I recently got into an argument with a girl I’ve been Frenching (I call it “Frenching” to give the relationship more class and sophistication than “some girl I dry hump enough to hate the zipper on my jeans”). It was her birthday and I sent a plain and simple “Happy Birthday” text as soon as I woke up. Is there a guy out there who can see where I went wrong? Does anyone reading this right now know the one thing about that text that redirected this relationship from BJ-ville on a detour towards Over-The-Shirt-Boob-Touching Island? I’ll give you one more minute to scan that text like a “Where’s Waldo” book. Here it is: we had an actual argument over the fact that the text didn’t have an exclamation point. I’ll give every dude reading this a second to stop rolling their eyes like one of those wall mounted cat clocks. I’ll also give all of the ladies reading this a second to uncross their arms and stop nodding in total agreement. And now that we are all back to normal, the question becomes: is she right?
Yes, “bitches love smiley faces” is the tip I’m looking to discuss but it points to the much larger importance of texting in dating. The game has changed. There was a time where you got a girl’s number at a bar and put it in something called “a little black book” and then called her at home to make a date. To repeat: YOU CALLED HER AT HOME! Calling a landline for sexual purposes feels so out of date that I wouldn’t be surprised if a Velociraptor picked up the phone. Think about how different the process has become. Now, you meet a girl at a bar, you take her cell phone number, become Facebook friends, text the rest of the night, check out enough Facebook pictures that you’re on a first name basis with her Mom and Dad, text the rest of the week, then finally go on a first date. People wonder why things move faster than they used to, well you’ve had more contact in one week than people in the “black book days” had in one month. I think it’s pretty normal to push the sexual boundaries when you don’t have to spend half of your time waiting by the answering machine. The fact is, texting is as much a part of dating as the actual date. Guys can no longer lean on the “Bitches be crazy” defense when a girl calls them out on a text.
So should I have had the exclamation point? My initial argument was that the words “Happy Birthday” when said together are always said in an excited way. I’ve never gotten wished a Happy Birthday and thought “That guy doesn’t give a crap about my birthday.” Then I remembered her answer. A passive-aggressive “Thnx.” When I got back that “Thnx” from a girl who I’d been cuddling so much that my boner left a permanent imprint in her back, I knew something was up. No continuing the conversation. No smiley face. Just the plain and simple “Thnx” tipped me off that an argument was coming and—right now—to the fact that she had a point. As guys, we have to do a little bit more. We have to dress up these texts and give them the tone they deserve because we are looking for the same things as girls. We are looking for the “KK” response to a plan for a date because we know that second “K” shows some excitement (a third “K” conveys racism). We are looking for the “See you soon ” text because that smiley face says “I tickle balls” (guys are eternally hopeful). We see the tone so we have to give that tone back. But how much?
Yes, “Bitches love smiley faces” but what they really like is a little bit of effort. They love the random smiley face after a night out together but they get a little weirded out when you start sending them pictograms explaining how your lunch tasted. You have to be a man about these emoticons. Overusing the smiley face is like going to a party and immediately becoming best friends with someone’s mom. Everyone will think you’re a really nice guy but still wonder why you’re putting in THAT much effort. Do you need the mom on your side? Are you just a “Mom guy?” Are you into show tunes, Madonna, and penis? Do you have six boy scouts tied up in your basement? Emoticons are feminine and you have to use them like a guy should use any feminine product; sparingly. If you enjoy the smell of a women’s shampoo then you’re still a dude but if that extends to perfume then we go back to that question about you and penis. Just know it’s all about tone. You need to show some but you need to keep your manhood. It’s a new day, and if you want to get your boner OFF her back and IN somewhere else, then add an exclamation point every now and again…!
Jared Freid is a New York City-based comedian who you can see on MTV’s Failosophy on Thursdays at 10:30pm. Follow him on Twitter for videos, columns, and suggestions for great smelling women’s shampoo. You can also subscribe to his Facebook page here.