I received a disturbing text message last night that involved using punctuation marks to symbolize a face that is smiling.
The disturbing part was that I got this text from my Grandma.
For full effect, download "Everybody Hurts" by REM, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.
Everything about this scenario goes against any existing thread of moral standards and here is why: first, it’s a little unusual to get a text message from your Grandma to begin with, a lady who has just discovered the existence of cellular telephones. Second, anyone who uses an emoticon to express feeling in a text message should be shot on sight, we’re not in second grade anymore. And third, the combination of a text message from your Grandma that has an emoticon, is the worst combination since Tim Tebow and the New York Jets. This is an atrocity that should not happen.
Who in the curse word taught this old lady the witty shortcut of using a colon, a hyphen, and one side of a parentheses as a way to express her excitement via text? I know she didn’t come up with it on her own, I still haven’t been able to explain the concept of Facebook, HDTV, or electronic mail to this lady. She’s just barely grasping on to the idea of sending a typed sentence to her grandkids with this fancy gadget we got her called an iPhone, and you think she’s creative enough to think up an emoticon all by herself? Someone out there needs to be punished for this!
Unknown criminal: “See, watch how I put a semi-colon, a hyphen, and a capital letter P all together without spacing. Can you see how it’s making a winky face that’s got its tongue hanging out on the left side?”
Grandma: “Wait, what? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Unknown criminal: “No, see, just turn your head to the left, and look how it kind of makes a face, except the face has been created by the punctuation. See it now?”
Grandma: “OOOH! OOOH! I SEE IT! I SEE IT! I NEED TO SEND THIS TO ALL MY GRANDKIDS NOW, THEY’LL LOVE IT!!!”
No. We won’t.
Because of the vast difference in our age, there are things that neither one of us should do, almost like Ted Mosby’s version of the Murtaugh list. For example, because I’m 27, I should never call and schedule a colonoscopy. And vice versa, because she’s 75, she shouldn’t drink Mt. Dew after 8 pm. An atrocious combination like this is an obvious violation of the generation gap between us. It’s like me wearing flannel pajamas, stirring up a fresh glass of Metamucil while she’s eating an entire Little Caesar’s pizza in one sitting after dying her hair bright pink. It’s just plain wrong.
What scares me the most about all of this is that I can’t help but wonder what is next. Is she going to try assisted living online dating? Will she start creating Spotify playlists of 1940’s polka music? Or what about pinning wrinkle cream and fishbowl haircuts to her board on Pinterest? Heaven forbid she ever start reading this blog, that alone would be a pure disaster. The last time a senior citizen read Randomity, I got unfriended by my Grandpa on Facebook.
That’s right, my best friend unfriended me because he felt that me making fun of Wyoming wasn’t very nice.
You all can see the awkward predicament that I’m facing right? This a blatant defiance of the generational differences that exist between both of us. And as cold-blooded as you all may think that I am, I don’t have the heart to tear down the superficial joy she feels from sending a text with typographically-instilled emotions.
It seems I have now reached the precipice of the social-media blunders of a 75-year old woman. To whomever taught emoticons to my Grandmother, I hate your stinking guts.