Corrections cause more confusion

A friend of mine was going shopping with a friend. She was concerned she’d get to talking with a friend and would forget to pick up a specific item she needed the next day unless I texted her during the trip.

I waited about 30 minutes, texted, “Dozen eggs.” She texted back, “Love you.”

I chuckled and thought, “Panicked correction text in 5, 4, 3, 2 …”

My phone buzzed a few more times with corrections. “Thank.” “Thank, not love.” “Thank you.”

She explained later. She was telling her friend how much she loved a specific food when my text arrived, and her fingers couldn’t differentiate.

We all make mistakes like that. A coworker has professed her love for me and offered to bring me lunch, then retracted such statements because her boyfriend is one space from mine on her phone book.

It wasn’t too long ago that one of our coworkers professed love for a customer. To protect reputations, we’ll say it was me.

“I” had a customer on the phone who talked beyond the natural end of the conversation. And talked some more. And some more.

“OK. Well, I hate to cut you off, but I have a customer here waiting on me. OK Yes, we can do that. OK Yes. OK. OK. All right. Love you, bye.”

The room fell silent.

“Kevin, did you just tell that customer that you loved them?”

I stammered, “No, no … oh, wait. Yes.”

But most of these, “I didn’t really say that” stories come thanks to our phone’s text prediction. We all have them, or the humor site wouldn’t exist (the “f” stands for “forget”).

It’s why we laugh when comedians broach the subject:

• Patton Oswalt said his wife texted, “I love you,” and his phone was so used to, “I hate this movie” or “I hate this TV show” that he replied, “I hate.” That must have been a fun arrival at home.

• Aziz Ansari joked that he meant to text, “Sorry, can’t go out tonight. I’ve got an early meeting.” But it came out as, “Sorry, can’t go out tonight. I’ve got an early meeting, you (expletive deleted) (expletive deleted).” It’s a technological twist on the classic, “I meant to say, ‘Pass the salt,’ but it came out as, ‘I hate you, you ruined my life.’”

I’m trying to take as many steps as possible to keep myself from texts I regret. My text messaging program has several different templates, including:

• “Leaving Clovis (or Portales) now,” so I don’t have to text while driving.

• “It would warm my heart if …” because it’s nicer than just asking.

• “I’m not going to incriminate myself by answering.” Frankly, I gain nothing by explaining this one further.

• “My phone lost its contacts a few days ago. Who is this?” This is what I do when I deleted somebody’s number … or, if you’ve received this text from me, I really DID lose all of my contacts. Trust me.

Anything I can do to avoid, “Love ya, bye,” is worth it. Because you don’t look forward to the next time you say, “Hello” otherwise.