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“Plz call me ASAP”

A plea for proper text message etiquette.

“We need to talk” is about the worst thing to hear from someone, especially from a significant other. You guys might feel the same way about hearing this sentence. For some reason I will instantly start to have a mild anxiety attack trying to figure out what exactly I did wrong. Logically, I can find absolutely nothing most times, but I still feel guilty for some reason. It’s a similar feeling to buying alcohol at a gas station. I feel like I’m doing something wrong despite it being perfectly legal for me to buy alcohol. Or when you see a cop on the street and you start wondering what crime you’ve committed because surely there was some crime you did commit. You’re guilty as fuck, of what you’re not sure, but guilty nonetheless.

I’ve been telling my wife to not do this to me. To not text me at work with a “We need to talk” without some preview of what exactly we’ll be talking about. Family members? Fine. Our relationship? A bit scarier. Does she have general questions or did I do something I’m unaware of? Am I going to get chewed out? Tell me something! We can talk in person, but damn do not text a general we need to talk. It sends my blood pressure and heart rate into the stratosphere and I dread every minute until “the talk” actually happens.

And then “the talk” is usually about something not that bad and I’ve stressed-out for hours fearing absolutely nothing.

No big deal really, just another misunderstanding between two people in a relationship that you have to iron out. I don’t even want to blog in-depth about that isolated gripe because it isn’t a big deal. But today I woke up to a text from my mom saying “Plz call me ASAP”. It’s not exactly the same thing as “We need to talk” but pretty damn similar. It was really jarring to wake up to that. Part of me doesn’t even want to complain about it; I haven’t woken up that fast in quite awhile. To hell with an alarm on my phone, I’ll just have my mom start sending me alarming and vague text messages around noon.

After reading that text my brain did something like this: “Someone died. Okay. Who died? Grandma? Was there a car wreck? It could be someone else too. Who’s hospitalized? Did someone try to kill themselves? No, it has to be grandma. She’s old and it’s only a matter of time. She’s basically wanting to give up on life anyways. Should I call into work or tough out whatever major thing just happened? Keep to my routine or mourn? Will I have to be strong or supportive to the rest of my family or will they be okay? Should I help clean out her house? Just yesterday she was alive and fine and oh my God what actually happened?” Brains are cool and it did all of that in just a few seconds.

So still in bed like thirty seconds after waking up and looking at my phone I give her a call. “Plz call me ASAP”. What could it be? I’m dreading what she’s going to say and it’s awful. I haven’t even had a cup of coffee yet. 

It goes to voice-mail and I hang up. Plz call me ASAP? Must not be that big of a deal if it went to fucking voice-mail…

My dad calls me ten minutes later and I dread answering that. I’ll discover whatever Plz call me ASAP as soon as I answer it. Oh no, more anxiety and fear and I’m still in bed without my coffee. At least my vape comforts me.

“Have you talked to your mom yet?” He asks.

“No. She sent me a text saying to ‘call her ASAP’ and I called. It went straight to voice-mail.”

He sighs, obviously preparing to tell me the awful news of my grandma’s death a few hours earlier. I fearfully listen as he says, “Your mom’s car is broken down. It’s in the shop. She called me and wanted to borrow money but I don’t have that kind of money!”

Plz call me ASAP. That was it? She needed to bum money off me? Instantly my mood went from fearful and anxious, full of dread, to a full-body-and-soul eye-roll. Jesus Christ, I love my family. Sarcasm obviously. Not that I hate them, just shit like this makes me want to punch a wall.

It reminded me of a time a year ago when my mom texted me saying something like, ‘Please visit grandma. Her health is going downhill and she probably doesn’t have much longer.’

I was at work and asked her if grandma would hang onto life until the next day. She said she didn’t know. She probably used that dumb phrase ‘it’s touch-and-go’. I worked and worried, running through the last time I saw her in my mind. Was that the last time I’d see my grandma?

Surprise surprise: she’s still alive. Her health didn’t go downhill at all last year. She fell, got kinda sick, and kept trucking along like she does. I think my mom might exaggerate stuff a little bit.

There’s probably certainly a blog post about my mom’s car and all of that trash in the near future, but let’s not get into too deeply here. Her car stalls out and dies, lacks power going uphill, and the stealership says she needs a new catalytic converter. Her warranty (which covers drivetrain issues) doesn’t do shit for her. It’ll cost her $1,500 to get it fixed. An automotive repair shop that she likes, Wick Automotive (Check out these reviews. Wick’s does seem like a decent place. And no I’m not paid to say that.), said they’d fix her car for only $1,000. But then she’d have to pay the stealership $160 to even get the car back thanks to a ‘diagnostics charge’ or some shit. Say it again: Stealership. (Consider this: I offer to fix someone’s car. I say, “Bring it over, lemme look at it!” They bring the car over. I find out what’s wrong with it, but it’s too complicated for me to fix. “I can’t fix this, it’s beyond my skill level. Sorry, you’ll have to take it somewhere else. Just pay me $50 for looking at it though.”) Should she have it towed to Wick’s? Should she drive it to Wick’s? Is it even the catalytic converter or maybe just a clogged fuel filter? And she only has $700 so, “Jer, do you think you might be able to help me out?”

[Insert future blog post here.]

If you’re reading this, don’t be that guy. Do not send texts to people that they could use their gloom and doom to misinterpret. If it is gloom and doom for real, I’d prefer it said right away. “Call me ASAP. My car is fuuucked!” If you need to actually talk in person to someone, give a preview. “We need to talk. Nothing big, just I want to complain about [family member].” Fer fecks sake, use the “We need to talk”s or “Call me ASAP”s sparingly over text message. They sound important and terrifying, they give the textee severe dread and anxiety, and please to the Lord Jesus H. Christ don’t use them in everyday speech.

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By TheBlackhairedGuy

I'm a guy. And I have black hair. Well not really because it is slowly turning grey. I suppose TheNotquiteBlackhairedGuy doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it? I write the blog EverythingSucks.blog as well as dabble in some freelance writing.

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