I’ve realized that as you get older, it’s only natural that you develop a deeper respect and appreciation for everything your parents have ever helped you with. My folks have always been there to explain why I really need a good credit score and what a “deductible” actually is.

However, growing older has also made me realize how absolutely CLUELESS my parents are about some other aspects of modern life. Technology, pop culture or current slang words… yeah, my parents are positively out of touch (I still love you, mom and dad, I promise).

I feel like pretty much every twenty something can relate to the feeling of complete embarrassment (and a dash of pity) every time your parents mention “Facepage” or try to work an iPad. So, I present to you, five times my parents just didn’t understand life.

1. Text Messaging

My mom doesn’t send text messages (thank goodness), but my dad has recently discovered the convenience and beauty of the occasional text. However, I’ve had a heck of a time getting him to stop starting each text with “Dear Kat” and ending it with “Love Dad”. I’ve explained to him numerous times that I KNOW the text is to me, and that I KNOW it’s coming from him. But, the poor shmuck still thinks of it like a digital letter. #parents

2. Credit Card Machines

Please tell me I’m not the only one that knows the pain associated with trying to watch one of your parents work a credit card machine to pay for something. Just when I think they’ve got it figured out, they’re swiping the card upside down, pushing buttons all over the place or pressing aggressively hard on the touchscreen part. I’m considering setting up a class just to teach my parents how to work these (incredibly simple) things.

3. Modern Vocabulary

I should just preface this section by saying that both of my parents are extremely LOUD people. Additionally, they’re the type of people that don’t feel the need to sugarcoat things. If they’re thinking it, they’re saying it. So, it just kills me when they fail to recognize that what a word might have meant “back in the day” might not imply the same thing today. My mom has been known to loudly announce to people that I’m spending time with “my girlfriend” (meaning a friend, but implying I’m dating a girl) or that I’m “hooking up” with a friend (meaning that I’m meeting up with a friend, but implying I’m a giant slore bag). My mom also shouted across Panera Bread that my fiancé and I are a “retarded” (meaning slow) couple for waiting so long to get married. Thanks for that, mom.

4. Pop Culture

My dear old dad likes to think he’s quite the whiz when it comes to pop culture. Although, my dad is also one of those people who likes to think he knows everything about everything. But, he is totally that guy that continues to call Justin Bieber “Justin Beaver” and One Direction “One Dimension”. He also likes to drop the name “Kardashian” into any sort of pop culture conversation, even if it’s completely irrelevant. When referring to articles that I write for this very website, he tells people I either write for “Forever 21” or “21 Forever”. No, dad. Just no.

5. AOL

The very fact that my parents even still use AOL is enough to make any millennial shudder. And yes, they DO in fact still use AOL. However, up until just last year, my mom was actually SENDING THEM MONEY. Yes, every month, she would pay them $34. When she finally told me this, I inquired about what she was paying them for. She explained that she needed to pay for her e-mail address and to surf the internet. Obviously, I explained to her that this isn’t true. AOL was more than happy to take her money for nothing, but luckily she’s finally done paying them.

We know you probably have your own examples of times when your parents were helplessly clueless. Share them with us below!


Kat is a 2011 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she got a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies (which is really just tacked on there to make her feel much more accomplished than she actually is). She now lives in the booming metropolis of Appleton, WI. When she's not working as a freelance writer, you can probably find her eating (YUM TACOS), attempting to plan her kick butt wedding (aka a lot of complaining, crying, wedding-hating) and talking in a really high pitched voice to her dogs. Crazy dog ladies, represent. You can watch her pretend her life is super put together on her blog at or can follow her really entertaining (or so she likes to think) tweets at @kat_kuehl.

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