After several drafts, Miranda has finally submitted a draft of a text message to a panel of her friends for evaluation and final approval. The text, eventually intended for Cory, the nice guy she met at the bookstore on Wednesday, is currently under peer review.
“I don’t even know how many rewrites it’s gone through,” says Miranda. “At this point I just need some outside eyes on it.”
The expert panel consists of Aubrey and May, Miranda’s roommates, Bethany, Miranda’s best friend, and Gabby, who’s just really good at this sort of thing.
“Too many exclamation marks,” was Gabby’s initial reaction upon reading the draft. “You also have to rein in your modifiers. It’s just brunch.”
Bethany’s criticism was gentler. “I’d consider changing ‘maybe we could’ to ‘sometime we should’. Bold, declarative statements pack more of a punch, while also keeping you in a position of power.”
The draft, which was submitted at 9:51pm ET, has been under review for over an hour. Aubrey, May, Bethany, and Gabby are currently huddled around Miranda’s iPhone on the coffee table, red pens in hand.
“The text is really marked up at this point,” Miranda tells us while stirring her coffee in the kitchen. “But that’s good. It can be hard to kill your darlings, but when the time comes, I want to present the best possible version of this text to Cory.”
At one point, an argument over emoticons broke out in the living room.
“The winky face is too flirty at this point, “Gabby said to the team.
Undeterred, Aubrey fired back with a vicious, “What are we even doing here if we’re not going to encourage boldness?”
Though tensions are running high, the women aren’t losing sight of the end goal: get Cory across the table from Miranda.
“I presented my final dissertation in grad school earlier this year,” Miranda tells us. “And honestly? I was less nervous for that.”
In total, the final draft is 36 characters, sans winky face.
“I feel good about the final product,” Miranda says while sliding open her phone for the 19th time since hitting send. “I know they say art by committee isn’t productive, but sometimes you need to tap into that group mind.”
The panel has briefly adjourned to get snacks and water. They will reconvene in an hour to discuss and analyze Cory’s enigmatic response of “k”.