I Should’ve Sent The Winky Face

I’d been playing dinner date tag with Mason for about a month.

I met Mason randomly on a random job I was doing for a bit of extra cash. Smartphone numbers were exchanged and weeks of attempting to go to dinner together commenced. I was free, but he couldn’t choose a day. He was free, but I was busy. We plan a day, but he cancels. We try to reschedule, but there’s no foreseeable available date. It was a mess.

Finally, another date was decided and set in stone. Unfortunately, on the day of the endlessly postponed dinner date, I got invited to a movie premiere. I deliberated with myself. The movie premiere happens once. A date can be rescheduled (as it has been…several times already). Plus, I decided that I had a cancel card that I could play. He used his, so it wouldn’t be a big deal if I whipped out mine, right? So I did. (If you’re curious, we tried one more time two weeks later. He cancelled on me.)

Later that night, I went to the movie premiere. It was fun, the movie was cool, and I saw a few familiar faces. As I was heading home and transferring from the C train to the 4, a mixed Dominican King walked past me. Tall, brown skinned, muscular…a 90s New York rap video dream. Long story short, I gave him my number and the texting games began.

Texting is tricky these days. Not only are we faced with the challenge of tone and grammar, as we’ve always been, but now emojis have joined the conversation and upped the ante. While getting to know mixed Dominican King through the words that popped into the palm of my hand, I often battled with which emoji to use. The smiling face with smiling eyes is an appropriate classic, but maybe it’s a bit too happy. I would use the slightly smiling face, but that feels a little shady. Do I laugh with the tears of joy face, or do I give a gut-busting loudly crying face to show how funny I really thought his joke was? It’s just too much to think about.

One day in particular, I received the timeless mid-day text, “Thinking about you.” Great! Cool! I basked in the nice message for a second and then began composing my reply as if I was Nicholas Sparks. “Thinking about you too” was the obvious choice, but I really wasn’t. I was in the middle of a very busy day and was more concerned about where my next coin was coming from. An emoji seemed like the best route versus replying “thanks”.

Without even seriously contemplating my decision, I sent the smiling face with smiling eyes emoji, AND the face with stuck-out tongue and tightly closed eyes emoji. EEK! The winking emoji was staring back at me saying, “Fool, I would’ve been the subtle and cool, yet appreciative option.” He was right. He would’ve been. My reply couldn’t have been too bad though, because mixed Dominican King replied back with not one, but two really hot pics. 😜

Sometimes I wish the world could throwback to the simple days of texting. Honestly, I would like to go back even further to the simplicity of only talking on the phone. I long for receiving voice messages in place of missed call notifications. Emojis are helping us all feel more emotion beside the black and white texts and colorful bubbles, but they will never replace the gorgeous voice of a mixed Dominican King coming through the phone receiver…or the rush you get when talking to one with your own actual voice.

Click SHOW EMBED to hear the audio piece. (You may have to turn your mobile device landscape to see the button.)