Much lost in translation when parents text
06/20/2012 5:00 AM
06/21/2012 7:26 AM
I sent my daughter a photo message recently – a version of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster that said, “Keep Calm and Sing Me Soft Kitty,” a nod to one of our favorite TV shows.
Hannah replied: “OMG.”
“IKR?!” I texted back. (I know, right?!)
I could almost hear her eyes roll. Then she typed back:
“You are one mom who tries REALLY hard to be a hip young person.”
What do you mean, tries?
If I weren’t hip and young, would I even comprehend the side-splitting, tear-inducing humor of my new favorite website, When Parents Text?
I was browsing the clearance table at a local bookstore recently and came across a little paperback, “When Parents Text: So Much Said … So Little Understood,” which is based on the website, WhenParentsText.com, created by Lauren Kaelin and Sophia Fraioli.
Opened the book to this gem:
DAD: What does Totes Magoats mean?
DAD: Totally what?
ME: It’s just an expression. Magoats rhymes with totes so people say it.
DAD: I think life is just passing me by.
Then I saw this, which persuaded me to buy the book. (Not that I needed much persuasion, as I was literally LOL in the bookstore.)
MOM: Do you want waffles or muffins for breakfast? Just text “A1” for waffles or “B1” for muffins.
ME: Why did you go through all that trouble? Why can’t I just text “waffles” or “muffins”?
MOM: We are texting in code! ;););) :)
MOM: A1 or B1?
MOM: Sooo … A1?
ME: Mom. Yes.
MOM: I think I would rather have muffins. I’m making muffins.
DAD: Explain hipsters.
ME: HAHA basically moms hairdresser
DAD: Rudolfo? Or the chubby lady who feeds the dogs?
I don’t text my parents. Not long ago I had to ask them to keep their cellphone turned on after making calls because mobile phones are designed to receive calls as well, and someone – their daughter, perhaps – might actually try to call them sometime.
They’ve since mastered Facebook and Skype. They enjoy their Hyundai’s Bluetooth a little too much sometimes, calling on the way back from Costco just to tell me they bought a case of merlot. (“Hope they don’t stop us at the border!”)
But they don’t text. They “don’t believe in it.” If they did, though, I could envision an exchange like this one, from WhenParentsText:
MOM: what do u wanna get ur friendz for xmas? coffee cake? ice cream? hoop earrings?
ME: why would my friends want any of those things?
MOM: not sure, i have extra in the basement
DAD: would ya’ll take me to the itunes store…i don’t know where its located…is it on S. Congress?
MOM: FYI: PLZ be careful with shiskabobs. Dogs can swallow them and stab their hearts.
My children find that hilarious, as some of our text-message exchanges seem every bit as hapless or corny as the WhenParentsText examples. Me being a parent and all.
HANNAH: Heading home now.
MOM: OK, see you at home :(
MOM: I meant :). I’ll be happy to see you. That was a typo.
MOM: I love you.
MOM: Never doubt that.
HANNAH: Mom. I know.
LOL. (Little Old Lady? Lots of love?) At least I know the way to the iTunes store.
About Suzanne Tobias
Suzanne writes about family life on Thursdays. She has covered local news for The Eagle since 1990. Suzanne is a native of North Carolina and earned an English degree from North Carolina State University.
Find her on Twitter: @suzannetobias
Contact Suzanne at 316-268-6567 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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