us what to do!
It would become my new language, the abbreviated conversation. In my case, the slowest way for me to communicate. If I were speaking, it would have sounded like this (text) I m i n a s h o e s t o r e (send) Not a good first impression and definitely not mistaken for flirting.
Two years ago, another guy I was interested in dating sent me a text message after our first introduction. It said "Goodnight Tamara". I received the message while I was driving home. Fortunately, I knew better and responded once I stopped the car. (text) G o o d n i g h t M i c h a e l. (send) I had learned to capitalize, add word spacing and punctuation. My response time had not increased much in two years. I was more concerned about making a good first text impression.
Two months later and many text messages later, we celebrated Valentine’s Day. I had kept a number of Michael’s text messages, many were endearing and I would re-read and they would make me smile. I decided to a make a mini book of the messages to give him as my Valentine’s gift. The book was titled "A Time line of Text Impressions." It included his very first text message to me (my name misspelled) and text messages that gave a glimpse into our growing relationship.
I saw the exhibit "A Thousand Kisses:Love Letters from the Archives of American Art" at the National Portrait Gallery this past summer. I was mesmerized by the words and the drawings and the images of lives past. As I was slowly reading each handwritten love letter, I couldn’t help but think of the little book I made for Michael, perhaps text messaging had become the love note of present time…