That’s Not What I Meant



I dumped a girl by instant message.

It was pretty classic.  If you haven’t figured it out, instant messages and texting is a pretty awful way to communicate anything more than “get a loaf of bread while you’re out.”  Anything that requires any emotional sensitivity isn’t going to work.

Since we were having a long distant relationship, we I.M.ed a lot, (as the hip kids called it back then).  Then we got into an argument over something petty and stupid, which was our habit.  She was me out pretty hard, as I could tell by the constant nagging “ping” sound of new messages coming through while I tried to ignore her by watching TV.  Then I I.M.ed her that we were through, and signed off.  I clicked the mouse button really hard, which is the I.M. equivalent of slamming the phone or door.  The I.M. screen actually said,“Matt has signed off.  Hard.” I was pretty satisfied with myself.

She called me later to tell me she had not meant to say what she had said.

But we live and die by our words.  And it got me thinking about all the times we put our feet in our mouths.  Whose fault is it when people don’t understand what we’re trying to say?

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