Monday, 19 July 2010

In which it's not so much what was said, but the way it was delivered

A nice piece in this Saturday’s Times explored the concept of the break-up letter, and how, despite this being the age of digital communication, that letter is still a painful thing - to receive in the first place, and to re-read years after the event, when dug out from the box in the attic (I’d link to the article, but there’s a paywall, innit?).

I would argue, though, that the news of a break-up of any relationship delivered via the word on any page, be it a real or virtual one, is Not A Good Thing.

I feel I have some authority on this particular topic, having been ignominiously dumped by text message in the middle of the night a week or so ago.

As a recent commenter so astutely noticed, there had been no mention of dating on this blog’s previous incarnation in a couple of months. He correctly surmised that there must be a new man in the picture (rather sweetly, when one considers that the more sensible explanation would be that I just didn’t have any dates).

Things with Tall, Dark and Handsome* had got off to a pretty promising start, and as the weeks slipped by - and not needing any help in the Screwing Things Up department - I decided I didn’t want to jinx things by committing them to the page.

So we pootled along - lazy evenings by the river; dinners; late-night phonecalls. There was no drama, or attachments to exes. I was, apparently prematurely, feeling faintly optimistic about the whole thing. Then, one Sunday evening, with nothing planned for the week, I fired off a quick message asking about his weekend and whether he was free during the week.

Sent to sleep early by a mixture of tiredness and a touch of heat stroke, I woke up at 3.30am to push a howling Colin out into the night. Returning to bed, the comms addict in me checked the phone briefly as I was slipping back under the duvet.

Which was the moment that I found a message, informing me that seeing each other wasn’t “a gr8 idea”, because TDH “never intended this to become what it has”.

I don’t know quite what I was more offended by. The fact that what I had seen as something fairly casual but with decent potential was too much like commitment for him, maybe. Or the fact that he felt it acceptable to bring things to a close by text message. Or, whether he’d done it via a message containing text speak.

Hmm. No, actually, I know exactly what it is I’m most offended by.

So it’s not a message I’ll be keeping in the bowels of the phone, to be revisited at a later date, a beautiful, but heart-wrenching letter from a lost love. Rather, it’s one to be resigned to the digital dustbin - and hope that, with no plans to date 14-year old boys any time soon , it’s not the sort of thing I’ll be reading from anyone else ever again.

*One person, not three - just to clarify.


Helen said...

Ugh, text speak. I am shuddering at my desk.

Blonde said...

Not ideal, no...

nuttycow said...

You know, the first thing I thought when I read the message was not "poor Blonde", but "he used the word gr8?"

I don't know what this says about me. Sorry for not being more sympathetic!

Seriously, I'm sorry it's come to this. I have high hopes for the future though. Somewhere out there is a lovely chap who deserves you.

Blonde said...

NC: You know, that was my thought too. I don't know what it says about either of us. Probably nothing too flattering (but that we clearly have great minds - alike 'n' all)!

jman said...

In this world there is no shortage of emotional cowards and the digital age allows them to manifest this in even more cowardly ways. While one need never apologize for one's own feelings, I fear people are too often careless with other people's feelings. Sorry you found out the hard way you were seeing (if that is not too strong a word) another digital cowardly, read classless, lion. Your knight has just not found his holy grail, but he is out there seeking.

Ruby said...

Is it really that difficult to add the "eat" once you've typed "gr"? Hate text/internet speak!

Blonde said...

Jman: Hmm. I don't think he's a coward (he didn't seem to be in person) - maybe just a little crass in delivery! Or maybe just I come across as the type of person who'll go all Fatal Attraction on hearing that news. Neither is ideal.

Ruby: So do I, my friend. So do I.

jman said...

Blonde, actions speak louder than words. Even if we grant that he is not a coward full stop, he certainly acted in a cowardly way. Don't know where you had got to in terms of the relationship, but at the very least, he could have called. Some things need to have a personal touch and a break up is one of them no matter how uncomfortable it might make one feel. Or so it says here.

Chômage said...

wot a tw@

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