I had lunch with a friend today. She told me that she’s been checking my blog everyday to see if I’ve put up a new post. I promised I’d write one tonight and since it’s nearly midnight I’d better get to work. And, since she may be the only one that hasn’t completely given up on me, I figured I’d write about her.

About a year ago we were together with another friend. She (and by “she” I mean today’s lunch friend. I know this is confusing but I think, under the circumstances, her identity should be protected) had never sent a text message before, and the two of us, having had limited success with texting, decided to impart her with our vastly inadequate amount of knowledge. This all happened, by the way, on the way home from the retreat where the little incident between my van and the aggressive fence occurred. We were beyond tired. You know how once you get past a certain stage of tired everything suddenly becomes funny? We were at that point. And seriously, there is nothing better than a little laughter with some girlfriends that just about makes you wet your pants. (Oh please, like it hasn’t happened to you.)

Anyway, as we waited for our food to arrive (did I forget to mention we were in a restaurant?) we were teaching our friend about the T-9 function available on most cell phones. I have no idea why it is called T-9. To be honest, I’m not even sure it is called T-9, but that’s what I’ve been told. It’s the feature that guesses what word you want to type based on the keys you hit. For instance, if you hit the 4 key and then the 3 key, the phone will automatically fill in the word “he.” But, if you really wanted to type the word “if” you just hit another button (depending on your phone) and it’ll change the word for you. It’s like having your own personal mind reader who occasionally gets the wrong answer. Just recently, I figured out that it displays the possible words in alphabetical order. Who knew?

By the way, I realize that 99% of my readers already understand this concept but my mother will appreciate the explanation.

Anyway, at a certain point in the teaching process, my friend decided she was ready to send a text message. She started with a text to her son Daniel. Everything went smoothly and her confidence was high. After her first success, she was ready to send a message to her other son, Bryan. Now, the problem with Bryan (or his name at least) is that my friend had obviously chosen the less frequently used spelling. Cell phones make no accommodations for such life impacting decisions. So, following our instructions, using the T-9 feature, she hit keys, 2..7..9..2..6 and her phone produced the name Aswan. My friend was baffled. Why hadn’t this worked? Truth be told, I was baffled, but only because I’d never see Bryan’s name in print before so I’d assumed the more typical spelling, Brian.

If you’ll recall from the beginning of this story, we were already in the slaphappy mode so this new bit of fodder sent our giggling over the top, producing curious (or were they sympathetic) looks from the other restaurant patrons.

It’s possible that I may never remember Bryan’s real name because we have, since that night, referred to him as Aswan. Poor guy, I don’t think he finds it nearly as amusing as we do.

After our lunch today, Leslie . . . um, I mean my anonymous friend . . ., sent me a text message. “Aswan got the job!” Congratulations, Aswan!

If you are in need of texting lessons, feel free to call; the three of us will get together and teach you. You may not know how to text when you get done, but I guarantee you’ll have fun learning. And, if all goes well, you may even end up with a new name for a special someone in your life.

6 comments on “T-9

  1. Mary McCoy

    No matter how many times I hear this story Nancy I still laugh. Why can't it be 200 words or less. I don't know about the T9 thing. You'll have to share.

  2. Sarah Norton

    Nancy – Your posts absolutely crack me up … AND make me think, both at the same time! I so enjoy them! Blessings to you!

  3. Jane

    I got so frustrated with the T-9 thing (I never knew that's what it was called), that I just turned it off and I spell everything out myself. It may take a bit longer, but's it isn't so irritating (and…my kids don't have to have weird names)! Aswan??? How funny is that!

  4. Adam

    That's funny. Brian Regan had a bit about cell phones that's pretty funny. You can watch it on it David Letterman appearance at his website: brianregan.com.

  5. Julie

    Nancy, I have never heard of this T9 thing! You are more technologically savvy than you give yourself credit for! I appreciate your "style" of blogging. I imagine you sitting right in front of me….having a one on one converstaion :)

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