When will you be here? I texted a friend I was meeting for lunch.
What do you mean? My mom texted back. Were not coming up until this summer.
I immediately realized I had mistakenly texted the wrong person.
Sorry, Mom, I texted. Wrong number. NM.
I was about to move on when she texted me back, Whats NM?
Nevermind, I texted back.
No, really, she replied. I want to know.
Nevermind, I repeated.
Why wont you tell me?!? she replied.
I told you, I texted her. Nevermind.
TRACY, she shouted at me in all caps. WHAT IS NM?
NM means NEVERMIND. I shouted back.
Oh, she texted back. Do you want to talk to your dad?
I cant talk to him. This is a text. I reminded her. Anyway G2G.
Got to Go, I texted her.
Wait. Before you go, tell me what G2G is? she demanded.
I told you Got to Go!
Forget it, she replied irritably. Ill look it up.
Mom, G2G means Got to Go, I texted her.
Oh, she texted back.
I sighed audibly which of course she couldnt hear because we were texting. But I was hoping she was getting my exasperation telepathically.
Most of the time when I text my mom, her texts were a mishmash of out-of-context autocorrects and a shorthand that she had made up herself. There were so many times I had no idea what she was saying that I had to pick up the phone and call her for clarification to make sure she wasnt actually planning to get a new Caribou (car), have some children for dinner (chicken), or go visit her cousin in prison (Princeton). Then there was the time I told her over text that I broke my thumb.
LOL, she responded.
Whats so funny about me breaking my thumb? I texted back.
Nothing! Thats terrible, she said.
Then why did you laugh?
I didnt laugh, she responded.
You said LOL, I texted.
Yes. She replied. I was sending you Lots of Love.
Mom, LOL means Laugh Out Loud. I told her.
Oh. Well when I use it, it means Lots of Love.
So, youre basically just making up your own text shorthand? I replied.
I guess so, she texted back.
OK, well, G2G. TTYL. I typed.
Whats TTYL? she asked.
Talk to you later, I texted back.
Thats fine, but tell me what TTYL is before you go, she demanded.
I took a deep breath.
TTYL means TALK TO YOU LATER! I shouted over text.
There was a pause. And then she texted back.
For more Lost in Suburbia, follow Tracy Beckerman on Facebook at facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage or on Twitter at @TracyinSuburbia.