Once, in a drunken haze, I told an ex that I loved him like I love my iPhone.
I wish I wasn’t addicted to my iPhone. I keep it within reach all the time, and it’s rare that I go more than an hour or two without checking my text messages and e-mails. It’s a problem; I’m aware that it’s a problem, and I know that it’s not normal for everyone to behave this way.
The only way for me to get away from the phone is to literally go into the wilderness (which I do from time to time.) If I don’t respond right away, it’s usually to make myself seem like I’m doing something more important than checking my phone, not because I didn’t receive the message. Phrases like: “I’ll text you when I’m heading over,” or “Be there in five” or the millions of “Where you at?” texts are part of my daily vernacular. Texts like this I’ve sent and received at malls, concerts, campuses and I can’t help but think that it’d be so much easier if we just made plans in advance. Like, before cell phones.
The existence of a book called “The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right,” was recently brought to my attention. It was published the same year Clueless was in theaters. It’s instructing me to: never talk to a man first, not talk too much, actually, never call him no matter what; not see him more than once or twice a week; stop dating him immediately if he doesn’t buy me a romantic gift on my birthday or Valentine’s Day; not to rush intimacy; and most puzzling. be honest, but mysterious.
Of all of these rules, and all of the rules not listed here, I’ve probably broken all of them. The author is basically telling me to wait for some guy to come over and start talking to me, and then act like I’m not into him, and that it’ll work. Though they’re not completely wrong, here’s the issue: I can’t not call because I’m addicted to my phone.
A few days ago, I made plans with this guy I’ve been spending some time with. He works days; I work nights, not to mention my in-class time and homework load. There are only two nights a week that neither of us work. Then the night in question rolls around. We’d talked earlier the previous day and made vague plans to see each other. He gets out of work at 5 p.m., and I expect we’ll get a happy hour beverage, then maybe dinner somewhere. He works in an office, so I also assume he’s got his phone/e-mail around for most of the day. Actually, he calls me on his lunch break sometimes, so I KNOW he’s not one of those people who puts the phone away all day. I’m out of class at 2 p.m, and I check my e-mail. Nothing new. No phone calls, no e-mails.
3:00 p.m. rolls around, and still nothing. I wait until 3:17 to send a text. Do we have plans; would you like to make plans? He doesn’t respond until 4:50. By this point, for no reason whatsoever, I’m irritated and decide to meet my roommate downtown for a beer instead of wait around for him. There’s probably a rule for this, making yourself unavailable or something. I did an excellent job resisting the urge to send him a text about not waiting around. I can’t tell if it would’ve been worse if I had been waiting for him to initiate the plans but, everyone has their own agenda. When he’s done his errands, he finally calls. We meet up, grab some food, and enjoy each other’s company for the remainder of the evening. I need to be more patient and forget about the phone from time to time, and take some of the rules a little bit more seriously.