My mom graciously signed me up for a subscription of People magazine so I can stay current on all of the most important aspects of world news: celebrity gossip. If I had to choose a favorite section, but please don't make me, I would say the survey on the last page where they ask celebrities a question and then post their answers in a thought bubble beside a picture of them. Most often banal responses come out of our favorite stars' mouths, but every once in awhile there is a real gem.
Take for instance, the survey: "What is one of your dating 'don'ts'?" There were a few lame answers like "Bring breath mints," and "Don't order garlic," which although helpful are not exciting.
Then comes along Taylor Swift. A girl who, at 19 years old, as already dated more famous people than I ever will in my whole life. Her answer was perfect, and although skews more toward today's younger generations in terms of effective dating advice, the principle of her comment can apply to all.
She responded, "Never send two text messages in a row." And in that single sentence, she unlocked the problem to every failed relationship I have ever had to this date.
Think about it, given the speed at which communication can be transmitted these days, don't you get a little anxious when an instant message, email, text message, MySpace message, Facebook chat message, phone call, etc, isn't returned promptly? We all know that the 20 somethings of the world are glued to these forms of technology to some degree of addiction. But I won't stumble down the well-worn path of my senior thesis in college or the plot of He's Just Not That Into You. I will merely applaud you, Taylor Swift.
I am ever so guilty of sending a text message that I think is flirty and witty, and I get increasingly anxious that it is not returned within, oh, five minutes. I do realize the recipient has a job, a life, friends, old episodes of American Idol on their DVR, but I feel hopelessly invalidated by silence in the dating world. So what do I do? I text again. CORRECTION: What did I used to do? I text again. But I don't say "Oh, did you get my last message?" or "Did your meeting run long?" I text something else. Something unrelated and witty, making it impossible to respond to both my last text and the new text in one message because the topics are so unrelated.
But I am turning over a new leaf. I will now send a text message confidently; I'm still my flirty, witty self, but I will not allow time for the recipient to respond. Who needs additional anxiety in their life? Dating is hard enough.
Thanks, Taylor Swift.