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April 3, 2011
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I huff impatiently as I glance at my phone. The screen lights up the home page, with no new messages. I grit my teeth, shut off the phone, and stare impassively out the window at the ever changing scene.

My mom glances at me. "You've been staring at that thing for quite some time now. What are you waiting for?"

I give a sidelong glance before I finally heave a sigh of frustration. "I'm texting someone, but it seems like he doesn't feel like responding."

She raises her eyebrows. "Is it important?"

I think about it. "Yeah."

Her eyes return to the road, and I fiddle with the radio before she speaks up again.

"Why don't you just text him again?"

I roll my eyes. "You can't do that, Mom. It's the basic rules of texting. They're inviolable!"

"Oh?" There's a small smile playing her lips, but she continues to look straight on into the never ending road.

I know she's only teasing, but I can't help but grow a little peevish.

"Yeah," I retort cantankerously. "If I were to text him back again, it would say that I'm over-eager, and I wouldn't want to come across as head over heels for him. If he knows I want him, then doesn't it just make it a whole lot easier for him? It gives him the control of this relationship, and in the end, my feelings. The worst thing to do is to send an arbitrary text, because that gets you nowhere. Plus, you've got to be prudent with these things, because you can't un-send them."

"Really?" Mom's soft smile widens. "This is almost as complicated as taking calls."

"What?" I stare at her incredulously. "Taking calls?"

She laughs. "We didn't have texting back in the day, don't you know?"

I shrug. "Well, yeah. I know that. But I didn't think it was so complicated. I mean, you pick up the phone and start talking right?"

She shakes her head. "If it were only that easy. See, the thing is, you had to debate between yourself whether or not you wanted to pick up the phone. Picking up the phone meant that you were expecting the call, and therefore, 'over-eager', as you would say. But not picking up the phone was risky toward the relationship. It meant that you knew he was calling, but you didn't want to talk to him." She smiles, as if remembering something long forgotten. "Then, of course, there was the matter of how many rings you wanted him to wait before you actually picked up."

"How did you know that he was going to call you?" I innocently ask.

"You give him your number and designate a time for him to call. That's another factor," she states. "The proximity of the time you give him your number and the time it takes for him to call you also says something about the relationship." She takes quick look at me. "Actually, these rules don't seem so different than your 'texting' rules. Calling a boy right after he gives you his number, or calling him more than once, can also come across as 'over-eager'."

I pause a minute to digest the information. "So this is what you guys talked about between friends?"

My mom's eyes sparkle. "What do you think we did, sit around and crochet?" She laughs at her own joke as I grimace at the horrible pun.

"Of course," she continues, "I've also considered those rules to be negligible." She grins at me.

"What?"

"What's wrong with the girl calling the guy once in a while? Besides, in my experience, the guys like it so much better when the girl takes the reigns," she flips her hair over her shoulder before sending me a malicious grin. "How do you think I snatched your father?"

"Ew! Mom! Too much information!" I squeal, but I can't help laughing with her.

I pull out my phone again, and the same home page pops up. I sigh. One little text (or the lack thereof) can either make me go deliriously happy or depressingly crazy.

"Girls read way too much into the little things," I finally conclude.

"What else are we supposed to do?" Mom questions.

The car is silent again.

"I've made my mind up," I resolute.

"What's that?"

"I'm going to defy the laws of texting, and send him another text," I proudly exclaim.

My mother grins at me. "Good for you," she calls as I quickly compose my new text, and feel a wave of accomplishment.

"Did you talk to your mom about this kind of stuff too?" I inquire.

Mom nods. "Yeah, except in your grandmother's time, it was Morse code as opposed to telephones."

With another wry smile playing her lips, I couldn't tell if she was being sarcastic or not.





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