I Wasted A Thousand Text Messages On You: The Cycle Of The Modern Crush

image - Flickr / Adam Fagen
image – Flickr / Adam Fagen

Having a crush is the most exhilarating thing in the world, aside from certain recreational drugs and / or small roller coasters. It’s an ongoing intravenous injection of potential love and hope into your veins that can keep you pumpin’ for weeks at a time. While having a crush is one thing— TEXTING with a crush is a completely personal and uniquely psychotic experience. It’s like an ongoing journey into a distant nirvana, a nirvana that most likely only exists in your mind. But even if it’s not real, goddammit you’re gonna make it feel real with a slew of insane and colorful Emojis, am I right ladies/gentlemen????!!!!!!

Crushing, as it seems— or feels— is fueled by LONGING. It’s a self-sustaining paradox, and social media sure as hell fuels the cycle babay! #EternallyBlessed. On the one hand, longing is redemptive. It’s always new. It’s pregnant with hope and it’s constantly BECOMING. It feels completely raw and real and personal in each moment. But on the other hand, it’s all premised on Potentiality and powered by technology, which is perfect if you’re looking to settle down and develop a nice and comfortable life in the suburbs of The Matrix together. (No judgment here. They have some great deals on condos). But being the virtual avatars that we’ve become, the biting truth about having a crush is that it’s always going to exist on this “island” of longing — until someone makes a move. And then the longing changes form. It becomes too real. Too apparent. Too….. easy.

Let’s try another metaphor. The modern cycle of crushing is kind of like smoking hella weed and making groundbreaking realizations about life, but then coming down from that high and realizing you ate an entire box of cheez-its and you need to go for a run immediately. (What can I say, I’m addicted to the “crunch” ;) I think the difference between having a crush and ultimately finding “love”/getting married is that the former allows you experience the intense highs and lows of eating a whole box of cheez-its, whereas marriage gives you a lifetime supply of cheez-itz so you can nibble on them day by day, hour by hour, until one day you wake up and realize you’re 300 pounds overweight and have created two or three offspring made of cheez-its….. the choice is yours!! (Obviously, I’m partially kidding. I’m more of a Trader Joe’s honey wheat pretzel girl myself).

What interests me here is the CYCLE of longing behind “The Crush,” and how this plays out through modern technology. For example, I have a couple boyfriends right now (i.e. made up text messaging avatars who represent potential boyfriends), spread out across a couple different apps and mobile devices, and it’s safe to say we’re all getting pretty serious. Our love is boundless. We have dates on snapchat, flings on instagram, and one-night text messaging affairs… SOMETIMES EVEN ON GCHAT!!!!! It’s all very hard to imagine, I know. Some of you reading this may be thinking: jesus christ dude, you’re LITERALLY insane and you know you could just start “dating” someone right now, if you wanted to?

YEAH. But for a mind like mine that is already pre-disposed to madness, this cycle of longing is surprisingly exactly what I need right now to keep me in my toes. (Or, as my therapist likes to say, it’s better than cocaine Katie, and please for the love of God- DO NOT DO COCAINE). You see, I’ve always had an intense longing— and I think a lot of us humans do— a longing for life, for knowledge, for transcendence, for happiness, and for the brief thought or feeling that there’s just…. MORE to the human experience. You dig? So, on some level, crushing gives me just enough insane thinking juice to create and write, and just a little taste of comfort and happiness— but not too much.

Why do this to yourself, you ask? Well, first might I offer: “don’t hate the playa, hate the game.” We live in a very complex and oversaturated time, my fellow humans. Mediums of communication are changing and multiplying faster than (insert any celebrity’s) wardrobe. But more importantly, I think it’s deeper than a shifting medium. Art, creativity, and madness tends to spring forth from this ancient island of longing: a longing for SOMEONE, for SOMETHING different, for an idealized or hyper-fictionalized or sardonically scrutinized vision of the world that probably exists deep down in our collective psyches and makes its way to humanity through words, films, painting, and hell, even SNAPCHATS! (What’s that? Did Carl Jung just send me a new txt? Oooh, he knows me so well).

Am I saying that the cycle of modern crushing has turned me into a self-proclaimed Shakespeare of Texting, if only in my mind? Hmm, maybe! Am I saying that I will ignore an invite to go on a “real” date — or Gd forbid— two in a row, for the sake of the “ART” of the text message? Uh, no, not at all. What am I, a monster? All I’m saying’ is that crushin’ got me crazy — and in a good, generous, maddening, and inspired way. And at this point in my life, being the stupid and brilliantly self-absorbed Modern Millennial that I represent, it would be insane for me to expect one boy (or shall I say “MAN” now that I’m 27), to fulfill all of my ever-changing desires (threw in a little #feminism there for all my single ladies!).

So, might I offer a little advice to anyone who finds themselves in the depths of the Cycle of Crushing— dig in! Time is fleeting! A well-crafted text is not a text unworthy of sending, ESPECIALLY if you get a great Emoji in return! When the time is right to get on that boat and sail away from the Island of Crushing to….like…. I dunno, somewhere else, you’ll probably know it! But in the meantime, stick to the basic ABC’s: Always Be Crushin’ ;) #blessed TC mark

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