After Katy Perry, is dumping by text standard practice?
The famous singer says that her former husband, comedian Russell Brand, ended their union by text. Is this an indication that this is now de rigueur?
As one who has been dumped by Skype, registered mail, Pinot poured on bald head, head-butt, intermediary, and sudden marriage to another, I wondered what could possibly remain.
Then I read Katy Perry's plaintive revelation that the very humorous star of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," Russell Brand, had allegedly told her to forget their marriage by text.
I had heard that this might be a method employed in middle school to end what wasn't meant to be.
However, I wasn't aware that those designated as adults might also believe this was appropriate etiquette.
I can rarely tell whether stars do things to set trends, or whether they're merely following suit on what they've heard from groupies.
My natural instinct is that a texted sayonara must indicate a relationship that has become irretrievably sour.
If you can only be bothered to spend seconds composing your good-bye, how much can it really mean?
Statistics from the U.K., for example, suggest that 1 in 10 people have been rejected by text. They can't all be recently pubescent, can they?
It used to be that when a woman decided a man wasn't right for her, she would compose a beautiful, pained "Dear John" letter. And when a man decided that the woman wasn't his ideal, he would at least look her in the face and say: "It's not you. It's the other girl I'm seeing."
Has it now sunk to a beep on your phone and the words: "U R dumped"?
Relationship expert Dan Savage seemed to have a very definitive view of these things. I discovered a piece of advice he gave to a 28-year-old man who was pained that he was dumped by text.
In his Savage Love advice column, he replied: "You're hurt, she hurt you, and you've latched on to the dumped-by-text issue so you can tell yourself that you were mistaken about her, that you didn't have chemistry, that there really wasn't something special here. Nope, she's a scumbag. Dumping-by-text proves it."
But then he continued: "Old notions about text-message dumpings -- they're not classy! -- don't apply these days. A longish, thoughtful, and well-written text message is now a legit way to dump someone."
The questions are already on their knees and begging: Did Katy Perry receive a long, lyrical, poetic text? Or was it of the curt, to-the-point variety? You know: "I didn't like your last single. So now you're going to be single."
It seems celebrities have been involved in several texted dumpings.
The Today Show reports that upstanding members of the fame community such as Carrie Underwood, Britney Spears, and Charlie Sheen have all been on one side or another of SMS-offs -- Sheen was allegedly on the painful side of the message.
Perhaps relationships in themselves have become so transactional that a simple, direct, almost businesslike medium is entirely appropriate for the unraveling.
I cannot help, though, feeling that a little lyricism would still be helpful.
Instead of "We're thru," perhaps a series of Emoji emoticons describing the relationship: Some happy faces, the Statue of Liberty, a plane, a palm tree, a happy family. At the end, Munch's "Scream" emoticon and the words: 'The End.'"
At least that would be artistic.
Just because the dumpee can't see your face, it doesn't mean he or she doesn't have feelings.
But even with a lyrical approach, your post-text ex will surely still think you're a coward, though, yes?