When you see someone texting on their phone, do you wonder what they’re texting about? Or who they’re texting? I do. I usually like to imagine entire scenarios based around a simple text. Not like I even know it’s a simple text, but in my imagination it is. But while it may seem simple, it may be something huge that they’re texting. Like arranging a secret rendezvous with the cute guy they met at the water cooler (do offices even have water coolers anymore?). Or something less serious, like a question about whether the person sending the text should stop to pick up milk on the drive home.
Maybe she is sending a text about milk because she actually got in a big fight the night before with her husband. It was probably over something somewhat trivial, like why he didn’t empty the dishwasher, again, and she has done it the last five or six times. And she probably has some job where she’s trying really hard to prove herself because she’s up for a promotion. A promotion that would clear the path to her dream job as an account manager for her firm. This position would give her a huge increase in pay, so she could finally pay off all the debt she accumulated during her undergrad and master’s programs, not to mention the mortgage she’s paying for her brother and his wife, who’s sick with some kind of incurable disease.
So when her husband hasn’t emptied the dishwasher, again, she flips out. She tells him how he never thinks of anyone but himself and how maybe she’d be better off without him; he’d be one less thing for her to worry about. He doesn’t respond, mostly because she goes on tirades all the time because she’s so stressed out about work and always taking care of other people, not her husband, and by this point, he knows that he should just let her explode and she’ll be normal again in the morning.
So the morning comes and she’s still mad. But somehow she slowly gets over it as the day goes on, thinking, “Well, he did take out the trash the last few times…and he fixed the clicking noise in the dryer last weekend…” So she’s not mad anymore, but she is too stubborn to admit she might have overreacted, so she sends a simple text message about picking up milk, which is what her husband needs to make his breakfast every morning, to say, “I’m sorry I freaked out on you. I know you do a lot for me and I don’t always realize it because I’m so focused on something else. You’re a great husband and I hope you can forgive me.”And even though she didn’t say any of that in her text, her husband knows what she’s actually trying to say, so he would respond, “That’d be great — thanks.” Which actually means, “I accept your apology and your peace offering. I look forward to not fighting with you tonight.”
This is what I spend a majority of my time thinking about. Not what I want to eat for supper or which load of laundry I should do or what I need to prepare for the next day of work. Nope. It’s mostly just stuff about strangers.