The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It's the little things

(*Warning: cheesy relationshippy post*)

When Ben and I began down this road of figuring out how this long distance thing works, the phone was (actually still is) our main only source of communication. (The boy's lack of email is a blog post in and of itself.) Anyway, as one can imagine, cross-Atlantic telephone conversations are not always simple. It's not as if either of us can just pick up the phone and push a speed dial button to get to each other. There are routing phone numbers, and pin codes, and country codes to get out and to country codes to get in. I have to push a total of 35 digits each time I call him. It tends to be a bit frustrating when he's not around to answer.

I didn't used to be a real text-messager, but I realized very early on that it is much easier (and cheaper) for me to send a text message to London than to call. So, since it is cheaper for him to call me, we fell into a pattern where I would text him and he would call me right back. Sometimes I would text him just to say hi and tell him I was thinking of him or that I missed him. The problem is, the boy NEVER texted back. When I would talk to him the next time, I would ask if he got my text. "Yes, darling. Thank you very much." Um. Okay. I would tell him "you know, you could text me back." He said he hated this text message feature, he would rather just pick up the phone and hear my voice. How can you argue with that?

As we progressed, the time lapse between my text messages and his phone calls started to get longer. Sometimes, I would not hear from him for a day or two after I sent him a text message. When I would talk to him, he would say that he got my "thinking of you" text message but was busy at work/with friends/etc. and couldn't call. Again, I suggested he just text me back with a quick "busy-will call you tonight." Again, he told me he didn't like to text. I explained to him that a simple text from him would make me feel like he is thinking about me. He said "but I am always thinking about you. Why do I need to text message you for you to know this?" Man, he's good at this.

One night, we had a particularly long emotional "how can we make this work" phone conversation. After we hung up, I sent him the world's longest text message. I told him to have a great day and asked (read: begged) that at some point - any point - during the day, he send me one single text message. The next day...nothing. I began to wonder why he was fighting this. Does his phone have a text messaging feature? Does it cost him a lot of money? Does he know how to spell?

Next came the typical guy vs. girl "I don't understand why you are making such a big deal out of this vs. I don't understand why you can't do this one simple thing that means a lot to me" conversation. I am not proud of what I did next. The gals reading will probably think "you did what you had to do" whereas the guys will think "ugh, bitchy girl move!" The convo went like this:
Me: I want you to send me a text message.
Him: I know darling, you keep telling me.
Me: I mean it Ben.
Him: (not taking me very seriously) I know, I know.
Me: Okay, you have one week. That is seven days. Count them, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Him: (giggling)
Me: Seven days, Ben. Sometime in the next seven days I want a text message.
Him: (giggling)
Me: I don't care what it says. I don't care if it is two letters "h-i" with no period.
Him: (still giggling)
Me: And I don't care what you have to do to remember. Put a note on your door. Ask your roommates to remind you.
Him: (still giggling)
Me: But you have seven days to do this one tiny thing for me....or I am cancelling my flight.
Him: (no longer giggling) What? You are serious.
Me: Yep.
Him: Why are you saying this?
Me: Because I want a text message. I am well aware that I am turning a simple text message into a "show me you care about me" moment and I simply don't care how childish that is. I want a text message.
Him: You are acting really funny, maybe we should talk later.
Me: That's fine. You still have seven days.

We hung up and I felt really bad. The thing I liked most about this guy and this relationship is the lack of game-playing. Did I just ruin that? Did I really need to stoop to such high school girl levels? Really? Then my phone beeped "Hi love, it's me Ben." A couple of hours later, I got another text message. The next day, I got another one. A week after that, I got two text messages in one day, then a phone call to make sure I got his two text messages. He was so proud of himself. "I was at a bar with my friends and you popped into my head and I thought 'Ahhh, I will send her a text message.'" Although I did feel a little bad for stooping to such low levels to get my way, in the process I realized how lucky I am to have a guy who will do anything to make me happy, even if my demands are irrationally girly.

All this went down back in October so you might be wondering why bring it up now. This morning when I woke up to a text message from London that read "Bon jour love!" I melted. All over again. Sigh. It really is the little things.