Thursday, July 5, 2012

Parents Texting to Connect

Pick up a copy of When Parents Text: So Much Said…So Little Understood by Lauren Kaelin and Sophia Fraioli. I promise you it will keep you laughing from cover to cover.  Even if you think you know very well how to text properly.  As I am sure you do, much like myself, despite what you may have heard from my know-it-all 23-year-old.  

Two young women have to move home after college.  “In between babysitting jobs, unpaid internships, e-mails from DirectLoans, and taking NJ Transit into the city for various hourly wages, we received some texts from our parents.” These struck them as so hilarious they started a website, and this book chronicles some of their early posts. 

Their parents’ texts range from the mundane (tacos for dinner? Fine. Leftover dumps? Er, bad? Oh, no, dumplings, ok then) to special occasions (What does dad want for his birthday? Hair.) Texts are the perfect vehicle for helicopter parenting in the not-so-empty nest, but most of all they’re an extension of love in what are clearly two very loving families.  Nonetheless, there’s a lot lost in translation, like in this exchange:

            “Mom: What did you do with your sisters contacts, she can’t find them
            Me:  I didn’t touch her contacts, maybe she deleted them.
            Mom: From her eyes?”

Sometimes parents have to text for directions:
            “Dad: would ya’ll take me to the itunes store…is it on S. Congress?

And sometimes texting is perfect for health and safety alerts:
            “Dad: Have fun paint ball ing? remember that you only have one eye? be careful that no one shoots you in the remaining eye?
            Me:  Dad, i’m nearsighted in one eye, not blind...
            Dad: You know what I mean? I would hate for you to lose vision? that would affect you for the rest of your life? how do you make a period on my phone?”

And more than once in a while things come by text that seem more suited for oral communications, but maybe that’s just me…

            “Mom: Your dentist died. No appt next week. I’ll find u new one. I learned how to make bread!”

Happily, when you finish the book and find yourself unable to stop reading, you can continue to get your laughs online at  I have yet to find any clues, however, as to why my son treats my abbreviating words in perfectly logical fashion as a faux pas. (I’m trying desperately to shorten the time it takes me to express myself—why won’t he just pick up the phone?!)  “Coz” as an abbreviation for “because” drives him particularly crazy.

Looking for evidence of his gentle ribbing about my texting style, I had to go back no further than a couple of months in the texts saved in my inbox. (And can someone please tell me how to get these precious communications off my phone and onto my computer? ) I had invited him to do something, I don’t remember what, and here’s the impertinence I got in return: “No cnt, no tme kep abbrevn tho so kwl.”  

So no, he doesn’t appreciate that I went out and got a new phone a couple of years ago specifically because it had a QWERTY keyboard, and added more text allowance to my already exorbitant wireless plan so I could text with him, so I could stay connected by his communications media of choice.  

I’m not a technophobe by any means, I just have fingers and thumbs that were meant for bigger keys, and, oh yeah, like to hear the sound of his voice once in a while.  But I will continue to text my boy and take his critiques in stride. 

Coz I luv hm.


  1. Adorable. Something I have also fallen prey to. Thanks for the head's up!

  2. Karen, Why am I so proud of myself when I can make out abbrevs???? I mean really. Weren't we all meant for higher aspirations? Maybe not. Communication is highest on my list.

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