What started out as a regular day soon devolved into a nightmare. A casual texting conversation with the woman who raised me and who I love very much turned from pleasant to disastrous in the blink of an eye. Looking back, I’d give anything to go back to before I sent that text, before my whole world came crashing down around me at the hands of a small, cartoonish, purple eggplant emoji.
My mother and I were discussing nothing of great importance at the time, just a simple back and forth about how I’d been, when I’d be home for the holidays, and how work was going. I was on the train headed to my apartment, noise-cancelling headphones in, and completely oblivious to the world around me. As the conversation was coming to a close, I decided to tack on a red heart and a simple smiley face to the end of my text. While harmless enough on their own, that heart would come to haunt me.
As I pressed towards the smiley face on my screen, the train jolted and both of my fingers slammed into the keyboard. I looked down and nearly fell faint. No, this isn’t possible, this can’t be happening, I thought. With my brightness set to full, the light of my phone stung my eyes as I read the now permanently sent message, “Love you too, tell Dad I look forward to seeing him as well” followed by a heart and an eggplant.
It should’ve been a forgettable text. It should’ve never been referenced again. I even sent a follow-up message to her with a smiley face and an asterisk to try and clear things up. However, my dear, sweet mother took it upon herself to put on her detective’s cap and ask not me, but my brother, what the eggplant means on a phone. Believe me when I tell you he was more than happy to clarify things for her.
The ribbing I took over Christmas vacation was severe to say the least. Each member of my family took a swing. My Mom started with, “How long have you been playing for that team Brad?” followed by my brother looking to help me out and telling me, “Didn’t know you were into ‘Eggplants’, I know some really sweet guys we could set you up with”. Finally, my Dad delivered the final crushing blow to my ego by stating, “Ya know Brad, we always knew. Good to have you finally out”.
I thought the jokes would stop once I returned home to Boston, but the family group text has now become a breeding ground for jokes at my expense. It isn’t easy bearing the brunt of their humor, but I suppose this is the life I’m destined to lead from now until the day I die.
The eggplant emoji used to be something I would send on occasion as a joke, to make people laugh. Now though? It’s a constant reminder of how one mistake can wreak unbelievable havoc on your life. I’m still holding out hope that my family will decide to let this go, but I know deep down in my heart that my destiny will be linked to the eggplant emoji for eternity. So do yourself a favor, proof-read your texts before you send them, and think twice about adding emojis to your messages. You never know what the consequences might be..
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