Friday, 11 April 2008

Textual Healing (Arf arf)

The first text I ever got from my boyfriend was I've made a table. It's incredible. I enquired as to what sort of table; kitchen table, coffee table? I can't remember his exact response, but I do remember it referring to the fact that he'd got varnish stuck in his pubes in the process. I wish I still had the texts, but my mobile fell into a well placed glass of water and although it still turns on, the screen is blank and gives nothing away.

Now every thing's recorded electronically, it's a real pain when things break and are lost. I remember feeling a bit despondent when I realised that an old yahoo e-mail address which I used whilst travelling around Australia in 2003 had been royally shunted into oblivion because of what yahoo deemed 'lack of use' and along with it, all the emails I'd got when I was away. Not that I had lost vital information or important email addresses; but just some memories that were tucked away within them. Messages from friends at home and people I met out there - people I was no longer in contact with and would never be again. Luckily, I'd printed out a load and put them in a folder in my room - but I'd still lost a few that would never be recovered.

Being able to keep old messages gives you this incredible source for comparison - in the 2+ years me and my boyfriend have been together, I've had three phones, and each of them stores hundreds of texts, sent and received. The other day I dug them out and charged them up, and read through all the messages saved on them. Some early ones from my boyfriend were missing 'x's at the end, something that I remember confusing the hell out of me: "Why isn't he putting kisses at the end! He doesn't like me! Ahhhh!". Gotta love the neurotic spells that come with the beginnings of a relationship.

Then I could tell which texts were sent when things were getting serious; in the first summer we were together, or should I say apart, whilst he was away and I was working in London, there's loads of kisses, sometimes three or four. There's one received at 4am one night: him, inebriated in a club in Palma, me: at home in bed in London. It reads There are some hot girls here tonight. But not one could budge me from you. Honest. Wish you were here. xx. I remember thinking 'Awww' and then almost immediately What the HELL is he looking at other (especially hot) girls for? Thus the text had the opposite effect from the way, I think, it was meant. Still, the sentiment was there.

Gradually, as I flicked through the old messages I found a couple from other admirers, all of which had gone unanswered. They're the remnants of a single life which had served it's time; been there, done that, there was no need to write back. There was the response from my boyfriend when I'd told him that I'd been asked out by someone on the tube to work that morning. It was a light hearted Tell him your boyfriend's the hulk and will crush him! response, but he later told me he'd been rather rattled by the whole thing; me in my busy London life with all it's opportunities. The text gave none of that away, and I remember being glad he'd told me that it had bothered him, reassured in a way.

So I suppose a lot of the time, now, how we feel about ourselves depends on those little electronic messages we receive every day. Everything starts with them, and everything continues with them, some things are even ended with them (bastards).

I like the fact that with me and A, things aren't defined by the electronic messages we send, so losing them isn't a worry. On the other hand, Miss Pink's inbox is always full because she keeps every sentimental boy message she's received, unable to delete them (much to our frustration, as her friends' messages can never get through). It's quite a telling sign of how secure someone is in that respect. If you lost your messages - would it matter?

I'm not sure I'd miss this multimedia message, received the other day on my way home from work.

From: Boyfriend
To: Jo
Message: Two ways to describe you

From: Jo
To: Boyfriend
Message: I'm not stout and chunky!

From: Boyfriend
To: Jo
No. Titanic! not stout.

Charmed. It seems the less importance I attribute to text messages these days, the better.

Have a good weekend!


nuttycow said...

What a great post. I recently upgraded my phone and so lost all the "sweet nothing" texts that N had sent me. I was a bit peeved at first but then thought "meh" - I guess as long as you keep getting them, why bother keeping the old ones.

As with so much in life ;)

Hannah said...

I keep the most peculiar messages that would mean nothing to anyone else, but that make me giggle.

Re: your boyfriend's message. Clearly a brave man. I'm not entirely sure that being "titanic" is any better than being "stout".

Clarissa said...

That's cute. All of it.

I delete all my text message. Emails I keep.

Sophie said...

caramail did that to my old email account too, all my student's days email are gone :(!!
If I was as stupid and bold as Don the Chav I'd sue them :)

Robbie said...

When I was setting up my Opera browser with my gmail account details it downloaded loads of old messages. Some from the missus a few years old. It was nice to have found them. They were ones from when we first knew each other and friends. Some of them surprised me at how funny I use to be :D ha

Reluctant Blogger said...

I have kept a few text messages but I rarely look at them these days. I don't think I would be too upset if they disappeared (always a risk since my sons borrow my phone on a regular basis to play games on it).

I always say that we will have very few solid things to be sentimental over when we are old and grey because we put little down on paper these days - and texts, emails etc will just disappear. Make sure you send some letters/keep a diary too.

Nat said...

Oh I recently had to get my phone fixed and they cleared my whole phone. I had some great messages that I had just moved between phones and photos too. The sweet boyfriend ones from the start of our relationship are the ones I wanted the most. After 3 years I just don't get the cute messages so much anymore. Ha ha.

I like the mms photo. That's funny. shows how different guys think to girls. :)

Skinny Girl said...

Hi love!! Thanks for the recent comments on my blog. Love the way that you write!
See you around the blogasphere. I've added you to my reader so I can blog stalk you.


Girl Vino said...

I keep my messages too and often LOL at what my hubs sends me when he is away. Often it is to reshare a joke we have had together to remind me to smile while he was away.

Miss Understood said...

I have a 'husband' folder on my mobile and keep all the best ones.

He's such a romantic that he actually proposed to me via text message. I saved it for ages but then lost it when I changed my phone and realise it wasn't saved on the sim but the phone itself (which was in the bin). So I made him send it to me again. It's a word for word replica of the first one, but somehow it's just not the same!

All Mod Cons said...

So you're Titanic and Chunky? Or was the other tin just a companion in the photo? Or does he mean you're chicken & vegetable soup?

Delete all my text messages as soon as the inbox gets to about 400. Not for any particular reason other than I just forget to delete them after I've read them. Not sure I've ever deleted an email though. Actually, might get around to that now...

Bec said...

This text totally reminded me to sign up for o2's Bluebook service.

Best text I ever got was "Have totally fallen for you. I haven't asked yet, but would you say yes if I did?"

Next text was "Sorry, have sent last text to wrong number!"

It was a good two minutes though!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

nutty - Indeed, sometimes you just have to put things into perspective. No one talks any more, they just text.

Hannah - He's brave, and also now quite bruised.

clarissa - I've got a lot of emails too. Only because gmail saves them without having to delete...ever.

sophie - Argh that's the worst. I sometimes quite like just reading through old emails. Mostlyu because the responses are there as well.

Robbie - Modest too!

Reluctant - Thats another reason it doesn't bother me so much to lose messages, I've got a diary I write in most's a better record than anything else.

Nat - I know! Where do all the sweet messages go a couple of years down the line! It's so depressing :(

Skinny - nice one - thanks for visiting!

girl - The funny messages are almost better to receive than the sweet ones...

miss u - Proposing by text is infinitely better than getting dumped by text. I once forwarded a text from an old phone to a new one, but like you said, it was never the same with my name at the end - even if it was orginally sent by someone else!

Allmodcons - I am the chunkiest Titanic sized size 8 girl you will ever meet. Jowles down to my ankles. It's not pretty.

bec - Haha. I get so confused if I get a wrong number text. I always think there's some ulterior motive. Paranoia or what.

London-Lass said...

I believe I've still got a lot of old text messages from The Chipster .. only cos I just never got round to deleting them. The Chipster is not that forthcoming when it comes to saying stuff that's romantic (particularly by text) so if they did go missing I dont think I'd pine for them.

London-Lass said...

Oo. Just typed out a magnificent message but it just all disappeared on me. Bah.

In short, it was just about that I do have all of the old text messages from the Chipster still .. but only cos I just havent got round to clearing them off of my phone. The Chipster was always pretty useless at texting - half of the fun of receiving an SMS from him was trying to decipher what he'd actually meant/said. And as the Chipster would never have been one to send me a sweet nothing by text I dont think I'd pine if his old texts went missing.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Fear not Londonlass, just a temporary comment moderation thing going on. Your comment is still there.

I hate this moderation lark...but if it weeds out the annoyances who keep popping up, I'm all for it for the time being...

London-Lass said...

Oops .. I made myself look a bit of a daft apeth havent I? Apologies ...

Marika said...

I so know what you mean. We're communicating more than ever these days, but we still lose so much. I sometimes lament the loss of the love letter - something that he had to write down, send to you and that you would save forever in a pile tied with a satin ribbon. Texts and emails are our equivalent of love letters, but you can't tie text messages up with a satin ribbon.


rosiewishes said...

I just stumbled across your blog, but I'm totally the same! I had to comment.

I regularly rant about how I hate that now everything can be lost so easily as it's electronically recorded... I've lost/had stolen 3 phones in 2yrs and I miss the messages that used to be there.
And I'm worried about losing my journal some day too, seeing as it's online. That would be, like, 3yrs of my life just gone!

Rosie x


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