Mom’s Grasp of Technology Just Improved 500%

May 17

Mom’s Grasp of Technology Just Improved 500%

For Mom’s birthday I opted to get her something every midwestern older woman would love: a gift certificate to Lord & Taylor. I ordered it from Amazon and had it shipped to her house. Unfortunately, she never received the gift card so now I’m stuck dealing with the vendor through Amazon to try and figure out a solution. In the meantime, Mother’s Day rolled around and I felt bad because her birthday gift never arrived so I tried to smooth things over by sending her some flowers. I used the same local florist as last year since she liked them so much. On Monday she called and left a voicemail to gush about the flowers (message transcribed below):

Mom: Hi Rebeccaaaaaaa. I just got the flower this evening. It’s beautiful! You don’t have to do that! I just don’t want you to, you know, uh, miss the gift certificate. Lose somewhere. I just want you to find it, that’s all. It’s beautiful, Rebecca. Maroon and red roses. Lavender. Little flowers. Let me take a picture, something, send to you, okay? Tomorrow I’m gonna pick the herbs. Gimme a call when you get a chance, okay? Beautiful flowers, thank you. I love you. Bye.

I was happy she liked the flowers, but the “Let me take picture and send to you” part confused me. Was she going to take a picture and make my brother upload it for her and email it to me or something? She’s never offered to send me pictures before. Logistically I couldn’t figure out how she’d pull it off in fewer than five steps.

I didn’t really think much of it after the call until my phone buzzed at 6:00 yesterday morning. I groggily rolled over and pawed at my phone, and with one eye cracked open I saw the following images:

Notice the abundance of black lacquer furniture, aka Shit Asian Moms Love

She sent another picture of the flowers closer up. My mind was blown.

Holy shit, my mom sent me picture mail! Mom actually managed to successfully do something remotely technologically savvy! I couldn’t believe it. Never in a million years would I have expected to receive a picture mail from my mom. I had long given up on her interest in or ability to do anything technologically associated with the late 20th or early 21st century. This is the woman who called the Nintendo 64 “That Green Boy” because she associated the gaming system with me playing Ocarina of Time, for crying out loud, so for her to successfully send anyone a picture from her cell phone is the hugest of milestones.

The picture mail was sent to me and my sister, so I figured the bouquet on the left was from Mia while I recognized having purchased the one on the right. A couple hours later I missed a second call from Mom. She left the following message:

Mom: Rebecca, I email you, uh, flowers picture. Sent a picture of yours and Mias. Yours is smaller one. Taller one is Mia’s. Very, very beautiful, yours. Dark red and burgundy. Gimme a call when you get this message and you have a chance, okay? Bye.

I called her later to find out how she managed to turn into a female Korean Mark Zuckerberg overnight.

Me: So you got the flowers?

Mom: Yes, thank you! Yours really beautiful! Small but packed with color–so beautiful. Thank you!

Me: You’re welcome, I’m glad you like them and hope you had a good Mother’s Day.

Mom: Oh yeah. You didn’t have to buy them. I just worried about what happen with gift certificate. It never come!

Me: Yeah, I know, I’m dealing with the company right now trying to figure out what happened. When did you start knowing how to send picture mail?

Mom, proudly: I got the new phone so it works a lot better.

Me: What kind of phone?

Mom: Some kind of Blackberry look like. You know, Blackberry? Yeah, like that.

I was stunned that my mom a) knows what a Blackberry is, b) can say “Blackberry” properly without fudging up the brand name, and c) can use a Blackberry (or a “Blackberry look like,” anyway). Welcome to the wave of the future, Mom.

Me: So you can send text messages and stuff too?

Mom: Yeah. But I don’t have no reason to give texts…but I could send them!

Me: You like your new phone?

Mom: Yeah, lot better than last phone. Last phone I dropped couple times in the field, never worked. [Perhaps because she kept dropping it? Just throwing that out there…] Stupid thing. I drop ’em lot, summertime, field and stuff [“field and stuff” undoubtedly referring to her damn pepper hobby]. You know? It doesn’t last long and all of a sudden quit. Kuht buy me new one.

Me: So I can send you picture mail?

Mom: Yeah! Send me picture now, okay?

She has just opened up a world of possibilities. I can only imagine the random crap she’ll send me now. Can’t. Wait.


  1. I see a lot of pepper photography in your future. Not to mention your inbox.

  2. John /

    I always thought Mom’s first picture mail would be a shot of her giving a disapproving look or some food she just prepared.

  3. Ok…I gotta get back to work. Had to come here after the mediocreathlete post.

    Reminds me of my mother. From a “technology” standpoint, I remember when she first got a microwave.

    She: It no good. No work.
    Me: It doesn’t?
    She: No cook food right.
    Me: What did you do?
    She: I try warm rice. No good!
    Me: How long?
    She: 10, 15 minute.

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