• Aimee Spencer Tiemann


I thought it meant you were vegetarian. Here's how my lack of emoji speak almost got me fired.

I am blonde. I am blonde right to the core of my being. When I make a mistake, it’s not just a mistake - it’s a DISASTER.

For the record, I HATE emoji. Can’t stand them.

There are millions of them and besides the LOL, thumbs up, and 100%, I have no idea what they mean. And I think they're inefficient.

But it seems I can’t speak to anyone without inserting one of those ridiculous faces into a text conversation. I know, I know, now phones are so advanced that when you type a word, an emoji pops up.


I landed a client in TIME magazine. I was so excited. I sent him a text to tell him about the interview. His response was a million emoji and some text about the angle of the story.

To mirror my client’s love for the emoji, I sent back the cat with hearts in its eyes.

Silence. No Response.

I texted a day later to see how the interview went. Once again, a million emoji of fist pumping, happy face with tears, 100%, and tons of text.

I again sent the cat with heart eyes. Mind you, I thought I was communicating that I loved his enthusiasm!

Then, communication halts altogether.

Two days later, I call him. He answers and acts strange. He's not enthusiastic and excited like usual.

I asked, “Is everything all right?”

He said, “Aimee, do you realize when you send over the cat emoji with hearts in its eyes that you’re asking me to get frisky? My wife isn’t loving your responses.”

Holy fucking shit! What? A cartoon cat with hearts in the eyes is warranting this ridiculous conversation?!

I was horrified. I couldn’t stop apologizing. He laughed it off.

When I got off the phone, I wondered, "How many times are we using the wrong emoji?"

Maybe nobody cares because they haven’t been busted like me. Unfortunately, this wasn’t my first time.


Before meeting my husband, I made several miserable, failed attempts at online dating (thankfully I kept going, because that’s how I met him).

For you digital daters out there, you know what I’m talking about. It’s like you get your profile up on a new site and you immediately get 100 messages from 20 random strangers.

Some are clever. Some are strange. Some are rude. And some are just vulgar.

As you weed out the losers from the first round, you continue to talk to a few, and hope that someway, somehow, there could be a connection that could warrant a face-to-face meeting.

Well, when I re-entered the online dating world, emoji were on the rise and apparently a few of my soon-to-be suitors were fluent in them. Why wouldn’t they be? Emoji don’t really convey emotion or feeling, unless of course it's an angry face.

Anyways, after a few weeks of talking with one guy, we decided we'd meet. Then he texted that if things went well...EGGLPLANT and PEACH emoji.

I kindly replied, “If it goes well, we’re going to the farmer’s market?” He sent the LOL emoji.

Then I asked if the produce emoji meant he was a vegetarian. He sent another LOL emoji.

I texted, “I’m so confused.” He replied with an emoji of person with their hands up like “I don’t know.”

I took screen shots of the conversation and sent them to a friend. He called back laughing so hard that he couldn’t talk.

He said, “Seriously, you don’t know what this means?”

Obviously I didn't.

He quickly said, “He wants to do the deed with you. You know, f$%k you. What did you say to him to warrant the eggplant and peach?”

I said we could meet at Starbucks at noon.

He just kept laughing.

I sat back and thought, "Eggplants and peaches are the new love language? A vegetable and a fruit are the way we’re going to start communicating foreplay?"


Emoji were created in Japan in 1990 by Shigetaka Kurata. However, they didn’t really blow up until 2012, when Apple released iOS6.

While emoji fill social media, text messages, and even people's bodies in the form of tattoos, they were never intended to be this kind of phenomenon. Emoji were created as a form of punctuation.

According to Bustle.com, “Emoji started from Emoticons, that began in 1881. They were different punctuation marks that made up faces. In 1982, emoticons were incorporated into computer language, and they became more mainstream after the turn of the millennial.“


More than 75 percent of emoji users are women.

Well, not this woman.

The age group most likely to use emoji are 25 to 29. I found this statistic interesting because I get the most emoji-filled texts from Baby Boomers.

I once asked a friend in her sixties why she uses them so much. She said, “It's the only way to get my kids to text back.”

More than 5 billion emoji are used in Facebook Messenger communication EVERY DAY!

The most used emoji? Not what you think (I thought it was the poop one too). It's actually the emoji crying tears of joy! Who would’ve known?


  1. Never use an emoji that isn’t translated into a word first

  2. Never tell anyone but my husband that I’m having eggplant Parmesan with peach cobbler

  3. Unless it's my husband, I will never use anything with hearts in the eyes

  4. Make sure to keep your racial tones set to your own color, not someone else’s (I still have no idea how I did that one)

  5. Never mirror someone’s emoji for the sake of being cool - you may be making unsolicited sexual advances and not realize it

As some of you get Rosetta Stone this year and embark on a new language, I’ll be hiding behind the phone, making sure I’m not telling people I want to get frisky with them.

Whether I like it or not, I'll be fluent in emoji before you know it! Gag!

(insert emoji here)