10. Curly Brackets (fancy brackets)
Last week: 10

Calm down, Curly Brackets. You think you’re so fancy? Like you’re so much better than everyone else? And did I hear you would also like to be known as “Braces”? Oh, so you can separate yourself from the “other” brackets? Wow. Now, it totally makes sense that time you came back from spending a summer in London, and you suddenly had an accent and kept bragging about your time “on the Continent.” You’re insufferable.

9. Quotation Marks
Last week: 7

Let’s be honest: you never go anywhere without a mirror image of yourself. That’s codependency. It’s also a little troubling, right? That the most meaningful relationship you have is with a literal reflection of you? I don’t know. Maybe it’s best we keep our distance. I’m pretty sure I can never be what you need.

8. Colon
Last week: 6

I want to take you seriously, I do. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t get past the butthole thing. It’s not your fault. You didn’t choose your name. But listen, I can’t imagine introducing you as, “My friend, Butthole.” If that’s shallow of me, fine. I can accept that.

7. Semicolon
Last week: 8

I’m sorry, Semicolon. No matter how simply you try to explain what you do, nobody gets it. Are you a colon? A comma? Gun to your head, could you tell me? Look, why don’t you take a moment to think about it, and then we’ll talk. Right now, I can’t afford to invite your level of chaos into my life. Not again.

6. Apostrophe
Last week: 5

Okay, you belong near the top of the charts. But I can’t put you there in good conscience until you show self-respect. I know you get misused by people who put you before an s to make things plural, or use “it’s” as a possessive. And that’s not exactly your fault. Maybe the situation would change if you started standing up for yourself a little. I don’t know. I’m not victim-blaming, but perhaps it’s time you set some boundaries? Or should I say “boundary’s”? I feel like you’d let me write either. And that’s just sad.

5. Exclamation Point
Last week: 2

I don’t know what I was thinking, catapulting you to the two slot last week. I went kind of overboard. That’s how it is with you, though. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement, but afterward, you look back, and all you feel is embarrassed. Did every sentence of every text need to end with an exclamation point, or none of them? Maybe it’s an age difference. I don’t know. Probably best to pretend nothing happened and part ways.

4. Period
Last week: 3

You don’t do anything flashy. You just get the job done. When it’s time for things to end, you end things. No drama. It’s just over. Click. Like a switch being thrown. And then the next thing begins. That’s confident. That’s sexy. You’ve done it to me over and over again, but I keep coming back. God, I can’t wait until you end things between us again.

3. Parenthesis
Last week: 4

You are everything those try-hard Curly Brackets wish they could be. You are the two arms of a hug. The two hands gently cupping my face. The two lips parting slightly before we kiss. You’re an exciting couple inviting me to be the center of a love sandwich. And I’m here to say, “Yes, I would like to step inside. Yes, please.”

2. Question Mark
Last week: 9

What happened between last week and this week to catapult you from the bottom of the list into the top two? Did you do something out of the ordinary? Did you change something about yourself? Am I just asking rhetorical questions to be closer to you? Who knows? I just know I’m loving you this week, you crooked little bitch. Everything is always up in the air with you and that gets me going. Whatever it is you’re doing, keep doing it! Or should I say, will you keep doing it? I love not knowing!

1. Comma
Last week: 1

Top of the charts again, Comma. You’re always there, clarifying thoughts and sentences. Sometimes people overuse you, but is that really your fault? Because you’re so good at what you do, people want more of you. Hell, I do! Is that why I keep putting you at the top of the list? So that you’ll notice me? Ha ha. Of course, that’s not it. But a simple nod in my direction wouldn’t hurt. Not being pushy. Just saying, you know, the acknowledgment would be appreciated. But it’s not necessary! You’re great! You’ve always been great! I love you, Comma! Oh, shit, did I say that out loud? I don’t care, I guess. It feels good. I’m ready to leave my wife and family if you’d have me. They don’t understand me. They’re always like, “Why are you ranking punctuation? How does this constitute a full-time job? How long has it been since you’ve showered or seen the sun?” I don’t know, Barbara. Sounds like somebody is jealous of a bunch of punctuation. Maybe think about that for a minute. Because that’s just weird.