Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lots of Love

You know you're getting old when you find yourself in a discussion over Christmas with your family members and find yourself describing to them the "younger" generation. And don't include yourself in that description.  Just a few days ago, my mother, aunt, husband and I found ourselves marveling over the propensity of those younger than we are to abbreviate everything. Totes. Obvi. Skedge. Presh. All the IM words like SMH, BTW, etc.  The list goes on.  I don't presume to be an expert on all of these and often find myself shaking my head in total bewilderment when I read facebook statuses of those younger than I, completely unsure of what they've even said.

But as we were discussing all this, the following interaction occurred, which made me realize I'm at least doing a little better than the baby boomers:

Aunt: "I thought LOL meant "loads of laundry" for the longest time.  Why were all these people always telling me when they were doing their laundry?"
Mom: "I thought it meant lots of love?" (clear confusion in voice)
Reed: Until when?
Mom: Well, until just now. 

Yes, friends. My mother has been on facebook for several years now and only this past week learned that LOL means laugh out loud. She really and truly thought that her friends were just offering her words of love whenever she wrote something crazy. I love my mom.  Needless to say there was lots of laughing out loud in response to this revelation.  Of course, once you have a conversation like this, you reassign meaning to words. So, the rest of the week we would constantly just grab her arm and sweetly say, "Lots of love, Mom, Lots of love" when she did something funny.

The thing is, though, and I know I'll sound even older writing this next part, I really miss when people spoke in full sentences with actual words. I do. I don't want to have a conversation with somebody that sounds like a text message. I want to be able to understand what people write on their walls. Maybe this means it's time to get out of the college world and hang only with people my own age, but that doesn't really appeal. I love these young people(I may have just sprouted a gray hair saying that last sentence). But I can see why my parents were so frustrated even with my slang when I was a teenager.  It just sounds awful. It really does.  Most likely the number of times my friends and I used the word "like" before we said anything else caused my mom to secretly lock herself in closets and scream her head off to relieve the tension. ("Like, what's wrong mom?")

I realize this is a losing battle in our culture.  I will still stubbornly spell out most of my words when I text. Let's be honest, it's not like shortening my words would somehow magically make me fast at texting anyway- I'm pretty much a lost cause in that area.  I will still read books that use SAT words and most likely cringe when I hear or read the word "presh." Mostly, I will willingly relinquish any membership I have to the "youth" of today and resolutely plant myself alongside my fellow generation x'ers.  Once you're closer to 40 than you are to 20, it's just time.

1 comment:

  1. This made me laugh out loud, Carolyn. Lots of love, Jennifer Wellington