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Letters from yo momma

May 5th, 2010

Reprinted from Today’s Local News , May 10, 2009 

I only asked for one teensy gift for Mother’s Day. 

In an e-mail to my kids, I mentioned a book featured on my newest favorite Web site, www.postcardsfromyomomma.com 

“This looks like a must read—and it’s coming out just in time for Mother’s Day,” I typed and I sent them the link. 

My daughter wrote back. 

“Do I smell a ‘hint-hint’? Oh Mama. Why don’t you just buy it for yourself and collect the appropriate amount of moolah, like you normally do?”

No answer from the other two. One probably deleted it and the other probably got me the book. 

Postcardsfromyomomma is the creation of Doree Shafrir and Jessica Grose, two 20-somethings who started the Web site and invited people to send in e-mails from their moms. 

For example: “While in China: Don’t drink the water! Don’t eat the food! Don’t talk to strangers! Don’t get near any birds! But have a good time. Love, mom.”

Or, “Do either of you lovely girls have the energy to pick me up? I arrive on flight #700 at 11:35 pm. If not, don’t worry, I can get in a cab with Jack the Ripper. Love, Mamacita.”

They soon realized they had tapped into a mother lode of “poignant, goofy and brilliant” maternal communication.

In less than a year, they’ve gotten more than 7,000 emails from unsuspecting mothers around the world. “Of course, they were sent in by their children, all of whom were eager to share their mom’s particular brand of humor and wisdom with the rest of the world,” they say.

Writing mom-mail is an inherited trait. When I was in college, my mother sent me what she called junk letters. She typed them on a manual typewriter and kept carbon copies for herself. Every week I received a brick-sized envelope stuffed with news, tidbits and cartoons from home. So it comes as no surprise that I over-correspond with my kids.

I’ve never asked them how often they’d like to hear from me, but I can guess what they might say. Less is more and none is best.

Today’s savvy moms know how to keep their kids from deleting their e-mails. They use eye-catching subject lines such as “Need money?” Or, “Free dinner for my favorite child.” Only the desperate scream “DO NOT DELETE” in all-caps.

Then there are icons: “I saw your St. Pat’s Day photos on Facebook – looks like you had a good time – not that I approve of any of the things you were doing :)” said one mom.

Another mother wrote: “You were welcome to stay in my uterus for nine months and my house for 17 years. But I understand, for me to stay a week at your apartment might be a bit much :)”

Her daughter’s reply: “Don’t you passive-aggressive-smiley-face ME, woman.”

E-mail is becoming far too complicated. You have to remember the age of the person on the receiving end before you know whether or not to punctuate. 

No caps, no punctuation, sentence fragments—it’s all good with anybody under 30. 

Thanks to Postcards from Yo Momma, I’ve finally figured out why my kids delete my e-mails without reading them. Could I be giving them…too much information?

Go ahead and put a passive-aggressive-smiley-face after that.

Love, Mom


Entry Filed under: work | Tags: , , , , , ,

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Donna  |  May 7th, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Hope you don’t end up with 3 of the books, but if you do, I’ll barter for one of them. 🙂

  • 2. Linda Kim  |  May 7th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Hooray Lois! So glad you started your own blog. I have missed your funny and witty columns and now I know where to turn when I’m in need of a good laugh!
    Love you Lois!

  • 3. Mindy Hartshorn  |  July 2nd, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Lois, you have outdone yourself with your web pages. I chuckle at every article…..mainly because everything you write is totally about you and your quirks. Love ya. You’re my kind of friend.

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