QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The 14-year-old: a text challenged boy

When the 14-year-old started middle school 3 years ago (and now he's graduated from middle school...sniff sniff), he depicted the husband and me as the meanest, most injudicious parents on the face of the earth. The reason? We wouldn't permit him to have a cell phone.
"But Daaad..." he inefficaciously whined, ALL the other kids in my class have them. Without looking up from the Wall Street Journal, the husband would quip: "well, buddy... that's because their parents love them more than we love you."
A year later, in his 7th grade, unceasingly barraged by the cell phone beg, I bargained. "You can have a cell phone," I off-handedly told him, "when you get straigh As." That semester he came home with straight As (and has maintained them ever since). The boy got a cell phone.
I tell that story in order to illustrate the irony of the boy's subsequent lack of use of the cell phone. Not a girl, he is not constantly on the phone, and very rarely does he engage in the teenager's replacement for telephone conversations: texting.
So... with all of that background... the husband and I sent him off 2 days ago to a week-long overnight Leadership Conference/Camp held in Washington D.C., his being accompanied by his cell phone and its charger.
After the first day of the conference, the husband and I both tried his cell phone, both efforts having ended in voice mail abyss. We wanted to hear from the boy with the cell phone we provided to him.
Finally, after a few more hours of waiting for some type of communication, the husband received this cryptic text message from him (my company blocks texts, so I can't get them on my phone); the husband kindly forwarded it to me:
"dad im doing well at camp. We have toured the capital visited alot of veteran cemeteries and went through the saudi arabian e"
This was the first of two. I'm hoping that the "alot" is a typo, although I'm proud that he modified how he's doing with an adverb. Is the "e," which ostensibly stands for embassy, meant to be an abbreviation or is he inept at texting?
Here's the 2nd text:
"e going to gettysburg. Love you. See u later."
I suppose the "e" is "We" and can excuse the absence of the helping verb (isn't that what it's called? I forget...) "are" as well as the small g ... it IS a text message after all. With all this cryptic abbreviation, though, he spelled out See rather than the usual "c," which I find a little humorous.
It seems to me there may be some portions of the text missing from the beginning of the 2nd and the end of the 1st...
In short, I think our son sucks at texting and he'd better keep up his grades as a fall back.

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