Posted in Friendship, humor, Technology

C U @ Dinner: A texting mishap

From the learned-the-hard-way files.

An unexpected delay in my schedule left me sitting outside my son’s piano lesson late one afternoon, instead of emailing my girlfriends a reminder about our dinner later in the week. So I thought I’d try one of those text messages the young folk are always mentioning.

(OK, I’ve sent texts before, but not many. And those few experiences made me feel like my natural habitat is sitting in a rocking chair watching Pat Sajak while numerous cats bat at the hem of my afghan shawl.)

I gingerly opened my flip phone and went to the menu. Hmmm. Nothing said “text.” How did I do this last time?

“Whacha doing, mom?” my daughter asked from the back seat.

I continued to scroll through menu options as I answered her. “Well, there’s this thing you can do with cell phones, like sending email—“

“You mean messaging?”

I glanced toward the techie in the back seat. “Yes. Maybe. If that’s the same thing as texting.”

One of the menu options was [MAILBOX]. I went to it and saw [CREATE MESSAGE]. Ah-hah!

After several minutes I figured out how to select recipients from my contact list. The phone only let me choose one recipient at a time, at which point I had to start over for the next. By the time added my 7th and final recipient, I was rethinking this idea.


Finally! Let’s see. Today was Tuesday, so our Thursday’s dinner was in two days. Right. I looked down at my keypad and once again wished I had one of those phones with the full alphabetic keypad. As it is, my phone has the standard number keys that I have to press multiple times to scroll through letters available. Number 1 has assorted punctuation, 2 has A, B, and C, and so on. I sighed and started punching my way through my message. “Remember dinner on Tuesday. C U then.” The former English teacher in me felt awkward about the C U part, but it was so much faster!


“So that took a long time,” my daughter opined from the back seat. “What were you messaging about?”

“We have dinner on Thursday—Oh no! I just said Tuesday! That’s tonight!”


I opened it. “I thought our dinner was Thursday. I’ll be late tonight.” I chose [REPLY] at the bottom of the message. Huh. Would that send it to everybody? Probably not. Well, I’d answer this one right quick and then deal with the others. I started typing: “Sorry. It’s not 2nite. I meant Th—“


“Angela, I thought dinner was on Thurs?”

Wait! What just happened to the message I was typing? Where did that go? OK, don’t panic. Just do it again.

[REPLY] “Sorry. Yes, dinner is on Th—“


“Oops. I had the wrong date. I’ll get there as soon as I can!”

There was a timid tap on my shoulder. “Mom? You’re sort of muttering to yourself.”

“Yes, honey, I know. I just sent the wrong message to everyone and they won’t stop texting me long enough for me to correct it! Stop laughing! Don’t you have homework to do?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

I used my menu button to get to my OUTBOX. Yes, there at the top was my original message to the group. I opened it to see if there was a way to reply to everybody at once instead of having to scroll through my address book again for all seven recipients. Hmmm. What did this button do?


“Why are you shouting, Mom?”

“Do your homework!!”


By the time I crafted my reply and was able to send it, I was sure a quarter of my life had slipped away. But hey—at least this happened with people I know and love. They already know I’m flaky. And every one of them was kind enough not to comment on the colorful language in my final message.


Angela Dove is an award-winning columnist and author of the true crime memoir, No Room for Doubt (Penguin Group, 2009). For more information about author events visit



Award-winning humor columnist and author of the true crime memoir _No Room for Doubt: A True Story of the Reverberations of Murder_ (Penguin Group, 2009). Inspirational speaker on issues of survivors' rights, women's issues, and general you-can-do-it-ness. Marketing consultant.

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