a.k.a. “iPhone: A Love Story”
Author’s Note: This is not a promotional story about an iPhone. This is the story about how my phone helped me fall in love.
To start this story off, I feel the need to clarify that we did not meet on Tinder.
I recently reconnected with an old friend of mine.
Okay, I say friend, but what I really meant was someone that used to come into my work and I would relentlessly flirt with because she was a 10 and I was a 6 (okay I was a fat 6 and am now a fit 8, you’re welcome ladies). She had long dark hair that had slight natural curls, beautiful dark skin, deep brown eyes and a long and slender body that just would not stop. She was my angel that I would serve an Iced Caramel Macchiato with an oatmeal raisin cookie to at least 4 times a week (oh my God, she had a sweet tooth, which made her even more attractive to me).
This beautiful raven-haired goddess would come into my coffee shop and let me incessantly flirt with her. Not only did she seem to like it, but sometimes she would even go out of her way to let me flirt with her. Every once in a while she would touch my arm over the counter as I told a joke and I would be driven to absolute insanity over just the briefest physical touch from my Coffee Shop Beauty. It was true love. Okay so it wasn’t true love, she might have even had a boyfriend at the time, but you get what I mean.
Our story came to an end though, because I was fat and she was perfect, and because I was going on to a new career outside of the realm of steamed milk and wouldn’t get to see her every day. But the biggest reason was because I never actually had the courage to ask her out.
Smash cut to 3 years later. I had recently gotten out of a 2 year-long relationship, I had lost all of my “baby weight” (you’re welcome ladies) and was the happiest and healthiest I had been in 10 years. I was happy-and-you-know it happy, which typically involves a lot of skipping and whistling to my understanding. One day I decided to swing by my old stomping grounds and see what was going on. I said hello to some former work-friends I hadn’t seen in a while, walked around, took in the sights, you know, shit you do when you’re bored and single in a small town. As I was about to leave, I saw something that made my heart skip a beat. It was beautiful. Hark! It was my former love! She was as gorgeous as ever. She gave me that smile that she had given me hundreds of times before, showing off her beautiful teeth, her big brown eyes crinkling the slightest, her long hair with slight curls dangling past her shoulders, she was still my angel.
A snow angel – get it?!
We hugged. We sat down together. We talked. We talked about what we had both been up to for the past 3 years, we talked about what our mutual acquaintances had been up to, and it was fucking great. I got to sit down with my Coffee Shop Beauty, like I had dreamed about years ago, and just have a conversation. When she finally had to get back to work, I told her I wanted to kiss her I was so happy I had gotten to see her again. She laughed, tilted her head back and let her hair fall off of her shoulders and said, “Maybe next time.” True love I tell you!
Like before though, our story here came to an end. Because she was perfect and I was not, because I was about to move away and on to a career outside of that small town, and because this time she definitely did have a boyfriend. But the biggest reason was because I never actually had the courage to ask her out.
Good-bye my love!
Smash cut to a year later. I’m living in a new city and working 7 days a week starting a new restaurant. I have a dog that I love taking on walks everyday (his name is Bowie and he is fucking RAD). I go on dates, not too many, but as many as time affords me. Not with anyone in particular, because I’m just not in a place right now where I am ready to take my very little and even more precious free time away from myself and my rad-as-shit dog Bowie. I’m happy and healthy and I am working every day to find a work-life balance that suits me. Life is good. Then one fateful day I wake up and everything changed. I woke up to a Facebook notification, a new friend request in fact. MY COFFEE SHOP BEAUTY WANTS TO BE FACEBOOK FRIENDS.
Don’t lie – we all love it when you see the friend request!
What. In. One. Thousand. Fucks.
I look at her profile. I look at her pictures. She lives halfway across the country now. Fuck. She has a gorgeous dog. Double fuck (I’m a sucker for dogs). She is working to open up her own gym and is generally just crushing life. Triple fuck.
Might as well be a picture of where she lives
I figure what the hay, let’s chat. I send her a message. She responds immediately. We go back and forth. I’m physically in my pajamas sitting on my couch at 8AM as my dog is shitting outside. But in my mind I am suddenly brought back to years ago remembering all of these memories of a former life, one with my Coffee Shop Beauty. I go about my day as we continue to talk, catching up on our lives since they have both drastically changed. The conversation seems to flow so easily now. We seem to have more in common than we ever realized before. I used to be worried I would say something stupid and she would roll her eyes and walk away. Now, I could give two-fucks about pissing her off. I’m free. I’m saying anything and everything that pops into my head, and she is responding. Not only is she responding, she is dishing it right back. She’s laughing at my terrible off-color jokes. She empathizes with me now when I have a rough morning or have a bad time at work. She’s the first person I talk to in the mornings and the last person I talk to before I go to bed. When something funny happens, I tell it to her so she can laugh with me. She cares about how my days go and what I am doing. Or at least she seems to.
Did I mention that all of our correspondence now is all via text message? I must have. It’s pretty integral to the story here.
I’m having a relationship with this person on my phone. I mean, I know her, I have met her before, I have high-fived her and seen her eat cookies. I know she is real. But at the end of the day, even though she tells me what she is doing and we discuss meals we have and stuff that people do in their everyday life, I am having a relationship with my phone.
See you in the morning sweetie!
Since we have reconnected, I have gone out on dates. I have gone out for drinks with other people. But the entire time I am sneaking away to the restroom to check in with my Coffee Shop Beauty, because I’m more interested in what she is doing than what is going on with whomever else I am spending time with. On most days, I would rather spend time texting with her than connecting with someone new and someone that I could possibly date near me. Who needs friends when you’re having an affair with your phone?
Yeah that’s just not doing it for me…
Now we text every day. We text about what is going on with work, what funny thing we saw, how cute our dogs are. Stupid stuff. Stuff that it is fun to share with someone else but stuff that doesn’t matter if you actually get to share it. She lives across the street from two goats, and this morning she sent me a video from her bed of her watching the goats playing with each other. And the video of the goats with her laughing will probably be the highlight of my day.
Wait, what am I doing to myself here?
We talked about the possibility of us actually being something. We both agree that it isn’t possible. We live 1220 miles apart and both of us are small business owners in our respective cities. She loves where she lives, and I love where I live…except for all of the fucking hobo-hippies. We both decided that while we can still be friends and still talk as much as we would like. It’s just that this doesn’t feel like a friendship. It feels like more than that, and I’m glad.
Our first date!
Let’s take a step back.
Modern communication is fucking weird. I remember when people first started using AOL Instant Messenger and you’d go to school and pretend like you didn’t know the kid that you talked to online for hours with the night before. It was crazy! My freshman year of college was the first year of Facebook. People seemed to make it their mission to add as many friends as they could. I would get requests from people that I had only seen in 300+ person lectures, and hadn’t even spoken to. Why would I want to be your Internet friend if I haven’t actually had a conversation with you in real life? What the fuck? Don’t get me wrong I still accepted the requests. Because fuck it. ‘It’s online and it doesn’t matter,’ I didn’t care. None of it was real.
OH MY GYAH SO MANY FRIENDZ
And now, when was the last time you actually called your best friend to talk to them? I’m guilty of it. Why talk to someone and have to deal with the potential awkwardness of an actual conversation when you can text and get the vitals of the conversation? Or you can just have an always-streaming always up-to-date conversation at your leisure with you and 1000 of your closest friends. I do it. I’m busy. I work a lot. I don’t have time to have a phone call with everyone that I text with. It’s easier this way, right?
I don’t know what the end game here is. I’m not saying that I have any answers to these issues. I’m sure that in a few years we are going to have made the next big step in technology that allows us all to enter alternate realities where we can fly and live in Second Life or whatever the fuck Spike Jonze’s next movie is about. Apple will probably come up with a new social app that will essentially cripple us socially. I don’t know exactly what the future of dating will be like, though it does seem bleak.
All I know is that I am having a relationship with this girl on my phone, and it really makes me happy.
Fucked up, right?
That’s my dog, Bowie.