How Not to Act Old With Emoticons

My husband must be having an affair with a younger woman. He’s using emoticons.

By Pamela Redmond Satran • Guest Writer
Photograph: Illustration by Wesley Bedrosian


My husband is having an affair. I’m sure his lover is a younger – make that much younger – woman.  How do I know? 

Last week, late one afternoon, he sent me the following email:

“Leaving work soon.  See you at dinner. : )”

: ) !?!?!?  He might as well have had cherry-flavored lip gloss on his collar and a Miley Cyrus thong in his glove compartment. When a 50-something-year-old guy suddenly starts using emoticons, I call that conclusive evidence.

Emoticons are one of those things that, like Heidi Montag and rap music, I’ve been hoping would just disappear.  And am starting to think will be here long after I’ve shriveled away.

Yet despite their pervasiveness and staying power, I still can’t bring myself to actually use them. Why? Because I think they’re %-)  and using them makes me feel like an XP (an idiot, as I just had to explain to my editor).

Plus, learning to speak emoticon at this age is like learning to speak French, I mean French using all the proper tenses and nouns beyond croissant and bathroom. In other words, impossible.

I admit to being tickled by some of the more clever emoticons to be found in the Emoticon Glossary. Here, a mini-primer of examples that move beyond the obvious:

^5      high five
: *      kisses
:-@    screaming
\-o     bored
$-0    someone who only wants to talk about money
&:-)   bad hair day
:-&     tongue tied
:8)      pig
I-)      unibrow
:\/      can’t keep mouth shut
\m/    rocking out
(@@@):^) Marge Simpson

There are even x-rated emoticons, and such a thing as emoticon sex.  Who knows, maybe my husband is having an emoticon affair.

If that were true, I’d be :C.  I’d :’(.  And then I’d get so >>:<<  I’d kick his (_*_).

Want more How Not to Act Old? Click below! . . .

How Not to Act Old With Your Hair

How Not to Act Old at Work

How Not to Weekend Old

How Not to Act Old in Bed

How Not to Act Old On a Diet

How Not to Act Old at the Beach

How Not to Act Old With Celebrities

How Not to Act Old On Facebook

How Not to Act Old On Twitter

How Not to Act Old: Hot-Flash Special

How Not to Phone Old

How Not to Act Old: Nostalgia Edition

How Not to Act Old: Men's Edition

How Not to Act Old with a Younger Man

Does This Cocktail Make Me Look Old?

How Not to Act Old On YouPorn

How Not to Act Old: Dying--So Not Cool!

First Published July 7, 2009

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