Baggage and Trunks

Story Sent in by Nate:

Liz and I met online, and I asked her out. Our first date was going to be a bit out of the ordinary: dinner first, then a short drive out of town, where a friend of mine owned a farm where he kept elephants and llamas to rent out for charity events, birthday parties, fairs, and so on. Liz loved the idea, so it was a go.

At dinner, however, she texted non-stop. She spent more time looking at her phone than she did paying any sort of attention to me. She laughed, gasped, and typed away.

"Hello?" I said, "Earth to Liz. You there?"

She ignored that. I pulled out my own phone and wrote her a text: "How's your date going?" and sent it.

When I looked up, she was staring at me. I gave her a pleasant smile. She said, "What gives you the right to do that?"

"What? Text? Like you've been doing for the past 10 minutes?"

Liz stood up so violently that I thought the table would tip. She said, "I'm just excited about the elephants, so I'm telling everybody. Not my fault you have a problem. Elephant poop is the size of a human head. Yours! Your head is elephant poop! Stupid poop!" She grabbed her bag and left.

I still got to go feed elephants. Without an imbalanced girl to ruin things, it was a great time.


  1. This sounds like a very finely balanced case of reciprocal rudeness, so it's hard to judge who's more wrong. Liz was wrong to send texts on her date (unless of course she excused herself first - which the OP omitted to mention). On the other hand, there are much smoother ways to get her to stop than "Earth to Liz." For example, in the OPs shoes, I would probably have said something like "Liz, I hope this doesn't sound rude, but could I ask you to stop texting? It may sound selfish to take you away from your friends, but I just really enjoy your company." Some may say that's a pushover approach, but 90% of the time, framing something as a "favor" gets the job done. Besides, you can easily modify your approach to become MORE antagonistic if that doesn't yield results, but it's hard to make your date relax if you start out on an aggressive track.

    Also, this story sounds exaggerated to me - everything the OP does is cast in a positive light (eg, smiling "pleasantly"), whereas everything Liz does is framed negatively (eg, standing "violently").

    1. I wouldn't ask nor tell my date to stop texting, I would simply mentally check out of the date, as this is a huge red flag for me. I'm not her daddy, and it's not my job to tell her not to text at the dinner table (on a first date, nonetheless!)

      The fact that she couldn't give me the courtesy or respect of even 15 minutes of undivided attention would tell me everything I need to know about her character.

      Granted, I'm a bit old-fashioned in the sense that I don't text - ever - and don't really get people who are attached to their smartphones 24/7. Get out there and live life, people!

    2. Hey, smartphones DO help you live life - a much more fun life than people who don't use them. Have you ever tried to organize a trampoline dodgeball game, for instance? Even with a small group of 16 people or so, it's a ton of work booking the arena, getting people to sign waivers in advance, and then keeping track of who paid you and who forgot so you can follow up and don't get stiffed for the bill. Without a smartphone, I don't know how I'd be able to throw fun get-togethers like that. Technology makes awesome stuff like this possible! So I have to disagree with you on that point, Steve.

      That said, I agree that it's important to be courteous about smartphone usage. Ignoring somebody to send a text is as rude as pulling out a book and starting to read when you're in middle of a conversation with someone.

  2. I loathe anybody like who cannot break away from their phone. Period. < Oh, was that redundant?
    I hope she texts while driving and gets into a major car accident where only she is hurt and loses use of both her thumbs. That'll learn her.

  3. Ahem--I believe psycho hose beast is the preferred nomenclature, dude.


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