The Luv Doc: TXT ME BK
Where U at?
Dear Luv Doc,
Last Saturday at the Austin City Limits Festival I had the good fortune of running into some old high school friends from Dallas that I haven't seen in many years. My Austin friends very graciously welcomed them into our group and we ended up spending most of the day together and had a lovely time watching Phoebe Bridgers, Modest Mouse, Jack Harlow, and Billie Eilish among others. At the end of the night as we were leaving I exchanged phone numbers with my closest friend in the Dallas group and said that I would text them the next day so that we all might hang out together again. On Sunday afternoon I texted them ... no response ... then, thinking they might have missed the text, did so again around six. Still no response. I ended up texting them at least six times over the course of the day with no response. When I got home Sunday night I saw several Facebook posts on my Dallas friends' pages from earlier in the day, so they were obviously at the festival, and now I feel like they might have been blowing me off all day. Am I being overly sensitive?
– Ditched by Dallas
While I would love to go on some sort of emotionally charged tirade about people who don't respond to texts (I'm looking at YOU, Jack Harlow), I am going to have to pass this time for several reasons. The first of which is that I am terrible about answering texts – maddeningly so – even in normal circumstances. You put me in a dusty field, blasted on edibles, thrashing around in a 75,000-person-deep human sweat scrum, and you'll be lucky if I can even find my phone, much less the ass that's usually attached to it.
Will I hear the muffled "ding" of someone's strident "meet me beneath the turd emoji flag by the Ladybird stage" text when Polo G drops the beat on "Go Stupid"? Probably not. That is, of course, assuming that AT&T Wireless isn't shitting the broadband bed like they always do during ACL and that strident texts ... or any texts at all for that matter ... are even getting through. Any time I pass beneath the neon Les Paul at the ACL entrance I pretend that, commswise, I am headed a few hundred klicks up the Nung River with Martin Sheen to have a powwow with Colonel Kurtz. If that seems like an analogical overreach, consider the number of bizarrely painted people in various states of semi-undress who stare back at you silently with dinner-plate-sized pupils ... or the overly chatty, camera-strapped, middle-aged press photographers who corner you with lunatic COVID conspiracy theories. Or maybe that's just me. As a man who bears an unfortunate, mild resemblance to Anderson Cooper, I am the victim of a lot of oversharing by other middle-aged dudes.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I am not a texter because, despite ardent claims to the contrary, I find texting to be a grossly inefficient means of timely communication. I am willing to accept part of the blame for this. Terse, straightforward, sincere communication is not my strong suit. I also tend to gravitate toward people with the gift of gab, so a conversation as simple as, "'Where U at?' ... 'Juiceland on 45th,'" can turn into a 48-hour marathon, Ulysses-length text exchange that makes even less sense than the book itself, although I am not sure that's even possible.
It's possible that all of the above may apply to your Dallas friends' radio silence. Or, they might actually be blowing you off. I mean, they've got a lot of nerve posting on Facebook what with all the recent whistleblowing about its negative effect on the self-esteem of teenage girls. Nonetheless, posters gonna post, and you should know better than most people that when you live in Dallas, going to ACL is the most exciting thing that happens to you all year short of seeing Dirk Nowitzki at a traffic light. So, my suggestion to you is to actually give your friends a call, tell them you missed them on Sunday and ask if they ever got your texts. If they don't pick up the phone or return your call, they probably did.