Romance, Cat Photos, And Emojis: How Texting has ruined every poetic moment you’ve ever known!

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Romance, Cat photos and Emojis

I go out walking after midnight
Out in the moonlight
Just like we used to do
I’m always walkin’ after midnight, searchin’ for you”
– As sung by Patsy Cline, written by Alan Block and Donn Hecht

In Walkin’ after Midnight, Patsy Cline sings about walking around her neighborhood, thinking about her ex lover and wishing to be with him.  She seems to be hoping that the energy of her desire will draw him out of his house and bring them together.  This song is so sad and full of longing, and it couldn’t happen today.

She’d just send him a text: ‘sup?  And if he was up, he’d write “u up?” and they’d start sexting and eventually hook up at her place, or behind a P.F. Chang’s.

Going back even further, you may not know that the legendary lantern signal one if by land, two if by sea was actually the way that colonist Paul Revere let his mistress know if his wife had gone to bed and she could come over.

Now he’d just Instagram a picture of two lanterns and caption it “Hey ladies”.

Classic romance films An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle both had a scene where a man waits atop the Empire State Building for a woman to meet him, his heart filled with hope and anxiety and longing, but not today.  He’d wait five minutes and send her an emoji of a clock and an angry face, and she’d text him back with an eggplant and a thumbs up, or something.   The main twist to all romantic films from here forward will always have to include a broken phone, or losing battery and not being able to find an outlet to charge.

Technology has completely changed the way we communicate, and late night communication in particular.  If Lord Byron wanted to send a secret missive, he had to wake a servant up to hand deliver a handwritten note, and that servant had to wake up her servant, and what if your servants are sleepy, or, worse, you don’t have any?  You’re limited to throwing rocks at a window or moaning out on your balcony, “Romeo!  Wherefore art thou?”

Now, it’s almost too easy.  Once you’ve had a couple drinks and watched Magic Mike XXL, you might reach out to a friend or ex or acquaintance in a more direct way than you would at lunchtime on a Tuesday.  That’s ok, or at least, it’s normal- but if you do find that you’re embarrassed by your late night phone behavior, use my friend’s policy:  he doesn’t write anyone between midnight and 7am, less it be construed as a sext.  “Anything I want to say can wait until it’s daylight,” he says.

young couple in kitchen drinking coffee and using smart mobile phone

We communicate via text much more than in any other method.  It’s easier than ever to use messaging to reduce physical distance between people- but be careful once you start dating, because it can make you feel more distant.

In a study published this year, Pew Research found that 25 percent of cellphone users in a relationship believed that their partner was distracted by that person’s cellphone when they were together, and 45% of internet users ages 18-29 in serious relationships say the internet and phones have had an impact on their relationship.

What do we take from all this?  It’s great to get in touch on your phone, it’s great to stay in touch, but try to prioritize the people you’re actually with and have a better connection with them.  Try the following:

Treat your date or outing like a job interview, and keep your phone in your purse or pocket until you’re leaving.  Try leaving it in your car’s glove compartment.  That’s right.  Turn it off and put it in a box.  It’s not your friend.

Try logging out of Facebook, so when you do decide to check it, you have to log back in to see how many people liked your cat picture.  It’ll make you more aware of how often you just check in, and are able to consider how often is really necessary.

At the very least, pop into Airplane Mode to silence the delicious little buzzes and bells that let you know someone somewhere has done something.  Try to live in the moment, and pay attention to the person you like doing that with.

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All My Podcasts

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Anyone who knows me might be interested to know I’ve done many podcasts.  More than five, in fact!

My thinking was, if I put all these bastards together, I’ll feel like I’ve done something.  Here’s my list, in some sort of order!

The fantastic Andy Wood and Matt Kirshen have this science based podcast called Probably Science, and they let me be on it one time!

Probably Science

Bryan Cook made up this dirty, funny show where we write erotic fan fiction on the spot, and then he podcasts it so my family can be ashamed of me!  Hooray!

Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction

My second visit to OPB, this time to talk about All Jane No Dick with Stacey Hallal and Whitney Streed!

Think Out Loud

Jim Bruce and Tom Griffin’s show, featuring me and annoyance treater Delilah Smith!

Who’s This Now?

The incredibly famous Put Your Hands Together with Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher from the UCB theatre!

Put Your Hands Together!

International superstar and Last Comic Standing ass-kicker Amy Miller asked me over to talk about the fact that our dads are both dead!

Sorry About Your Dad 

Maximum Fun podcast Lady 2 Lady had me over to shoot the shit and for some reason talk about toilets a lot with Barbara Gray, Tess Barker, and Brandie Posey!

Lady 2 Lady

Cornelius Peter does a podcast called Book Me, Please about books we’ve read, and in some cases, written!  I got to be on it with my friend Matt Kirshen!

Ep. 9: Books by Andy Weir, Tracy Hammond, Douglas Adams & Mark Carwardine are discussed by comedians Matt Kirshen, Virginia Jones, and author Tracy Hammond.

I bullied myself onto this episode of Brock Party with my friend Eliza Rickman!

Brock Party

This is a podcast I got in trouble for, before I convinced my ex husband to stop googling me, and when you move your new wife into the house the day after your old wife leaves, she probably won’t say nice things about you on podcasts!  It’s also from the day after my dog died!

Respect the Danger of Knives

This is a scripted podcast with Sofiya Alexandra and Courtney Kocak!

Voicemails to Self

This is probably my most inscrutable podcast, Doug Driesel Jr’s show:

Obscure Reference!

Me Three, a podcast with Darci “Kittenpants” Ratliff and Lisa Beth “No Pants” Johnson

Me Three!

My most beloved podcast, Pati-oh, Pati-no with Charlene!  I’ve been on it a million times, and here’s one:

Pati-oh, Pati-no!

In 2009, I was on a now long-mothballed podcast called The Ugly Angels!  History!

The Ugly Angels

I was so excited to be on Jackie Kashian’s Dork Forest, thanks to Joe Wilson!

Dork Forest

I was on 5 Top with Joe Wilson, Carol Ann Leifer, Robert Yasumura, and Judith Shelton in 2009 as well!

5 Top


I’m Recording My Album!

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  You guys, I’m so excited to tell you I’m recording my first comedy album!  Look, I don’t know what I’m gonna call it, but after nine years of telling my goofball make-em-ups, I’m going to make a comedy album! The great guys at Complex are throwing the do and the beautiful and hilarious Janine Brito (Totally Biased, SXSW, Moontower) will be hosting for me! It’s going to be free and totally fun and I’d love it if you came down to laugh with us. If you’ve been saying to yourself, “I should get out to one of Virginia’s things one of these days”, this is the one I’d love you to come to– MARK YOUR CALENDARS! TELL YOUR FRIENDS YOU CAN’T PLAY D&D OR CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY THAT NIGHT!  Thank you!

Mind Your Manners- a repost from Love.TV

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Mind Your Manners

I asked readers for questions on online dating from ladies and men, and you really came through!  Thank you so much.

Q: How do you politely end a disastrous first date?

A: First of all- set a time limit for your first date of about an hour.  After that, you have a good idea of whether or not you’d like to spend more time with that person.  Come pre-loaded with an excuse like meeting a friend, or an appointment elsewhere.  Good ideas for first dates include small things, like meeting for a coffee or a drink.  Terrible first date ideas include: attending your cousin’s wedding, going on a road trip to Montreal, or taking a six week long Cantonese cooking course.

No matter how awkward the date is, you can give someone an hour of your time, then bow out and thank them for meeting with you.  You might get a story out of it, or make a friend, or learn something you didn’t know before.  Being polite costs nothing.

Of course, if after an hour you are both looking at each other with sparkly eyes and you just ate a piece of spaghetti together and kissed at the end, you can totally agree to continue the date.

Q: When should you let someone know whether or not you’d like to see them again?

A:  If you have the gumption to tell someone face to face that you really enjoyed meeting them and ask if you can see them again, do so.  It’s the romantic thing to do.  Otherwise, say nothing, slink away and text them surreptitiously when you get back to your car, or send them a message online.

If you don’t want to see them again after the first date, just say nothing.  This is the default setting.

Q: I’m out on a date in a bar, but I see another attractive person in the room.  Since I’m not in a relationship, isn’t it fine to chat up and ask that person out as well?

 A: This is incredibly rude, and telling me that I’m being ridiculous and it wasn’t rude at all doesn’t change anything, Matt!

When you’re on a date, that time belongs to that person.  If you can’t commit to giving one person your undivided attention for a few hours, don’t go on dates, just keep swiping on Tinder.

Q: I’m on a first date with someone who I really like- in the interest of transparency, don’t I need to tell them that I have other first dates planned?

A:  Not only is this none of their business, it’s actually a bit rude.  Going on a first date is more like going on a job interview than it is a romantic event.  You wouldn’t tell an interviewer how many other companies you were trying to get hired at, right?  Not until it was time to talk money.  Treat dating the same way, except never talk about money because then you’re not dating, you’re an escort.

Secretive Couple with Smart Phones in Their Hands

Q: When can I assume that the person I’m seeing isn’t seeing other people?

A:  Never.  Even if you fall in love and move in together and she supports you through graduate school and you stick by her side after she loses her pet hamster in a freak road paving accident, and you get older, start wearing only sweatpants and eventually die holding hands in front of the television, unless you have specifically asked “are you interested in being monogamous?”, you’re best off assuming she was continuing to see other people throughout.

Q: How long of a relationship is too long for ghosting, or suddenly ending contact with someone without notice?

A: According to Charlize Theron, two years of dating isn’t too long to stop responding to Sean Penn’s texts, calls, and desperate floral deliveries.  For most of us, this is insensitive.  Think of the golden rule.  Is this how you’d like to be treated?  Anything after five dates probably deserves some sort of goodbye.

Q: I have been speaking to a man online and he has asked me out, but I don’t feel any spark of interest.  Should I give it a shot anyway, just in case?

A: Pretending to like someone is a waste of everyone’s time.  This is what the song Cruel to be Kind is about.  If you really aren’t interested, you’re not, and that’s nobody’s fault, except for maybe his fault for wearing a wrinkled shirt in every photograph and not listening to anything besides Bel Biv Devoe.  Attraction is strange and unpredictable and that’s part of its magic.

Q: I was out with my friend and we ran into a girl I recently matched with on Tinder, but I hadn’t messaged yet.  They wound up hooking up in a bathroom.  Isn’t he in the wrong?

 A:  If you didn’t make plans with her and never met her, she’s just another stranger, and their toilet hookup is as meaningless as yours would have been.  Better luck next time!

Q:  I’m on a first date and she won’t put her phone down.  When can I leave?

A: If it’s been more than ten minutes since she’s spoken or made eye contact, see if you can pay the bill and sneak out the door without rousing her curiosity or interrupting her game of Candy Crush!


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