To Whom It May Concern

If you are fortunate enough to possess a cell phone and my phone number, then you know there are certain rules and etiquette which must be followed to keep me from lying in bed, face lit by a bright phone screen, reading your text message over and over in an attempt to discern the status of our relationship. I describe this scenario without exaggeration because we both know that texting lacks vocal inflection—an underrated element present in a face-to-face conversation. It is the absence of this vital component that leads to textual misinterpretation. With that established precedent, there is one text response which will always lead me (and many others) to obsess over the uncertainty previously identified. Therefore, for the sake of our relationship (and my sanity), please avoid sending this dreaded text at all costs.

Personally, I view texts as virtual letters that are sealed and sent out with my stamp of approval. That being said, I oftentimes spend five minutes (give or take a few) of my valuable time crafting the perfect, Shakespearean-esque masterpiece of a text which accurately elucidates the purpose of why I am even sending you a text in the first place. Once I send this piece of literary art, I then find myself eagerly awaiting your response—simultaneously outlining my next magnum opus to you. Five minutes pass. Now thirty minutes. “It’s okay,” I assure myself, “maybe your phone is dead and you’ve set it down to charge.” Oh? That’s not the case? Shame on me for being so optimistic and for trying to put the best construction on your dilatory response. As the day wears on, I actually forget about the whole situation and then . . . DING! The glorious notification reverberates in my ear as I celebrate the arrival of your long-awaited reply. I whip out my reading glasses and open the text to read what I presume will be a beautifully composed letter of response. I mean, after all, you did have all day to craft this bad boy. Now, you can only imagine the heart-wrenching devastation I feel when I read the counterintuitive letter you responded with.  

At this point, I am led to think one of two things. Either you didn’t care enough about me to respond properly to what I had to say, or you currently dislike me for some reason and this letter is a slap in my face. That being said, unless you are truly angry with me, pause and think to yourself about the ramifications of penning back a letter so meaningless. Because, honestly, what could you possibly mean by the letter that comes before “L?” The letter that comes after “J.” (Trust me, I know my alphabet). The letter that is the atomic symbol for Potassium. The letter that Spanish-speaking people yell when they are confused. (Yes, I even dabble in the realms of Chemistry and Spanish). Truly, this is the letter that tears apart my wellbeing. The dreaded letter “K.”

Caleb Jordening