Thursday, October 24, 2013

Texting in a relationship- The Hidden code

Kids, SMSing or texting as we know it, came to us with the advent of the digital era and the introduction of TDMA and CDMA technologies. Little did its founders know that it will soon develop into a code language of its own. Since it has the disadvantage of not being as expressive as a face-to-face conversation or a phone call, the users have developed intricate textual signals which convey the message, sometimes even more subtly than a live conversation.

Relationships too, are not untouched by the phenomenon. I think the credits to developing this language goes to couples who spend more time tapping the keyboard than anything else. Relationships thrive on conversations. We are all strangers programmed to treat each other with suspicion until we start talking. A couple is basically two strangers who talk a lot. Most of these talks happen in their minds. All the backspacing one does while typing a long expressive message is the actual conversation which remains unsaid. Unsaid doesn't necessarily mean unexpressed. Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, friends- we all leave nothing unexpressed. Here's an attempt based on my tryst with the devil called 'texting' for understanding the hidden code behind those words-

1. The salutations.
'Sup?' might be the most common way of a guy to sound cool while trying to start a conversation with a girl. It is non-chalant, it was sort of cool when people first started it using. Now, it has been over-used yet, finds place in the vocabulary of 15 to 19 year old males with sparse moustaches and half-cracked pubescent voices.
Next comes the 'Hiiiiiii'. It's a 'Hi' suffixed with the amount of "i"s directly proportional to the cuteness being attempted by the sender. Other variants are "Hellooooooooooooo", Or "Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" or "Hellozzzzzzzzz". These used to be girly expressions but not anymore. The market forces of supply and demand have now made the extra vowels added at the end of salutations sort of mandatory. In few relationships, a simple "Hello" or a bland "Hi" represents that something is not right. It might also indicate the aftermath of a huge fight and may soon be followed by the dreaded "We need to talk."
There are also the foreign salutations like "Hola", "Aloha" etc which sound exotic. These are basically pretentious in origin and are used most commonly by guys who are trying to get laid.

2. Something is wrong.

When you tell your girlfriend something you did last night (party, night-out, texting with that random chic on FB etc) and her reply, after 5 minutes, comes as "Hmmm.. K". You have got to be an idiot to think that everything is "K". Sometimes even with the number of 'm's in the 'hmmm', you can estimate the number of sly comments that are going to come your way in the future.

I think 'K' is the most versatile character of the English alphabet in terms of its utility in texting. 'Hmm.. K' expresses dismay while 'Oh.. K' may express surprise or shock. 'Kk' is used to express affirmation while a plain 'K' is an emphatic conversation-killer. 'Okay' is used to express agreement while the same is expressed by girls using "okie-dokie" and sometimes just "okie". Lastly, 'Hmph.. K' is used to show exasperation and is sort of like saying "I give up, you win!"

3. The sign-offs.

Goodbyes are the hardest part in texting. A plain 'Bye' sounds more like "Goodbye forever! Good riddance!" A girl might just be using 'Bye' to show her indignance to your behaviour or might just be flirting- trying to see how restless you get when she starts to leave. If you read it wrong, you might end up infuriating her. And if she's the rare kind who uses 'Bye' for the meaning it was intended, and you keep talking, you might be viewed as a 'pile-on'.

A 'Bbye', 'Buh-bye', 'Byeeeeeeee' are politer ways of signing out. A smiley emoticon and sometimes three to four ones (as necessitated) are required before completing the sign out.
'TC' is another critical tool to express various meanings. When someone says 'tc' abruptly, they might not necessarily want you to 'take care' as much as you might imagine. 'Tc' is more of a semi-polite goodbye which when expanded, reads- "TAKE CARE of your own business, leave me alone".

Ok, it is a vast universe with ever-changing definitions and if I delve any deeper, I risk irretrievable damage to my actual language skills. So, I'd just stop here. Hope you learned something.
:) :) :)
K.. Bbyeeee!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chapter 16: Love? ROTFLMAO

So kids, thus far you know that I had begun to be a good boyfriend. I still couldn't remember dates and for some Godforsaken reason, I couldn't remember her birthday. I kept on logging on to Facebook and confirming the date. I was afraid kids, I had a point to prove. It wasn't love. To be completely honest to myself, I just wanted myself to succeed. I didn't know how but I wanted it badly. So, I gave myself a crash course in love and I crashed. Badly.

After introducing her to my parents during my graduation, I had mentally prepared myself to marry her. She didn't always "get" me, we didn't always have a lot to talk about but I wanted us to work. I went on vacations after graduation and came back to Davangere as an even more charming and loving boyfriend. I started doting on her, doing stuff that I wouldn't usually do, I had to express whatever I had for her. That was the only way I felt. She was taken aback because she was ready to take a few steps back by then. The lack of chemistry was pretty evident to her by then and a guy had entered her life who belonged to her world.

So, here I was- on a different plane but ready to do whatever love makes one do and she was there at crossroads where she had to choose between a loving, caring boyfriend who doesn't really "get" her OR a douchebag who thinks it's ok to hit on a committed girl, but shares great camaraderie with her. She held on to me, looking for an escape route. I had provided her many in the past but now I had blocked them all; while I started falling for her as I slowly got to know her better. It's tricky kids, love is tricky. It comes uninvited and stays forever. Yet, it eludes you when the moment comes; that way, it's a bit of a bastard. Ok, don't tell your mother I said the B-word in front of you guys.

Anyway, so then came December. She had to leave for vacations, I was madly in love with her which she was pitying me for. But then, few days before she was about to leave, we had a big fallout. Yes, we broke up for a short while. All she wanted was this opening- she went ahead and told it to her crush. She didn't want to mend it. They got closer further. The walls were closing in on me but I was not yet ready to give in. If I knew that she didn't feel the same way as I did, I'd have stopped myself from falling in that pit but I didn't know. I needed to learn my lesson. So, I went ahead and patched up with her. I was happy, she was confused and the guy was disgusted. He stopped talking to her because she was back with me again. Yes, I know what you're thinking- "What a douche! Right?" Well, she was in love with that douche. You know I am in love with your mother, I'd be a douche for her!

Anyway, so this guy was pissed at her and they were supposed to go together in the bus. She was sorry for him. And she was about to be sorry for me. I came to drop her brimming with happiness. I spotted the guy and his douche friends making lewd gestures but I trusted my girl to dislike such people so I didn't bother much with my words of caution. All of it now seems like a cosmic plan to teach me a lesson. Anyway, they ended up kissing that night. She reached home and finally mustered strength to break up with me and my puppy love. It came as a shock to me as I had no idea it'd come to this. People knew about them, they were talking behind my back but I was totally blind to all of it. I was in the wonderland of true, unconditional love. It all came shattering down as I heard her.

Next few days, I spent dealing with the news of rejection and betrayal. I knew there was nothing real between us but I had started to feel comfortable with whatever we had. I was building on it. I had plans, I was not through. I believed that I could be way more awesome than before. I was in love with her. So, I did what a desperately in love person would do, I begged her to take me back. I didn't want to know why she had dumped me in the first place. I just wanted another chance. Big mistake kids. If it doesn't word the first time, it will never work. I wanted to make that mistake because I felt alive when I was hurt. I liked the hurt. It was making me a better person again. I was paying for my sins through this and blood was finally reaching my heart. I had begun weaving my story- my fairytale. So she forgave me out of courtesy, just like I used to during our earlier fights. Just because it's uncool to hurt someone. She came back to me. Needless to say, Mr.Douche was not okay with that.

The thing with love is- if you try to hold on to it, it escapes even faster. It you try forcing it, try to do everything right, you'll end up doing everything wrong. Only the love that comes naturally, flows like a river, fills you and empties you all at the same time, can fulfill you. So, while trying my best to be the best boyfriend in the world, I imploded and we again had a falling out right before she was about to come back. It was her fault too as she might have been rooting for this breakup. The douche had made her feel guilty about patching up with me by acting like he had been betrayed. This is what some people do, kids. They make you feel like you owe it to them. This girl gave in to him and again broke up with me. They were again together and I was lonely again. I do not remember the reason for all these breakups because it was never important. One of us was desperately trying to get out of this relationship and the other one was trying too hard to stay in it.

Fifteen days later, tired by this douche's antics, she messaged me. She wanted to know how I had been. Now in a normal scenario, fifteen days is a good enough time to forget someone and move on with your life but I had no reason to move on, she hadn't explained to me what had actually happened and what this guy used to talk to her about behind my back. There were so many unanswered questions and I wanted to know what I had been doing wrong to lose her again and again. I needed a future version of me to come and slap me then and there and tell me that I need to quit being a detective and stop with the obsession. Anyway, I met up with this girl again and then we talked. She wasn't particularly happy with the douche. Well, I don't intend to paint a picture but he was a typical "duuuude" and I mean that in the most negative sense possible. I leave the rest to your imagination. So we kissed and made up! I had decided that I will do everything that she wanted her man to do. I wanted to leave no room for any other guy to enter. I did the most adventurous things possible, I wish not to disclose the details. Your mom knows all of them and she still scoffs at me for them. So, then came February, my birth month. I was with her. I celebrated my 25th birthday with her. It was a bliss. She was slowly falling for me, I could see it. I could see love in her eyes which was the only thing that I wanted to see. Maybe that's why I could see it and not the confusion and conflict that still was going on in her head. Even on the night of my birthday, this douche was hogging her mind space by texting her, telling her how miserable he was because of her. Yup! She was replying to those texts! She was burdened and I was thinking it was something I did. I tried to cheer her up but to no avail. It was painful to know that she wasn't totally obsessed with me as I was. But, as I said, I was paying for my sins. Remember how I murdered a heart and played with the feelings of few others. I had it coming to me and I wanted all my sins to get washed away. I wanted a clean record with "karma" so that when you mother finally comes to me, I can shower all my love on her with no "oops!" moments.

So after my birthday, she told me that she had been talking to this guy. I found it weird and shocking. I thought we had enough of this guy and that we could really look into the far future where douches like these don't matter. This time, she was not on the same plane as me. She didn't want to look too far in the future and this douche was actually around her all the time, trying his best to mend his ego. He had been speaking bad about her in public and his friends absolutely hated her but somehow she knew all this and yet couldn't keep herself away from him. Looking back, I think it was something that I still can't understand. I might attempt to say it was "true love" or "fatal attraction" but in my mind, I still don't know why it kept on happening all the time. I think it was me- I had this habit of mentioning this guy all the time, he never left her mind because either we were talking about him or he was texting her. When someone attacks you from all the fronts, what else can you do?

So then we broke up again. I guess, we did that one more time after that too. We had seriously finished our quota of cute Ross-Rachel type breakup- patch-up routines and it was getting sort of nauseating. But I saw a lot of romance in that. It was like we were inseparable- Big LOL. So then came the day of me leaving Davangere. And we met for one more time and she was again miserable with the douche, we made up again. Seriously, one day to go and we couldn't control ourselves. I do have to mention that it had started looking pretty awesome. I think I was becoming the douche slowly. I mean even when we were broken up, I used to call her and talk. Even when I went to Goa, I finished all my balance talking to her. It was pretty stupid. I just wanted to win. There were other happy couples in my group and they were all fully-functional. I was jealous of them in my own stupid way. I just wanted to defeat them. It was love but it was many things more. Love is easier. It is never this tough and there is nothing romantic about trying too hard to make stuff work and failing!! Keep that in mind.

Anyway, so we spent that time together and then I left Davangere. I left my favourite shirt with her and felt like I'll be back right away. I didn't even realize that I was leaving the place forever. It was beautiful; just for that moment of true love, I think the whole pain, the whole drama, the struggle was worth it. So then we got separated. I was insecure; what never worked on so many attempts, how would it work from so far. Then slowly I got at peace, the guy stopped texting her and she also for a fraction of time, stopped thinking about him. Things got peaceful. She had resigned to fate. She now wanted to be the one who planned about kids and talked to parents about marriage. She even told her mom that she wanted to marry me. I was on cloud 9. It was pretty amazing then guess what? The douche came back!!

ROTFLMAO right? This time he came back with a vengeance. Any other girl who was in perfect love would have shooed him away, I mean it was creepy. But, you know creepiness is subjective. Turns out, I was still the creepy one. She started lying to me. I told her to at least be honest, and that I was okay with everything else. I didn't actually want honesty, I wanted the douche away from her. From my viewpoint, it looked creepy that they were talking.

Anyway, he kept on trying and then one day I broke up with her. I had come to a point where I could easily spot her lies and it was getting pathetic. It seemed as if she didn't even put enough effort in her lies. You could say that knowing when the other person is lying is pretty romantic; well, it's not! It just means you know them too well. So, when we broke up, she went ahead and told the douche about it. The douche began trying for her with all his guns a-blazing. I knew this detrimental for her, so much so that she might lose everything she had- her self-respect, her charm, her innocence, her personality. I tried to save her again but she lied to me again. The douche was seriously relentless and remember, I was the creepy one in her story. So, when it reached a certain point where I could see the hilarity and pathos behind it all, and she tried leaving me again, I called her up and ended things for good. It was a rollercoaster ride and it had taught me many lessons. It was a lovely bond at times and we did have our moments but, you know as your mom has taught me, love is not a serious of many great moments but something that fills that gap between two crazy, awesome moments.

This was my richest and longest experience with love and it made me stronger and prouder. I am proud of how I never lost hope and trusted her even while knowing that she is going to fall. She was an amazing human being with a heart of gold, I am so lucky to have met her but, yes, that heart was not meant for me. It's okay though, don't pity your old man kids, I had paid for all my sins, I had learned to cry and let go; and I had learned to laugh and never give up. I was well-equipped as I waited for your mom. And boy! was the wait worth it all!!