Explaining when I was 13 to a 13 year old.

13 Year Old: "What's a pager?" Me: "Oh. It was this device that I wore on my pants. My friends would call a number that would sound like an answering machine. And when they did, they'd enter in a number for me to call them at. It's like, someone saying…'hey, call me.' It was like…analog texting."

13 yo: "What does analog mean?"

Me: "I don't know. Not fancy."

13 yo: "What's an answering machine?"

Me: "There used to be machines. That literally picked up the phone and recorded things when you weren't home. Like a.."

13 yo: "Why wouldn't you just text them?"

Me: "Oh, we used to not actually like, have cell phones. So texting didn't exist. People would just go outside. And hang out with other people. You had to, you couldn't just text and shit."

13 yo: "So instead you wore something in your pants that couldn't make phone calls?"

Me: "Don't say it like that."

13 yo: "Why, you wore a robot in your pants. I'm just saying what you said."

Me: "It wasn't a robot."

13 yo: "It sounds like a retarded robot."

Me: "You're a retarded robot."

13 yo: "I don't get what that means."

Me: "That's because you're young and don't understand dry wit."

13 yo: "I don't get what that means either."

Me: "See?"

13 yo: "But I still don't get a pager. Why wouldn't you just call people?"

Me: "Because we would be out and wouldn't have phones. So, friends could page you. And you'd call them from like, a pay phone or whatever. And you could write things in "pager code". Like 07734 was hello. And 143 meant I love you…which, in retrospect, is a bit aggressive for a 13 year old. Don't tell anyone you love them yet, you don't. Christ, I sound depressing."

13 yo: "What's a pay phone?"

Me: "They used to have phones all over the place that you could call people on. You'd put money in it. Didn't your generation see The Matrix yet?"

13 yo: "What's The Matrix?"

Me: "Jesus."

13 yo: "Nobody calls anyone. Why don't you just write them on Facebook or tweet at them."

Me: "We didn't have Twitter or Facebook then. You had to meet people. Like, for real. And wait, why do you have a Facebook account? Or a Twitter account? You're too young for that shit. And wait, do you read my stuff? Don't take that stuff seriously."

13 yo: "Why wouldn't I have Facebook and Twitter. And yeah, I've read your stuff. You swear a lot. If you didn't have Facebook or Twitter how did you know if you liked a girl?"

Me: "Oh, we talked to her. She'd tell us about things. Like, interests. And then I'd tell her things. Like, interests."

13 yo: "That sounds exhausting."

Me: "How do you know the word exhausting?"

13 yo: "I'm 13. Are you serious?"

Me: "Just seems like a big word. You're very little. Like, physically. So I just figured you wouldn't know that word."

13 yo: "That makes no sense."

Me: "You make no sense."

13 yo: "Every one of your jokes just seems to be you saying what I just said back to me."

Me: "I know. Because it's hilarious. What are you looking at?"

13 yo: "Instagram."

Me: "Unreal that you know what that is."

13 yo: "My friend just posted a picture. She's hot. I liked it."

Me: "I'm worried for your generation. You guys are gonna just stop talking altogether. Like, little 'like' buttons just walking around. BOOP! I 'like' you."

13 yo: "You have a blog."

Me: "What does that have to do with anything?"

13 yo: "You're worse than me. Have you seen your blog?"

Me: "We're not talking about me."

13 yo: "I am."

Me: "I miss when you were dumb and just listened to anything I said."

13 yo: "I miss when you thought I didn't understand sarcasm."


13 yo: "Hey. I saw The Matrix. It sucked."


Rocket Shoes Mixtape 51: Songs To Say 143 To

Stream the whole thing at the link above.


Download the entire thing in adorable little MP3′s right here.

Drew Hoolhorst

I have a black belt in feelings.