Thank God I Don’t Sext

Megan Oteri essays

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Have you ever sent a text to the wrong person?

Well, I just did and I want to crawl under a rock and die.

I had my husband text my son’s preschool teacher at 7:55 am this morning on my phone; “Lori, Good morning. Ben will not be in school today. He is getting over the end of a head cold. We will see you Wednesday. Thanks. Megan.”

Then I got a prompt response at 7:59 am, “Thanks for letting us know!”

I debated sending my son to school today. It is Monday and I was up late last night writing. I woke my husband and we stayed up a little later. I didn’t sleep well so I was up for even longer.  There was no way I was going to have a productive morning on four hours of sleep, with or without a three-year-old running around the house. I woke at 7:45 am with sticky eyes and a crabby demeanor, “Coffee stat,” I managed to mumble. My husband had already made it.

Coffee cup in hand, slurping myself awake, I grabbed the pre-school handbook. Under Section V titled Health, it reads: “The school will make every effort to protect the health and safety of the children.” In all caps it continues, PARENTS, WE EXPECT YOUR COOPERATION IN HELPING TO PREVENT THE SPREADING OF CHILDHOOD ILLNESSES AND COMMUNICABLE DISEASES. Listed by number it says, “Please keep your child home for the following reasons:

1. If not fever-free within the previous 24 hour period without use of fever-reducing medication.
2. Cold with heavy nasal discharge
3. Constant cough
4. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea during the previous 24 hours
5. Undiagnosed skin rash
6. Sore throat
7. Inflammation and/or discharge from the eyes

1, 2, 3–check.

So I kept him home. I was a good mom, and let the teacher know. As a former teacher, I am trying to be the teacher’s pet. (OK, I have people pleasing issues. I like to follow the rules.)

That all went out the window when I texted my son’s preschool teacher at 8:48 am, after doing chores around the house and cleaning up, “What is the password to Amazin?” I even misspelled it; the text was intended for my husband. I am rewarding myself every Monday with the fresh episode of Season 6 Breaking Bad. That show is awesome. It makes me very nervous though, but it is an awesome drama with great writing and tension.

Since our son has ordered items on our Amazon Prime account on the Kindle, my husband put a password on it.

I didn’t hear back. I was still a little crabby from the lack of sleep. And impatient. I really wanted to watch the new episode, To’hajiiilee.

At 8:56 am I texted my husband (or thought I was texting him) again, “What is the password to Amazon? I want to watch Breaking Bad. XO I love you. You were amazing last night, as always.”

Not getting a response in five long minutes, I looked at the number. Holy cow! I texted my son’s pre-school teacher that message! Immediately, I thought of what it really meant. My husband was amazing last night. And yes, husbands and wives do have sex occasionally. What is the big deal? It was such a big deal to me. I called all my friends. No answer. Then I called my husband. He said, “You need to be more careful.” You could hear my sneer in the silence. “OK. Bye,” I said curtly.

“You are upset?” he asked.

“Yes, I feel bad enough.” Guilt induced and heavily embarrassed shame syrup pored over me. Inside, the embarrassment bubbled up. So I lashed out. He was right. This was my not my first texting mistake.

I got off the phone with my husband. I called my friend Tamie. She didn’t answer. I saw her name next to the Kelly green bubble on Facebook. I messaged her, “Please call me. I am having a meltdown. I texted Ben’s preschool teacher by accident thinking it was Rich. ‘What is password to Amazon? I want to watch Breaking Bad. XO I love you. You were amazing last night, as always.’ I am SO embarrassed. She is an older woman. She probably thinks I am a meth head sex freak.”

Tamie messaged me back promptly and calmed my anxiety, “I'm in the car with Rob and he's on the phone with his boss so I can't call. The text isn't offensive! He could have been amazing when he made dinner, or Ben freaked out because he wanted to play and not take a bath or because Rich gave you a glass of wine while he read books. Don't sweat it. We've all texted and received errant texts. Love and miss you!”

I felt better.

I surveyed my friends to see if they had ever sent erroneous texts to the wrong people. Here are a few they shared with me. Have you ever done this? Leave a comment and share yours with me.

“I texted ‘I love you’ to a colleague instead of my mom. Fortunately, the colleague and I are close enough to say such things.” – Angie

“I once got a naked shot from an acquaintance….a female acquaintance. I politely let her know. Two weeks later she asked me to meet her for a quickie over lunch. I'm guessing the guy's name was Erick???” Ericka

About the Author

Megan Oteri

Megan Oteri is a mama, wife, cowgirl, and writer who collects vintage typewriters. She is a Wyoming wildflower transplanted in the South. She believes you should bloom where you are planted. She has a MA in Creative Writing from East Carolina University and a BA in Education from Providence College. Hope. Wish. Dream. Be. is her motto. You can find her writing at .

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