The other night I'm at a charity event with a friend. After the event, we're in a car service headed downtown for drinks. She's got two Blackberries (Blackberrys?) out and is tapping away. After a couple minutes, I ask who's she's texting. She names a hook up friend of hers, and adds that she'd just texted her parents too. I feel the Negativity well up inside of me and I sit there putting it out towards her.
She senses it of course, even as she's still texting and asks me what's up.
I tell her that you get from the universe what you put out into it. (Yeah, I really said that. Sigh.) And now I can tell I've upset her too. She presses about it, but I quickly drop it and we move on and actually continue to have a nice non-romantic, friendly night out.
I wonder sometimes what our grandparents would think of our standards of social norms. I'm starting a weekly series on this blog this summer that'll be called Mind Your Digital Manners (or something like that) that'll be an Emily Post series for the always-connected world we live in (I'll answer how many good byes does it take to end an IM conversation...how quickly you have to answer text messages from ex-colleagues and ex-lovers on the weekend, etc).
The fact is, it's rude to text anybody when you're out in a one-on-one setting with a friend (squeeze in a quick text in the bathroom if you must, but better to just be out and living the night, frankly).
But you know, my reaction wasn't proportional to the social infraction. No, I knew at the time and know now that the greater part of my Negativity was the echoes of my recent trashing and the lies that surrounded it, even as it seems to me most of my friends think I shouldn't be bothered by any of it. I've got some bitterness about it -- anger is probably a more accurate description at present -- and that came out as my friend texted her lover.
I'd add that what really sucks is that there's nothing I can do about it just now, but to let it process. Again. I wish I could ask Grandma Susie, from whose Emily Post book we used to read at our dinner table, what she thinks of dating and hanging in NYC in 2008.