Living 4000 miles away and relying on texting to communicate with my parents is an endearing and amusing experience. I have learned to recognize the effort my parents put into making these conversations work, particularly my mom who still stands by her flip phone of the 00’s. While I am grateful for what they do, I can’t help but also see the humor in the messages I receive.
1. The weather update
It may be the beach photos I send them, or it may just be the standard conversation starter, but my parents both seem to think that I need a constant reminder of the great wonder that is the Midwest weather pattern (or lack thereof). Although I have started to run out of responses to these meteorological texts, I still appreciate that they are thinking of me.
2. The dinner menu
From frozen fish sticks on a busy Lenten Friday to a corned-beef-and-cabbage feast on St. Patrick’s Day to the pizza and wings on Superbowl Sunday, my parents like to let me know what meals I am missing out on. These texts are usually followed by, “Can’t wait for you to come back and cook for us!”, as I am the primary chef when I am home.
3. The family drama
Although not really a thing in my family, there is still the occasional excitement in that I need to be updated on. For instance, events like the furnace breaking are headliners in the Dahlquist household newsletter.
4. The school check in
Of course, the standard, “How are classes going” comes up from time to time, although I will credit my parents for a good job of not overdoing it. I recognize it is their duty to make sure I am staying up with my work and have not dropped out to become a drug dealer.
5. The unexplained picture message
Sometimes I just get a picture of my grandma chilling at a wedding, my godson on a Thursday, or my sister with my hometown college’s mascot. These photos show up without any back story or context, which often only adds to the amusement of its random subject matter.
6. The out-of-place emojis
I use the application “Group Me” to communicate with both of my parents individually, as well as in group messages with my entire family. The emojis in this texting app have a certain quality about them that puts them above others I have seen. My parents seem to have a particular gift for placing the characters in the most interesting contexts.
7. The “I need more interaction with you”
Sometimes I go a little too long without texting mom, and she let’s me know with a “what have you been up to?” or “how are things going?” or any of the others mentioned above. I know this means I need to step up my game and hit her with some updates.