Kids these days and their phones

My Sassy Saint and her friends love to text. I’m glad I have unlimited texting on my plan, because I shudder to think what my bill would be like otherwise.

I maintain that I can confiscate the phone at any time – I bought it – and look at any texts, messages, photos, video, etcetera, etcetera, I want – I pay for the service plan. It’s my property, I just let her use it, and she had better not forget it, because Momma gives phones, so Momma can take phones.

Anyway, she and her friends text. I’ve seen them, and they’re mostly the usual silliness and in-jokes. I guess they make sense to them. I hope.

But now they’ve started texting me.

I’m not sure how they got my number – actually I know exactly how they got it, come to think about it.

I’m not sure why they are texting me. (Sassy says it is because I’m the cool mom. The bar has obviously been set very, very low.)

I’m just getting them.

“Make sure (Sassy Saint) dresses fancy. Plz & thnx.”

I had no idea who this was. Their number wasn’t in my contacts, but they clearly had mine and knew Sassy.

“Who is this?” I asked her.

She glanced at the message. “Oh, that’s She-Who-Runs-With-Scissors. She said she was going to text you.”

She-Who-Runs-With-Scissors is a little fashionista in the making, and Sassy Saint only cares if her clothes are clean – matching, without holes or stains, and fitting correctly are entirely optional. They make an interesting pair.

I was mostly on Scissors’ side, because I spend a lot of money on cute clothes, but I never see anything but give-away T-shirts. It’s a mystery. I’d burn them all, but I’m afraid of what she would wear if I did.

I keep buying things in the hopes that she’ll use them. She tells me she likes them, and I’m not sure whether she’s humoring me. I bought her a purse to keep her phone and wallet in, but she keeps forgetting it. We were on a recent shopping trip, and she didn’t have it. I knew she had her phone, because it’s perma-glued in her hands.

I glared at her. “Where’s your phone, missy?”

She took it out of her boot. Her boot! I almost fell over. “Why is it in your boot?”

“It’s fine.”

She had several hundred dollars worth of technology stuffed into her boot. It was one of those boots with an explosion of fur coming out of the top – you know what I’m talking about – so it was probably well-cushioned, but still.

“You know, when I was your age, we didn’t have texting,” I said. “We only had email.”

She was appropriately horrified. “Did you have cell phones?”

“No.” (Actually, technically, yes, there were cell phones in the 1980s, but she wouldn’t recognize them.)

My mother leaned in. “They didn’t have the Internet when I was your age.”

“Yeah,” I added. “When Grandmama was your age, they had … ROTARY DIAL PHONES!”

It probably would have scared her more if she knew what rotary dial phones were; the effect was much less chilling when I had to explain it.

(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at