“We’re not talking about real money. We’re talking about aviation monetary units. It hurts less if you realize from the start that everything in aviation is more expensive. And it just makes more sense. Believe me. I’m the expert here.”—Dad
I’ve recently been asked to clarify the reasons for my intense dislike of emoticons. Apparently it’s NOT a normal reaction to become seriously frustrated when presented with a smiley. I would like to argue that neither is it normal for a grown man to have :-) tattooed on his forearm, but I digress. As a disclaimer I will say that if you are a frequent smiley-sender please do not take this personally. Yes, I judge your emoticon use, but I also completely understand that I am a heavy user of the CAPS LOCK – nobody’s perfect.
So here we go: I don’t care if your phone makes them look like a (supposedly) funny green monster, your instant messenger animates them, or you use the old standard. Make use of the words that your language gave you. If it cannot be communicated that you are trying to be lighthearted, sarcastic, funny, encouraging, sexy or flirtatious with words alone you need to revisit your prose. We are not ancient Egyptians. We have moved on from hieroglyphics (although I would still like to be an Egyptologist when I grow up, seriously, that stuff is cool). Smiley faces do not contribute to your message; they confuse, and take away from it.
With this in mind, I present you with a few case studies
Perpetrator number one: the textual relationship guy who overuses the winky face. Meet a guy out. Exchange numbers. Text with him until the subsequent awkward meet up at which point you realize you only know how to speak to each other in 160 character or less statements. Text offender number one ends ALL of his messages to you with a ;). Flirtatious? Perhaps. The signature line on my 14 year old niece’s outgoing emails? Definitely. Also, you can’t make a winky face at me across a dinner table and expect it to speak volumes for you. Well you could, but according to my grandmother your face would stick like that, and sorry sir, but that’s just a deal breaker for me at date one.
Perpetrator number two: the older female relative who puts smileys on everything. Once Upon a Time, in a land far, far away, Facebook was intended only for college students. Now your great aunt, godmother, grandmother and friendly somewhat senile older neighbor are all up on your wall. With their smiley faces. Congratulating you on whatever recent accomplishment your mother sent a mass email about. Don’t get me wrong – this is lovely, but doesn’t it make you feel just a teensy bit guilty about never calling? Do I detect an undertone of hurt in that smiley? Is that emoticon subtly making it clear that this recent accomplishment should have been communicated by YOU, and not your mother? Pick up that phone, and increase your privacy settings.
Perpetrator number three: passive aggressive roommate who ends her emails with a smiley. It goes a little something like this: “Hey, just for future reference, could you NOT leave your clothing in the dryer overnight? I only do my laundry at 3am on Mondays and I do not want to have to touch your things in order to do so. Please remember that more than one person lives in this apartment. I find it very disrespectful, rude and lazy for you to not remove your gym clothes right after you finish washing them. We both know you’re not actually going to work out anyway. :)” Apparently, ending that email with a smiley face immediately makes everything she just wrote to you permissible and not at all rude. I say this also gives you permission to respond by calling her an immature nocturnal creepface :). 10 bonus points if you create an immature nocturnal creepface emoticon, because I would probably actually use that one.
I could keep going but you get the point, and my guess is I lost most of you after my Egyptology confession anyway.
"White women have a lot of fantasies about idealized lives, and one of them is living in Europe and riding around an old city on one of these bikes. They dream about waking up and riding to a little cafe, then visiting bakeries and cheese shops and finally riding home to prepare a fancy meal for their friends who will all eat under a canopy with white Christmas lights. This information can be used to help gain the trust/admiration of a white woman, especially if you can pull off a lie about how your mother told you about how she used to do all of these things when she was younger."
An open letter to the male residents of Strafford County,
The purpose of this letter is to kindly request that you modify the behavior to which I have recently been a witness re: your interactions with ladyfolk. The following actions are not considered attractive:
1. Referring to me, my mother, or any other female as “Shawty.” Look around you, there are more livestock than humans, something about this just doesn’t fit.
2. Attempting to sell me steak out of the back of your pickup in a RiteAid parking lot.
2a. Telling me that not eating red meat is “freakin’ retAHded,” but that you would like to take me out for a burger anyway
3. Wearing a Nickelback t-shirt, hat or any other apparel
4. Knowingly blocking two lanes of traffic with your John Deere, when it will fit into one just fine.
5. Flying a Confederate flag out of the back of your truck. Need I remind you of your heritage?
6. Tattooing any of the states comprising northern New England ANYWHERE on your body.
I hope we can put the above incidents behind us. I would like to start over. It is no secret that I generally love men from New England…but I may never forgive you for the Nickelback T-shirt.