Friday, February 20, 2009

Of toilets and texts

I'm not much of a "texter."  (Is that a word?  It is now.)  I don't even have an unlimited texting plan for my cell phone.  That means every text I send or receive costs 20 cents.  Which makes those (illegal!!) spam texts ultra-annoying.  I mean, 20 cents is not enough to get me to call T-Mobile and ask them to take the charge off, but it is enough to send tiny little spurts of angry smoke out of my ears.

I'd like to use texting to communicate with The Engineer throughout the day when he's at work.  You know, "What time u coming home?" or "Pls keep funny farm on speed dial 2day 4 me."  Problem is, his company uses Verizon for their company plan, and the cute, nerdy, glasses-wearing guy and his "network" are nowhere to be found at The Engineer's office.  ("Can you hear me now?"  "NO!")

But I have friends who text regularly, and every so often I communicate with them that way.  It actually fits my phone-hating hermit tendencies pretty well.

So a couple of weeks ago after church, I went to a popular burger place with a bunch of friends.  By the time I got there, the line was ridiculous, and Kenny offered to order for me.  Kenny is a good friend and happens to be our pastor.  

I gratefully accepted--I was carrying Zoodle, and The Engineer was home with a sick Chickie, so I was glad not to have to stand in line.  Besides, my morning coffee was catching up with me.  I gave Kenny my order plus a to-go order for The Engineer.  I put Zoodle in a high chair, left him at the table with several from our group who had already found seats, and headed to the restroom.

Just as I was about to grab toilet paper, my phone beeped letting me know I had a text message.  So I grabbed it out of my pocket and checked the message.

I read, "I forgot did the engineer want mayo or mustard?"

I quickly typed a response.  (Okay, not that quickly, to be honest; my texting is the phone equivalent of hunt-and-peck.)

I had mixed feelings about that little bathroom conversation.  I mean, it was great he could contact me, because let's face it, personalized condiment accuracy can make or break a burger.

But is it just a little weird to be texting about burgers while I'm sitting on the toilet?  I mean, it's definitely better than a true phone conversation with the awkward flushing sounds in the background.  But still, I was texting about lunch, in the bathroom, with my pastor on the other end of the phone.  Is that breaking some unwritten commandment?

I guess my struggle is a sign that I'm no longer in the same generation as teenagers, who would certainly, instinctively, know the etiquette of toilet texting.  Maybe if any of you are reading now, you can school me on this delicate, important issue.

And for the record, The Engineer's answer will always be,



Shannon said...

Very funny! I'm not sure what the bathroom text protocol is. I mostly use texting as a way of flirting. With my husband, of course. It's fun!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

I always think it's a bit odd when people expect you to have a mobile conversation when they've caught you in the privacy of the toilet!

I hope you get your big mojo back soon, C-Beth - I have no answers that work for me, apart from total resting, when your body says it's time - I realise it's difficult with two young children, even if you're into cross-dressing them - I continue to adore your writing, and love the new embroidered banner! x

Sandra said...

I completely understand your conflict about this. But, it WOULD be much better than a phone call.

I never know quite what to say when I'm talking to someone and I suddenly hear flushing in the background! I suppose, "I hope everything came out okay!" isn't appropriate? :)

My Teacher Hat said...

I can guarantee you that texting in the toilet is acceptable among the middle- and high-school set. It's the only place they can get out their phones without getting them confiscated by a teacher! God only knows what teenage drama goes on between bathroom-cosseted cell phones.

These are the trend-setters, for better or worse...

beckiwithani said...

Are you sure T-Mobile charges for both sending and receiving? Most only charge for sending - receiving is free. We have T-Mobile, but we pay for unlimited texts because we use it so much. I guess if they charge for receiving texts, we're saving more money than we realized.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I'm a grown up texter. I even Facebook by text since I can't get on Facebook from work. I'm a technology addict in some ways.

And I text from my phone while on the toilet pretty frequently. In fact, at work, I'm more likely to text from the toilet than from my desk... don't want to be seen wasting company time (like right now). Ha!

Call Me Cate said...

I have unlimited texting I think, or at least far more texts available than I shall ever use. I only text my husband and occasionally one friend.

As for toilet texting... I've done it a time or two. Once, I had to chronicle on my blog. That was the drunk texting when I got "peed" on.

Never my priest though. And never about mayo. You must be more hip than me.

Isabella said...

Hmm...I'm a frequent texter, but I don't know of any proper toilet texting etiquette.

Knowing kids today (gosh, I sound like an old fogey), there probably isn't any - unless there is a line and you're holding up a stall because you're in the middle of a really intense text message. That's the only thing I can think of.

Now, I know you've mentioned reading emails on your laptop while in the bathroom...but have you ever IM'ed?

Isabella said...

p.s. I see what you mean about texting your pastor in the bathroom. I'd feel a little weird if I had to do the same with mine. Why is that?

Becky said...

I understand how you felt about that - mostly because your pastor knew you were in the bathroom. That would feel weird to me, too. Otherwise, I think bathroom texting is totally acceptable - because who'd have any way of knowing where you were when you texted?

Now on the other hand, bathroom cell phone conversations are just weird. I can't tell you how many times I've been trying to take a pee and listening to someone a couple of stalls over having a conversation with someone. Is any conversation really that important that it can't wait two minutes? It seems so rude to me - both to the person on the other end of the phone and to the other people in the bathroom.

Mike said...

Ah, the joys of toilet texting...

Sadly, I'm probably the only person in my school without my own cell phone! I know my French teacher doesn't have one either, so I guess I'm not totally alone...?

So like, ttyl 4 now!

Dina said...

I had to laugh when I read this post. I find myself texting more and more, but still have conflicted feelings about how much I want to rely on it. I wrote a post on texting last month that you might enjoy...

stacief said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stacief said...

I really hate texting. It takes me forever to do it. My brother(18years younger then me) only texts... which if funny as he is a terrible speller. My step mom now is a champion texter as she gets to keep more in touch with my brother.

Lyndsay said...

I'm not sure what it saya about me ... but I've toilet-texted so many times, I don't think twice about it, LOL!

Our Scoop said...

You are HILARIOUS!! I love the way you tell a story. Wow. I loved it!!!!

P.S. My engineer will always be MAYO too. How funny!!

C. Beth said...

Mama to a diva--"I mostly use texting as a way of flirting. With my husband, of course." That is so sweet!

A Woman of No Importance--Thank you!! I've gotten good sleep the last couple of nights and my energy seems to have mostly returned. Yay!

Sandra--Ha! Yes, I think ignoring the flushing sound is probably the best response. ;)

My Teacher Hat--Whew. Knowing that my actions fit in with those of middle-schoolers is definitely a relief!

beckiwithani--I should check on that! I was thinking it's both sending and receiving but not sure.

Liz--I really do think I'd be a "grown-up texter" too if The Engineer could text at work. He's hoping to get them to switch to Sprint since it works in their building, but it's hard since many of their offices use Verizon.

Call Me Cate--Cooler than YOU?! That's amazing! :-D

Isabella--Have I ever IM'd on the toilet? Um...I think that's classified information. Or I'll need to plead the Fifth. Or something....

Becky--The funny thing is, we've been friends with him for years, since before he was our pastor, so we laughed about it afterward. So it wasn't really that weird...but it made for a good blog topic. :)

Mike Fan--No cell phone? How are you surviving high school? ;)

Dina--I will check out that post--thanks!

stacief--I've noticed that parents of teenagers sometimes become frequent texters! I suppose as my kids get old enough for phones I'll be the same, unless something more "modern" has replaced texting by then.

Lyndsay--Well, if I fit in with you, I think I'm okay! :)

Our Scoop--Thanks! Interesting about your engineer liking mayo too--what does he like on hot dogs? My engineer is a mustard guy with hot dogs.

D said...

Too funny! I don't know any rules about toilet texting, but I do it often. Seems to be where I always get caught at anyway. Plus, it is much better than the toilet phone call!

Our Scoop said...

Hmmm...I think ketchup on the dogs...not much of a mustard fan :) I guess their similarities ended with the always mayo (even on sloppy joes or bbq beef sandwiches! YUCK!).

Bri said...

I occassionally text while on the potty. It is more acceptable than talking while on the potty, that is for sure. Although I see no problem with either.

This one time I was in the bathroom at a bar and a girl asked where I got my shirt cause it was cute. I wasn't sure if she was talking to me or on the phone. So I had to ask, "Are you talking to me?" LoL