Here’s the 411 on text messaging in our house

I don’t like to text.

I don’t like writing abbreviated code, much less reading it. By the time I figure out that CU L8R means “see you later” and “NETHING” means “anything” I could have been on the next sentence already. Maybe even the next paragraph, depending on whether I cleaned my glasses and took my ginkgo biloba that morning.

But I live with two people who love to text.

Nate, because he suffers from constipation of the mouth and thinks uttering the words “negative” and “affirmative” and “say again” constitute actual conversation.

Zoe, because she’s fifteen.

And so, whether I like it or not, texting has become a standard method of communication in our house. And while I don’t necessarily love the idea (hence, the “like it or not” phrase above – try to keep up) I have gotten used to it.

But as with everything else, I have had to lay down some rules to keep order in this house. Because I am all about order.

And donuts.

And ordering donuts. I’m hungry.

My rules, in no particular order, because they are all equally and vitally important and carry the same penalty of death or immediate dismemberment upon the slightest infraction:

  1. Do not text me when I am sitting next to you. I checked the inventory list and we were both born with a larynx and a complete set of ears. If we don’t use these things, they’ll disappear. Evolution, anyone? I don’t know about you, but I like my larynx and I especially like my ears. I have nice ears – they’re about the only part of my body that doesn’t need surgical intervention.Β I am not evolving without my ears. Where the hell am I supposed to hang my glasses or my Harry Mason earrings? So stop being selfish already and think of the greater good.
  2. Do not text me when I am sitting opposite you. See #1.
  3. Do not text me when we are in the same house. Physically move your person to my location. See #1 but insert “legs” everywhere you see “ears” with the disclaimer that I don’t like my legs, I would like surgical intervention on them and I have no intention of hanging any kind of earrings from them, Harry Mason or otherwise. Or my glasses.
  4. Do not text me when I am driving. I realize that you won’t always be aware that I’m driving if you are following rules #1, #2 and #3. However, if you text me 33 times asking “where r u?” and I don’t answer, chances are I am driving or I am dead. Either way, you are going to have to wait for an answer.
  5. Do not text me when I am laughing. You know perfectly well that when I laugh, I lose all motor function in my thumbs and they just hang there like miniature dried up albino sausages. No, I don’t know why. No, I can’t help it. I’ve complained to God and last I knew, I’m number 1,643,557 on his to-do list, right after finding a cure for Conan O’Brien’s hair.
  6. Do not wax philosophical on the reasons why I bite my nails. Think I could text with two inch talons? No, of course not. This would be one of those “silver lining” things everyone keeps talking about.
  7. Do not text me, asking what “wax philosophical” means.
  8. Do not get impatient with me. Just because I have opposable thumbs doesn’t mean I know how to use them, especially on a keypad that is sized in direct proportion to an American Girl Doll. Who’s bright idea was that?
  9. Do not tell me to calm my texts down. I cannot help it that I am an emotional person. I need to text in such a manner that you can clearly see my eyes popping out of their sockets, or feel the veins bulging in my neck or hear my brain smashing into smithereens when it explodes through my face, even though you are across town. For instance, “I AM FURIOUS! BATHROOM IS A DISASTER! YOU KNOW THE RULES. I AM SICK OF BEING IGNORED AND TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF! COME HOME AFTER SCHOOL IMMEDIATELY! NO PHOTO CLUB! I AM PISSED! MOM,” satisfactorily conveys that my mood has been raised to DefCon 1. “Upset. Come home,” doesn’t even register on the scale.
  10. Do not text me from someone else’s phone. That way, I can avoid automatically hitting “reply” and erroneously sending the above text to your friend while she’s at lunch. This would be the same friend who is not in photo club, has a pristine bathroom and a mother who doesn’t curse, and who is now petrified of me.
  11. Do not tell me I overuse exclamation points. See #9.
  12. !
  13. Do not, under any circumstances, reply to my text of “OK – there’s a green one and a brown one. The green one looks great against the walls but the brown one looks great against the couch. They’re both on sale. There’s only one of each and they won’t hold them for me! They’re closing in five minutes! I don’t know what to do! Which one should I get?” with “affirmative.” Unless you actually want a scavenger hunt for your genitalia after dinner.

That pretty much covers it.





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32 thoughts on “Here’s the 411 on text messaging in our house”

  1. Avatar

    Haha! This had me rolling. I must read it to my husband … who I think makes up abbreviations for words. Or, tries to pass off his typos as real words.

  2. Avatar

    You captured it all – except the my frustration about sending coherent responses. Sometimes the kids text me back saying “What is aofytm?” As if it’s my fault when the dictionary whatsit decided not to work and failed to transform my message into a real words.

  3. Avatar

    Well said, and well-timed. I just got a new [Oooo Pretty!] phone last night, free text messaging to the Darling and S.I.L. They’re savvy about such things, and I fear they’ll spend all weekend sending text messages which will be STUCK inside my new [Oooo Pretty!] phone until they come for Easter and Get The Messages OUT.
    See; I don’t even know enough to complain, but I’m READY.

  4. Avatar

    LOL! I lack the required speed for texting properly. On a regular keyboard that allows the use of all 10 fingers (well, primarily 8 fingers but the thumbs do come in hand on ye olde space bar), I am a typing whiz. Serioulsy, I can type well over 120wpm. On a *keyboard* that is… BUT, on my cell phone? Where each niblet-sized key has to stand in for at least 3 letters plus other characters? And there is one button for every possible punctuation mark yet not every punctuation mark is available (at least I haven’t found the key for an apostrophe yet if there *is* one)? UGH.

    Kiddo’s kindergarten teacher (who is close to my age, if not older) texts me regularly. She prefers texting to emails, and even inserts cute, little, animated emoticons into her texts (seriously – when the classroom parakeet died, she texted me about it and there was a little crying face in the text). It takes me approximately 25 minutes to respond with “O no! That is SO sad!” but it usually comes out more like “P np@ that ir sO sad,” because I haven’t hit the key the right number of times to get to the right damn letter. And then half the time, I will spot my error and then hit a button that cancels out of text messaging altogether instead of backspacing to delete the typo. That is the point at which I get frustrated and either call the person or throw my cell phone as hard as I can through whatever window is closest to me at the time.


    And the abbreviations? OY! They make my head spin. I refuse to learn the lingo until I am properly equipped for texting. Humph. Hubby texts, too. However, Hubby has a crackberry with a full keyboard. Me? Hopelessly outdated Razr cell phone. Maybe that’s the problem – he needs to get me a crackberry of my own……..

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    Also, that should say “seriously” – apparently my claims of being able to type are greatly exaggerated this morning. I blame it on the stress-related dreams I had all night of shag carpet and acres of wallpaper.

    I’m going to stop re-reading what I wrote now.

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    nething means anything? Lord who knew. I always learn something when I read your posts. When the kippers text to say they won’t be home for dinner my standard reply is K.

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    I have to say, I’m always impressed when moms text at all. My mom refuses to learn. She’s a very intelligent woman, and I’m sure she could handle it, she just refuses. :p

  8. Avatar

    I enjoy texting only for quick and easy communication with my boys. At least they always respond when I text. They seem to ignore my phone calls! They, however, are disgusted that I still use ABC to text and am not hip enough to use T9 or whatever that word texting thing is. I just can’t get the hang of it. I am slowly learning the “lingo” but it takes me so much longer to type the abbrevations than just the actual word. I can tell I was sadly not born into the generation of technology. I figure about the time I get the hang of this, it will be so yesterday…..LOL…LMAO… get the idea.

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    My kids don’t have phones yet. I keep them locked in the closet except for school [haha just kidding]. I told them they will have phones when I allow them to go places without a chaperone. That will occur when they are 21, and not a minute before. They don’t believe me. They will learn.

    At the rish of incurring your wrath, Andrea, because this guy is great with teens, I wanted to share a site with you –

    Alesia and Michael liked this guy a lot. He’s just a little older than they are [early 20’s] but he has been through similar misfortune [abandonment, foster care] and emerged as a smart, caring guy, who is also funny. He’s a great speaker. If you go on YouTube [as we did last night] you will find a lot of clips of him. Just an amazing young man.

    Pass this along to anyone with a teen.

  10. Avatar

    lol…this is the only way we can communicate sometimes in my house. I’m an it tech widow a lot of the times. So, a lot of times he can’t pick up the phone and use his voice box or I am teaching when he is free. My parents would get really upset with me if I inturpted class to answer a phone call unless its on the company phone. It better be a parent or my boss on the other line.

    You never cease to amaze me with your humor about things. Again you had me rofl. I have an update on the bobcat thing.

  11. Avatar

    Bah ha ha ha! I think texts have their place, but if you’re in the same house, move your ass and come talk to me. Mv Ur A$$ & tlk 2 me!!!!!!!!

  12. Avatar

    I’ve just started to text. I don’t like it. Most of the time my friends grow impatient and just wind up calling me since I’ve taken too long to text them back.

  13. Avatar

    LOL! I never did use the text service with my phone. I even had it shut off cause I was afraid I MIGHT use it and get some huge bill for 2.99$ per letter or something…

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    Ok, I can’t text. Seriously, I’m 43 the buttons are too little and I have no patience whatsoever, but you know who texts? My just-retired stepmom. She had a career that kept her in constant contact with people for over 20 years and now she texts. From the movie theater. It’s like she can’t get off the ride. That’s ok, she can afford it, but her spelling is atrocious!

  15. Avatar

    HAHAHA! You are hilarious!
    I hate texting, too… And my MOM loves it?! She likes to send me messages that say nothing of importance. And then call me if I don’t answer.

    Shouldn’t this be on the list somewhere?? “Don’t text unless you have a REAL reason. I don’t need a thumb workout.”

    Something along those lines…

  16. Avatar

    You would throw my daughter out of your house. She likes to text me from her bedroom. When I’m in the family room. Just to say hi.

    Un-fucking-believably annoying.

  17. Avatar

    We are so bad. My husband and I will text instead of talk in the house, while I’m upstairs doing my thing and he’s in the basement office. We always use full words, but both our phone have good auto complete so it works. πŸ˜‰

  18. Avatar

    First off, what is G2G?

    Second, LMAO you are SO funny!! I love it! My kids are too young to text, but DH and I do it all the time. And we instant message when he’s downstairs and I”m upstairs. lol I know, we’re crazy.

  19. Avatar

    LOL! Fortunately DH gets so many auto generated texts from machines he monitors for work that it never occurs to him to actually send any himself. He hates texting, which is fine by me. Maybe you should text in an order for donuts?

  20. Avatar

    Love it!

    I do use predictive text, but insist on full punctuation and being grammatically correct.

    My dh uses predictive, but not very well.

    When he says “No way good” – he means “On way home”

    This week he sent be a photo of a starter from a restaurant he was in over in England with the text “Delicious spawn starter” – apparently it was a PRAWN starter!

  21. Avatar

    I don’t have a 15 year old or a husband that likes to text, but I think my husband would feel the same way you do here about my new found joy of using gangsta language. For this reason I’m going to pass this onto him and maybe you two can become soul mates. OK, that and I thought it was crystal-light-spewing-from-my-nose-funny. πŸ™‚

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    OMG, someone else gets “laugh hands”?! that’s what we call them when DH gets me laughing and then i can’t make my hands work properly for a couple minutes. glad to know someone else shares my affliction. πŸ˜‰

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    had to tell you that last night my hubby was driving one of my daughter’s friends home. there were four 12 year old girls in the car. i asked him what they were talking about and if he got some good juicy stuff to keep me up to date on what happened at the dance and he said (get this): they were texting each other so i don’t know!!!!! shouldn’t there be a major rule about texting to someone who is sitting in the car with you?!?!

  24. Avatar

    I text, and I love to text. But I text with WORDS. I do not use abbreviations or, God Forbid, numbers in the middle of words (“L8R”). Want to know who does? My MOTHER. My 66 year old Mother.

  25. Avatar

    I would like you to know Zoe’s mom, that 1. i am not scared of you, bathroom is equally if not as messy as yours, 3. I am in photo club, and 4. you are rigt my mom doesnt care, i hate her she betrayed me but thats another story, but 5. i have a step mom who does care. dont worry i find you very nice and a great mom :-)!

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