Introduction: the seven phases of textual maturity
This book is for every family that has ever dealt with immature parental texting. That's right, at the heart of it, it's for and about families. We may poke fun at parents a lot, but the truth is, it's only because we love their texts so darn much that they are so funny. We believe that the texting relationship has allowed parents and children to become closer, and we'll tell you why. Unfortunately though, we're not parents quite yet, so we can't really speak for them. So while we talk about what we've learned about parents and the text message, just remember, we are only giving our point of view because we've learned one thing above all else: we'll never know what is going on inside of our parents' heads, so we shouldn't try to assume. Instead, this is a tribute to parents who text everywhere. It's for our parents and our friends' parents. It's for all of the parents that have unknowingly had their texts posted on our website. Maybe it'll even be a guide for them to know "what not to do."
Take it for what it is, but this is what we have observed.
Parents. They were our best friends in elementary school, embarrassed us in middle school, and pissed us off in high school. Just when we thought we were getting away from them in college, cell phones came along and pulled us right back in. But then something weird happened: we started to kind of like talking to them—as long as we didn't have to talk to them.
Enter the text message.
All of a sudden we could bridge the gap between the "too-cool- for- school kid who never comes home" and the "move-on- already and stop talking to your parents every ten minutes kid." Slowly but surely, the wall between parent and child crumbled to the earth, and technology put mother and daughter, father and son, on the same footing. Maybe it's because we had to teach them how to use the damn phone in the first place, and so they were humbled to where they finally saw us as more than just a depository for their hard earned income—we could actually teach them something! Whatever it was, parents decided they could open up more if they didn't have to have a long conversation with you face to face, and vice versa.
Of course, it wasn't that easy. First, we had to put up with the half dialed texts, the texts with no spaces, the all caps texts, and the unreadably autocorrected texts that Mom and Dad didn't know how to fix. That was funny in and of itself, and pretty much provided hours of entertainment— introduction: the seven phases of textual maturity vii and frustration. But along with that frustration came an odd sense of fulfillment. We were somehow helping our poor, technologically inept parents, and humored them until they started to get the hang of it. We found texts like "Howdoyoutypeaspaceonthisdamnthing.goingtoseegrandma. studyhard" to be utterly endearing. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, it actually brought us closer together.
Then things got weird.
Mom and Dad learned the basics and decided to venture out on their own, unsupervised. They thought, "Hey, this is fun with the kids. Let's do it with each other." Little did we know how ugly—and horrifying—that could get. They could type, but somehow they managed to only know how to send text messages to three or four people. You know, their immediate family. And sometimes, God knows how, they got those mixed up in their contacts. This wasn't such a bad thing when you got a text from your mom that said "Sweetheart, could you pick up some milk on your way home?" All you had to do was reply and say, "Mom, you meant to text dad. I'm 500 miles away at college."
But it was the "insexts" that caused the damage. You would be sitting in class, or at work, when all of sudden you get a text from your mom: "Hello clit commander. I've had a long day and need some hard lovin. Cum home fast and rock my world." Things just got less funny. And all of a sudden you and your parents were a hell of a lot closer for reasons you had not wanted, nor had you anticipated. Yet, again, you were closer nonetheless. Somehow, you began to understand you parents better, and they started to be able to treat you more like an adult as you viewed them as more of one, and not just your mom or dad.
And that's when it all fell apart. They knew everything: how to text, what we were doing, where we were, who we were with—the whole nine yards. Before we knew it, they became the masters. They knew all we did, plus had years of experience, wisdom, and practice at belittling people. They started playing with us. Ultimately, it became a game of wits. Pretty soon it turned in to this:
Dad: You're 16, sex doesn't exist for you. It's not real, like the Easter Bunny.
Us: And you are married. It doesn't exist for you either. Ha.
Dad: Touche, son. Touche.
And that's how we learned that you can actually become equals with your parents by texting. Ironic, right? A device created to disallow verbal communication actually made us talk more, and talk more openly with our parents.
Our parents love us so much because they watched us grow up. Now, we've finally been lucky enough to see our parents mature before our eyes (textually speaking), instead of the other way around. You see, they were able to enjoy seeing us learn to talk, get the confidence to go out on our own and screw up royally—only to get back up and try again. They watched our embarrassment as they found dirty magazines or fancy underwear, suffered our "advice" as we found that we knew absolutely everything there was to know (the beautiful teenage years); then they put up with us talking back to them, and loved us anyway. We insulted them, and they loved us more. Then we all grew up and became friends.
But then those damn text messages came around, and our parents were technological infants. Then WE got the opportunity to love our parents by watching them grow up. For all intents and purposes, we've seen seven distinct phases of their textual development. For that reason, we've divided the book into the "Seven Phases of Textual Maturity" that just about each and every parent goes through before they are digitally and telephonically adept. True, some parents just get it right off the bat; but think about it, there were those kids that you went to high school with that could have been 35 years old, married, and had two kids, and you wouldn't have questioned it.
This book is for the everyman. It's for the parents who went through this process, and the kids that taught them. It's for all those that thought that "LOL" meant "Lot of Love" and couldn't type worth a damn. Most of all it's for families that text together.
So what do you say: enough with the emotional appeals? Well, the bottom line is that regardless of what the motivations are, parents can have some pretty damn crazy texts, whether they mean to or not. So, we made a website to showcase some of the best from all of you and your parents. We wrote this book to showcase some of the best that we held back from the website, and to explain a little more in depth why we created the site and what the texts really represent. But that's all touchy feely stuff that you may not care about. If you do, that's great. If you don't you'll still LOL, LMFAO, WTF, and JBYM when reading these texts.
So, with that, enjoy. And remember, kids, keep texting. And parents, keep texting crazy things. We love it, and it's made us love you more.