Posts Tagged ‘text messaging’

There are very few pieces of modern technology I love as much as I love my laptop, especially when powered by SKYPE! Let’s just say that my passion for Skype is equal to, if not greater than, my unadulterated loathing of a certain vile cell phone carrier.

AT&T is a minion of Satan. It’s crappy service makes for all kinds of malicious mischief, especially for a guy who is desperately trying to navigate a long distance relationship, and already fighting against an nine-hour time difference. There are times when I think I’m paying AT&T for the privilege of making my life hell (see link below regarding AT&T’s attempt to break up my engagement).

On the other hand, Skype is my communications savior. Skype is the reason I can maintain said long distant relationship and not have to sell my organs to pay m’ mobile bill. It not only keeps me in voice communication with Stefania, but I also enjoy the perk of seeing her smile, too. And it cost nothing. It’s gratis. On the house. It’s Free.

FREE! [insert maniacal laugh here]

But of course we all know that nothing in life is really free. Right? Every once in a while, Stef and I have to pay back the Skype god (lower case “g”) for granting us hours upon hours of divine gratis video & voice communication. During this atonement period, Skype transforms into a tool of suffering, as Stefania and I are forced to talk about the trials and tribulations of the K1 Visa Paperwork.

In the current round of the Fiancé Visa process, Stef was bombarded with mounds of paperwork…

I had one page to her dozen.  Not only had she been busting her butt all week combing through it, but last weekend she sacrificed a precious Sunday night to go over it with me.

In turn, I missed watching my Browns play the first game of the NFL season. Okay, so NOT watching the Browns blow a 14-3 lead against the Tampa Bay isn’t much of a sacrifice. In fact, I think I might owe the good people at the USCI a steak dinner for helping me miss that fiasco. But I digress…

This past Saturday was one of those days of communications compensation. I woke up that morning conflicted. On one hand, I was going to speak to my fiancé. The night before my Stef Skype time, I jonze the way seven year old Greg jonzed the night before Christmas.  Skype time with Stef is the best part of my week, easy. However I knew this upcoming call was going to be different. It was going to be less laughs and “I miss you’s” but more “turn to form DS-230 space 7…” This video call was gonna be all about business and government paperwork. Fortunately, her first question was an easy one, a softball pitch, an easy warm up fight before the championship match. Right?

Stefania: “So on the previous paperwork we sent into the Government, I wrote ‘Milan’ on the forms, but I read on the internet that I was supposed to write, ‘Milano’!”

Greg: “No biggie,” I’m say. “Just write ‘Milano’ on these forms and move on. The immigration folks will figure it out. Next!”

Before I explain on to how that “Next” grenade blew up in my face, it’s important that I explain one thing where Stefania and I are worlds apart.

When it comes to paperwork, Stef is meticulous and exacting. She doesn’t waste time and she attacks any and all forms with a vengeance. She is surgical and a perfectionist. To Stef, the question of whether to type “Milan” or “Milano” was of vital importance. She understood that this question could be one of those seemingly insignificant details that could create an anomaly, a glitch, within the computer system of a bureaucracy that holds our future in its hands. It must be correct. She’s right.

Me? I’m a procrastinating slob. If it were up to me, I’d just scribble one of the two choices in the space and be done with it so we can flirt over the webcam like goofy teenagers.

“What color underwear are you wearing?”

She ignores this boorish question and continues to the matter at hand. The next thing I know, we’ve spent a good hour on “Milan” vs. “Milano”.

By the way… What’s up with white men messing around with other countries’ names?  Why can’t they ever “discover” a foreign country or city and accept the name the locals give them?

Western Man: “My word, old chap. Your landscape is simply bully? What do you call your home?”

Citizen of Nippon: “We call our country ‘Nippon’!”

Western Man:“Nippon? Harrumph!  I don’t care for that name. How about we call you… ‘Japan’!”

Citizen of Nippon:“ Excuse me?”

Western Man: “Bully! ‘Japan’ it is!  And would you mind bangin’ this bronze oriental gong every time I say word JAPAN? Bully! Good day to you, sir.”

Citizen of Nippon: “But-“

Western Man: I SAID GOOD DAY!”

So anyway, after about an hour I just about had it and I finally explode and I begin yelling like an idiot.

“Do you think we’re the first people to apply for a marriage visa from Milan?! The immigration officer has seen it all! Rome! Roma! Florence! Firenze!  Naples! Napoli! We’re not really throwin’ anything new at these people, Stefi!” I scream.

So… Stef has this habit of smiling when I start yelling. At first it makes me feel kinda good (Cool! This ain’t so serious anymore), but then I begin to feel incredibly weak. It’s the kind of smile Muhammad Ali in his prime would’ve given me if I had punched him in his stomach. It’s a smile that says…

“Cute pudgy man, are you yelling at me? Oh, yes you are! Oh, yes you are! Aren’t you cute trying to be such a big man? Who’s my big man? Who is my big man?! Are you my big man?! Mio Dio! You’re so cute!”

Like bullets off a Kryptonian’s chest. Right? My rant was nothing more than comedy relief.

“Well let me give you something to REALLY stress about!” I continue. “I have to submit Pay Stubs and my most recent Tax Return. Yeah! They want to see if I make enough money to support us if you can’t find a job, and you’re gonna stress over the letter ‘O’! They could deny our application because I don’t make enough money! “

Stef’s reply? “Boh. You have worries, I have mine.”

I’m rolling on the floor

Her stress on the letter “O”, Milan or Milano, that’s a healthy hour of serious discussion. However my stress concerning salary and the IRS? … “Boh.”

By this point I’m laughing to keep from crying. Stef is laughing at me laughing. All is right with the word again. So lessons learned on that day? Hell if I know. I still don’t know what the hell went down. And if I ask guys who have been married for decades to explain it to me? They all give me the same answer.

“Welcome to my world.”

And what a wonderful world it is. You say Milan, I say Milano. You say tomato…

And that’s, as I like to say, the gist of it. Bully.


AT&T… You’re killing me.



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The distance between Milan and Los Angeles is 6032 miles (that’s 9708 in Kilometers). Stef and I only get to see each other every 4 months or so, if we’re lucky. Given the fact that couples living under the same roof worry about drifting apart, it’s safe to say that we work hard to keep it together.

Communication is key, so devices like my smart phone and laptop (utilizing skype) are like gold, as is my provider. And what provider do I relying on to help keep me in touch with my fiancé? In which company’s hands do I place the health of my long distance relationship?


AT&T stands for American Telephone & Telegraph, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll never add a “C” to their acronym because their cell phone service sucks balls. I can’t even get reception in my office building, which is in the middle of Los Angeles! I could understand not having reception if i worked for, say, UNICEF.

Yeah. If I’m in the middle somebody’s desert, handing out Antiretroviral drugs to an indigenous starving tribe, yes, I can understand needing a damn satellite phone. But I don’t! I work next to a Mall that contains a Fuddruckers.



Last Saturday morning, I apparently missed a bunch of Stef’s calls. I say “apparently” because I my phone registered no missed calls or voice mails.  The only reason I knew of the missed calls was because Stef sent me a text…

“I tried to call you, but you must be busy. I’m going to bed.”

Of course I called her straight away because it seemed as though the text had just been sent. It’s almost midnight in Italy, but no way she’s asleep because she just texted me. Right?  So, I call. I get her voice mail. I leave a message. I shoot her a text [“call me!”] and I wait.


So now I’m a bit concerned. I wasn’t sure how to read into her text. It could’ve been a “guilt trip” text. Right?  My imagination goes stupid and I now have it in my head that she’s pissed at me. So I shoot off another text where I apologize… Again.

Nothing. No response.

So after 30 minutes I’m wondering, WTF?  At that moment my iPhone buzzes to life. I read the following seemingly cold  text…

“Sorry I missed your call.”

That’s it?  …What the hell was that?  She’s still awake?! Why didn’t she just me call back? What does she mean by “call”, singular? I sent texts, too!  Is she messing with my head?

So now I’M pissed!

It’s obviously to me that she’s trying to teach me a lesson. She wants me to see how it feels to have calls ignored. Well, I wasn’t gonna play her game! So I threw caution to the wind and I lit into her with a text.

“HEY!  I missed your calls by accident!  But you’re doing this crap on purpose and I’m not in the mood for this shit! Call me whenever you want. I don’t care anymore. I’m done.”

Of course after getting that text she calls me right back. And whoooo baby! The gal calls me back loaded for bear!

“Hey, man!  What’s with this bullshit text you sent  me?”

All hell breaks lose and we argue like idiots. But the cool thing about us is that we both realize that life is waaaay too short for this kind of nonsense, so we end the fight relatively quickly. Without either of us really understanding what the hell just happened, the issue is squashed.


Nine hours later…

I’m in bed, half asleep, when and all of a sudden my iPhone buzzes to life, my text alarm BLARING six times in a row in rapid succession, way too fast for a human to type and send.

Sure enough, I pick up my phone and I discover that AT&T has just vomited up six text messages from Stefania that she had sent NINE HOURS EARLIER!

It turns out that “Sorry I missed your call” was only a partial message, AT&T was only just now sending me the complete message, which went something like this…

“Sorry I missed your call.  I’m very tired from working and I need to sleep. I tried to contact you, but you must have been very busy today. That’s okay. Thank you so much for understanding. Ti amo. Stef…

Now here’s me…

Damn. I mean… Damn.

So of course I had to call and apologize. So of course she proceeds to bust my balls.

“Yes. This is how my future husband speaks to me? Eh?  Bravo! Congratulations! You woke me up with that text! Ma…  “


Okay. I admit that I  allowed my imagination to run wild, but it still pisses me off to know that if I had Sprint  this wouldn’t have happened.

Hey AT&T, Seriously, I’m stupid enough on my own; and I already have the language and cultural hurdles to jump, I don’t need you jerks adding fuel to my fire. And as for you, Steve Jobs, screw your iPad and the horse you rode in on. If you don’t get rid of AT&T I’m jumpin’ on the Droid bandwagon just as quick as you can say Jack Robinson.


At the end of the day, I met Stef via the internet, so I can’t hate.

Technology… Can’t live with it. Can’t live without it.

And that’s, as I like to say, the gist of it.


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