So, my dad got an iPhone last year. To help promote his business (he’s a dance instructor), he also joined Facebook and Twitter and seems to have adapted quite nicely to these forums – I see his posts and tweets regularly. I’m quite proud of how seamlessly he took to modern technology.
We used to speak on the phone every week or two, as his schedule keeps him quite busy and our hours don’t really correspond. For instance, I wake up at 6:30 am and go to bed by 10 pm. He doesn’t.
With this iPhone, Dad learned how to text. Now, I hear from him every day.
Every. Single. Day.
Random bits of information about what he’s doing, jokes to me and my kids, questions and pieces of advice appear on my phone. But they’re not your typical, “Hi, how are you today?” texts that you would expect to receive from your parent. I don’t know why I would expect otherwise…Dad is anything but typical.
A Jewish boy from Queens, former restaurant manager turned dance instructor extraordinaire, Dad proudly answers to any of the following names: Rico Suave Salsa, Hollywood Howie, The Dance Whisperer, Howie the Hat, or Ringo Montana.
Ringo Montana, you ask? Take a look:
Back to his texts. Here is an example of what we receive in a given week:
Monday: What is the difference between ‘Wisdom’ and ‘Knowledge’? Knowledge is knowing that the tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
Tuesday: My girlfriend said she needed more space, so I locked her outside!
Wednesday: I was at a dance the other night and overheard three very large women talking. Their accent appeared to be Scottish, so I approached and asked “Hello, are you three lassies from Scotland?” One of them angrily screeched “It’s Wales! Wales, you idiot!” So I apologized and replied, “I am so sorry. Are you three whales from Scotland?” And that’s the last thing I remember.
Thursday: A Chinese proverb: “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls, and others build windmills.”
Friday: Did you know the film Titanic cost more than the Titanic?
In October, Dad discovered emoticons. Now, it is the rare text that doesn’t include one. He sent a video, (which I can’t show here simply because I’m technically stunted and I should reserve a morsel of privacy to the man), with a message saying “At the Oyster Bay Festival” accompanied by 8 (yes, 8) emoticons depicting various food and drinks.
The following week, he sent this: On our way to SLEEPY HOLLOW (o o a a a ha ha) – with three accompanying emoticons of – you guessed it – ghost, pumpkin, knife
There were many more that followed quickly after, showing various pictures of his wonderful outings (dances, concerts, etc), further imposing on me my lack of social activity and boring existence.
One message that stands out from December was this: “Hi Kimberly, I want to order Unicycles for the boys for Xmas. What I need is their height. Thanks. luv u (2 emoticons).
Did I mention he and Carmen (his fiancé) gave my sixteen-year-old a lava lamp for his birthday? Remember these?
I managed to talk Dad into buying only one unicycle and promised him that if the boys started fighting over who was using it, he could buy another one.
The texts continue today. Now we’re up to three jokes at a time. One of my sons responds to each: “Funny“. The other shares them with his friends. I’m thankful for their connection.
Before I go, I’ll leave you with today’s text:
How do dolphins reach a decision? Flipper coin.
First man: Can you tell me what you call someone who comes from Corisca?
Second Man: Cors-i-can
Why do cod swim erratically? Because cod moves in mysterious ways.
Does anyone else enjoy the luxury of texting with their parents? I’d love to know.
PS: If anyone is curious, the unicycle was met with ambivalence and sits lonely in our garage. Dad believes interest will be sparked by warm weather. I’ll keep you posted…