Perhaps it is the writer in me but I find it remarkably difficult to write emails and text messages in “online-shorthand.” It’s just too much work for me to bother learning chat acronyms and net lingo when I am already an exceptionally fast typist. I am incapable of understanding it and am regularly perplexed by chat vernacular. Anytime someone sends me a text using it, I usually assume they are drunk or suffering from a recent bout of violent head trauma.
The upside is that these people often include other emoticons that help you make a swift assessment of their current mood. This is actually pretty useful when someone is being sarcastic but winks can come across as unsettling if mishandled. In real life the winking of an eye normally implies a joke, a secret or eludes to some flirtatious advance. However, when texting or chatting, some people throw around winks like an insecure person throws around their affections and the end result often gets muddled. Frankly, a misplaced wink can even come off as downright sinister to a person with a slightly overactive imagination.
Emoticons have their uses and I often like to see smiles and winks in a message but we can’t just go around using these things all willy-nilly. People will get confused or made to feel uncomfortable. Although no amount of textual creepery can hold a candle to the real thing. I was once complemented by an older gentlemen in several, increasingly uncomfortable ways. I was putting fuel into my motorcycle on one of those mostly cloudy but still gorgeous and mild days, when he shambled over and commented on how much he liked it. I told him that I appreciated the complement and quickly went back to watching the pump. Before too long he told me that he liked my jacket too. Putting the nozzle out of my tank I made a joke and then thanked him again, not realizing that he wasn’t quite finished. He got a little closer and said, “You sure do look good on that thing.” and gave me a wink.
It is absolutely wrong to judge a book by it’s cover but, in some instances, that is all you can really do. This particular book’s cover was about as scary as you could imagine, smelled like soup and seemed like it was making advances toward me. He had, what could be loosely described as, a “hodgepodge” of teeth. It resembled the mouth of a lamprey or hippopotamus more than that of a man. It was like teeth were everywhere other than the places that you would expect them to be. It was a sincerely unconventional arrangement and, several hours later, it was still all I could think about. The bizarre circumstances accompanied by the intense visual stimuli had branded the event into my memory. I’d imagine that mouth telling me awful things and then the right eye dropping down in an attempt to seal the deal. Despite the experience being brief and not nearly as epic as many of my other adventures it has, to my dismay, embedded itself into my memory.
In conclusion, please be careful with your winks. You never know what kind of irreversible harm that you might be doing.