LOL– 21st Century Parents

Amelita's Father

Our Subject In The Act of a Real LOL

One of the best things about being an adult is loving, rather than loathing with extreme embarrassment, the ridiculous things that my parents do (“Ugh Mom stop being so supportive of me!!” “Dad, I don’t need a ride! Jeeze!”).

Lately, my Dad has taken a liking to social media, and the results are often priceless. In the past this would have been a major problem for me and my cool self, but now I can’t help but enjoy it.

My favorite part is that he’s starting to learn abbreviations like “BRB,” “TTYL,” and “LOL.” Watching him learn these phrases and answering his confused questions is a little bit like teaching a child to read, except you’re actually making the subject much less literate and much more likely to embarrass themselves in a social situation.

He didn’t use “LOL” a lot at first, so it took me a while to notice that maybe, just maybe, he didn’t exactly know what it meant. It started with texts like this:

“We are back home. Safe and sound. We will call you tomorrow to provide details. Thanks for your concern. LOL…Dad”

Or this:

”Maybe talk to you tomorrow. I should have plenty of time. LOL”

Or the dramatic irony of this:

“That is what insurance is for. Hope you feel better soon. LOL…Dad”

Even in that moment of concern, I had to laugh. Was there some joke that I was missing? Is my Dad laughing at me feeling sick? Trying to lighten the mood?

And then it became clear. My dad was recklessly wielding the “LOL” without knowing its true power. As a good 21st century daughter, I couldn’t let it continue, so the next time I saw him in person, we had a talk.

Me: Dad, do you know what LOL means?

My Dad: Sure, it means lots of love!

I grinned like an idiot. Parents can be so freaking cute sometimes. Sometimes.

Me: No, Dad, it means laughing out loud. So when you text me something and then say “LOL,” I looks like you think you made a really hilarious joke when you’re actually talking to me about health insurance.

My Dad: It’s an abbreviation! It can mean whatever I want it to mean!

Me: Sure, as long as you know that when I read it it sounds like everything you say is dripping in sarcasm.

With his eyes opened to a new worldview, I showed my Dad past texts of his, all littered with “LOLs.” I have never seen him laugh so hard. It’s impossible not to laugh when someone says something like “If you have any friends voting in MA, please remind them to vote for Warren. LOL, Dad.” (Do you actually want me to vote for her? Should I definitely not vote for her? Are you being sarcastic? I’m so confused!!!) It was, ironically, a true “LOL” moment.

A few years have passed since our chat, and even though he knows what it actually means, my Dad still maintains that he can use “LOL” wherever he darn well pleases. More often than not, though, he will replace it with LOLove, making the use of an abbreviation a completely moot point. I’m not going to bother him on that one, though. To be honest, I kind of LOLove it.

Amelita Lijek About Amelita Lijek

Born and raised in a Boston suburb, Amelita is heart-breakingly Boston-accent deficient. This deficiency, among many others, has driven her survival instinct to find the humor in all things, even if they are not cat-related. An avid writer, tweeter, and sleep-enthusiast, Amelita can be found regularly cavorting around New York City improving (IM-prah-ving), sketch writing, and seeking out free samples and Wifi (WHY-fy). She also has carefully cultivated Twitter (@aaaamelita) and SoundCloud (soundcloud.com/aaaamelita) accounts, both of which will most likely be cited either as a) her first ventures into a wildly successful comedy career or b) her first ventures into a wild descent into madness or c) a little bit of both.

Amelita Lijek About Amelita Lijek

Born and raised in a Boston suburb, Amelita is heart-breakingly Boston-accent deficient. This deficiency, among many others, has driven her survival instinct to find the humor in all things, even if they are not cat-related. An avid writer, tweeter, and sleep-enthusiast, Amelita can be found regularly cavorting around New York City improving (IM-prah-ving), sketch writing, and seeking out free samples and Wifi (WHY-fy). She also has carefully cultivated Twitter (@aaaamelita) and SoundCloud (soundcloud.com/aaaamelita) accounts, both of which will most likely be cited either as a) her first ventures into a wildly successful comedy career or b) her first ventures into a wild descent into madness or c) a little bit of both.

  • LOL. I LOLove this story. 🙂

  • Lauren

    This post had me grinning from ear-to-ear! Working with Harvey and witnessing the budding relationship between his “darn phone” and the ever-intriguing (head-scratching) social media world is priceless. His unwavering persistence to “figure it out” (…one day!) is more than most 21st Century Parents can say for themselves! =P

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cejk39VS8qc

    • TheBigMilkshake

      Glad you liked it. Very funny link.

  • emjayelle

    This is hilarious and so true! My dad thought LOL meant the same thing!

  • Happy Egg Man

    LOL as in Lots of Laugh to be fair on both parties.

Smiles For All