Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Curious Incident of a Man and His Texts

So there I was, reading and re-reading affirmations, my ears plugged with Rhonda Byrne who was telling me in so many ways that what I concentrate on, I get. A very zen state of mind. I think the little birdies were singing and the mango tree was boogeying to the music. In short, God was in Her heaven. All was right with the world.

Then I get a text. Wondering if it was someone from the office to ask me where the heck I was (it was nearly noon after all) I sighed. But it was a text from someone else. The gist of it was that he did not send the text he was supposed to have sent me on Sunday night.

Picture this: Me and Mary Z at the Bangsar Village Grocer picking up some fixin's for a sandwich or two on the Sunday night in question. My phone buzzes. Wondering who it could be at nine on a Sunday, I remove it from the clutter in my bag only to find the following message:

Jennifer I don't think I can make it as I just finished my morning meeting. (the message becomes garbled after and I don't remember what it said)

I smiled at Mary who was bending over, scrutinising a particular display for emery boards. "Huh, always amusing to get a message meant for someone else."

I shot back the following: "Wrong Jennifer."

And that was it. Or so I thought.

Anyways, come Monday afternoon, I get a confused message from SMS-er in question wondering what I was talking about. "What do you mean wrong Jennifer?"

Kindly, I explained that it was in response to his SMS on Sunday night. Perchance he had scheduled some meeting with some random Jennifer and clicked on my name by accident.

No, he assured me.

He hadn't.

Which is why Tuesday, nearly noon, I get a suspicious text informing me that he had gone through his outbox rigorously and found that he had only sent out 6 messages. And all to siblings.

(I don't know about you, but I thought this was belabouring the point just a tad. I mean, who cared, anyway?)

So I replied in a slightly irritated manner saying, so, you made a mistake, so just live with it and move on. And didn't think any more of it.

Unfortunately I seem to have unleashed a tidal wave. I got a mouthful of vitriol in reply. To whit: I know a good shrink, let me introduce you, you could really use one.

I mean to say what?

Can anyone say, uncalled for?

Conversation (yes even these breathless text exchanges qualify as conversations) deteriorated rapidly after that. I called him dumb and said I would be hurt by insinuations about sanity. Except that I never took anyone who couldn't spell seriously. Also, I said that being as self obsessed and self entitled as he was, the shrink had obviously not made much headway with him. But then, maybe he was just a hopeless case.

He said he had made an appointment for me as I desperately needed to have my head examined. Also that he had no desire to see me again because I needed to get some culture and my head out of the clouds and know there was more to life than a spell check.

Hmmmmm. I shouldn't have answered the first rude message of course. I should have been dignified and just "walked away". (I know this now after discussing it with one third of the 3K). Someone so childish and immature is just not worth my time.

But the exchange was so heated that I emerged bruised and shaken. Rhonda Byrne was still droning on enthusiastically in my ear. And my hand was trembling as I ticked off affirmations.

I sent off a text to Nits who called and consoled. It was too ridiculous! She was at a loss for an explanation. Just that this guy must really really hate me. It was obvious he thought I had hatched a deep dark plot to intrude upon his notice when he was busy comfortably ignoring me.

If I wanted to do that, surely I could come up with something more interesting and articulate than "wrong Jennifer". I'm a writer for crying out loud.

Anyways, I pulled into the office, wrote a speech, called Mary Z and we had tea at D'lish. Seeing I was very upset she made me order my food and have my roast beef sandwich first. She regaled me with tales of Jane Austen (I realise that for me, JA is the ultimate mood shifter) and we discussed Pride and Prejudice (the Jennifer Ehle-Colin Firth version) and she told me after watching just a few minutes of it she could have cheerfully killed Keira Knightley for that desecration of a Pride and Prejudice a few years ago. I nodded vigorously, mouth full of roast beef.

We talked about Jane's life (she's reading the Tomalin biography) and her loves (couldn't say really, Cassandra did her work well protecting her sister's privacy) moving off into George Eliot and Edith Wharton. It was satisfying and I leaned back full of roast beef and literary biographies.

When I launched into my story, Mary looked a little startled and then puzzled.

"He doesn't sound worth your attention. But did you really have to answer the SMSes when he got rude? Contaminating your phone with all that negativity..."

I thought about this for a while. The fighter cock in me would say, hell, yeah! But common sense, or the semblance of it that is trying to push a shoot through the dirt, said no. I should have ignored it. A dignified silence says plenty. After all, there was no way this conversation could have done anything but spiral out of control. If fat bald creepy dude was on the warpath he would have to fight with himself. As it was, I provided the perfect foil for him to unleash fury. Of course, I got a few choice words in, and some may have even penetrated that thick armour so he would have another hang-up to add to that overfull closet.

But did I want to do this?


I exhaled and felt the tension in my belly slowly dissipate. I was feeling curiously better.

OK, I need to go do some more affirmations.

I am calm and relaxed and centred and open....exhale...inhale...exhale...inhale... blow out the candle.

Later for you.


the soup nazi said...

He sounds like a twat. I wouldnt waste time thinking about him, really. Focus on your achievements, like making it to ancient vampire for instance....and simon says... making lemon cake.... so much nicer things to think about... and you can correct my grammar anytime you want... I really feel like you will have earned your superlative then. Tee hee...

Jenn said...

Hello Shashi. Lemon cake and Jane Austen are good things to focus on in a world filled with twats....:)

Nessa said...

The worse thing you can do to someone like that is ignore them.

I love that version of P & P. I often put it on as background music. While the KK version looks pretty, there's no competition.

Jenn said...

Hey Ness! Yeah, I could spend the whole day watching it. Come to think of it (it's still a holiday today) I think I will...

john calica said...

hmmm. same thing happened to me almost a year ago. i hated it but yeah, i responded, with the vigor of a world war II vet.hahah