Motherhood

Why Are Dads’ Texts So Freaking Cute?

Jeremy Goddard

My dad does the funniest thing…

Whenever we call him, no matter where he is or what he’s doing, he will always answer the phone.

One night, I called him, and we were chatting about nothing in particular. I told him about a new neighborhood restaurant, he told me about the book he was reading, and 10 minutes into the conversation, I casually asked, “So, where are you right now?” His answer? “On the treadmill.” At the gym. He was JOGGING.

Other times, we’ll be chatting, and I’ll ask, “So, where are you?” And he’ll say, “In a meeting.” Or “at a movie.” It’s like, Dad, hang up the phone!


What is it about dads and their phone behavior? Here, some Cup of Jo readers share their own genius DadTexts™:

“When my dad calls me, he says, ‘Hi, This is Steve Larson, your dad.’ It’s amazing.” — Chris

“My dad signs all his texts. Once my brother and I got a message from him that WASN’T SIGNED. We immediately noticed and couldn’t resist replying, ‘Sorry, who is this?’ To which he obviously replied, “Dad. Dad.’ He has reliably signed every text since.” — Robyn

“My dad doesn’t ever call out of the blue. Instead, he sends a meeting invite and includes an agenda with things like, ‘New job. How’s it going?’ or “Granddaughter. Christmas gift?’ The meeting invite is always for a Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. And then when he calls at the scheduled time, the first thing he asks is, ‘Where are you?’ as if I’m going to be anywhere but home on the couch at 8:30 p.m. on a Tuesday.” — Janel

“My dad would sign every text message ‘LOL.’ ‘See you at 8, LOL.’ ‘How was the meeting? LOL.’ He thought it stood for ‘lots of love.’ When we finally broke the news, he decided he liked it and kept doing it anyway.” — Katie

“My dad signs his texts with ‘Blessings, Larry.’ Already so dad-like, but you haven’t lived until you’ve been stuck in a car with him and you realize that he voice-texts everything. Which means that he yells out loud, ‘BLESSINGS COMMA LARRY!'” — Ginny

“My dad always told me what time it was when he called me, plus my time and the exact time difference if we were in different time zones. He must’ve left hundreds of voicemails over the years that all started: ‘Gemma darling! It’s 3:15 p.m. here, which means it’s…’ etc. I wish I still had even one. Everyone! Save your parents’ voicemails!” — Gemma

Obama laughing

Obama selfie

Obama showing how he takes selfies, haha.

What about your dads or stepdads or father figures? Any gems to share?

P.S. 8 confessions of a new dad, how dads were the original hipsters and Dad Magazines.

(Top photo of my dad on a family trip to Cornwall. Bottom photos of Obama. I first talked about my dad’s phone habit for Glamour.) 

  1. Steph says...

    When we part ways, my dad often asks, “How many Stephies are there?” and I respond, “Just one.” Then he chuckles like he just won a prize.
    I am 34 and this still happens on the regular.

    • K says...

      This is so precious! Immediately starting it with my kids.

  2. Kimmie Rodriguez says...

    My dad doesn’t know how emojis work and it defaulted to a different skin tone and gender on a majority of his emojis. So instead of an emoji that looks like him (a 50+ year old Hispanic male), we get women or different ethnicities popping up when he sends an emoji (shrugging, high five, etc). We have all gotten so used to it we don’t even bother correcting him.

  3. Joanna says...

    My dad was a bit of a Luddite, but a few years before he died he surprisingly fully embraced WhatsApp, of all things, setting up a group chat with my sisters and me and frequently checking in and texting photos of daily happenings.

    His only struggle was when an upgrade shifted the keyboard and the voice recognition typing button got too close to the other keys for his liking. We’d get a text like this:

    “Hi girls, hope you are all having a oh s**** I’ve hit that goddam button again how do I get back to the”

    followed by:

    “Sorry, technical issues!”

    • Whitney says...

      Dyingggg. What a doll!

    • Brooke says...

      Oh my gosh Joanna I am crying laughing at the voice-to-text!! This is amazingly hilarious and wonderful.

      Balm to you for missing your dear dad.

  4. Ella says...

    Love this! My dad has always travelled a lot for work, and for the last few years, he has sent me a text that is always the same format – up to three words + one emoji describing his day – things like ‘casual friday’ or ‘Saturday golf day’ followed by ‘lots of love, Dad’ – I always look forward to seeing which emoji he has discovered too!

    Then, on a sunday at the same time each week, he will send me a full round up of his week over email (that also goes to my grandparents, sister & extended family) that is always very factual, each one is numbered (‘weekly email #24, and #12 of 2019’) and has 1-3 photos attached of his week. It’s the cutest and he changes every ending line of the weekly email to be personal to the recipient – it’s just so dad and I love him for it!

    • Annalissa says...

      My dad also sends me a weekly email! We’re not so great with phone conversations, usually happiest when we’re together just reading near each other or sitting on the beach in a comfortable, companionable silence. So, instead of calls or texts, every Saturday since I left for college (going on 7 years now) I’ve received an email with a subject line like “What’s Up, Buttercup?”, “Soccer Drama”, or a personal favorite, “Hedgehog Pineapples”(!!!!!) He’ll regale me with stories of my mom and brother at home on Kauai, ask after friends and roommates, and occasionally send pictures of the veritable pineapple farm he’s managed to grow in our backyard. What began as a way to make sure I was still alive 4,000+ miles away has become one of the highlights of my week :)

  5. Ceridwen says...

    I was on my way to work the other morning and sent a text to my Dad to say hi and check in. I then got a whole series of selfies of my parents in their caravan (still in bed) camping so I sent some back with me on the tram in the city. He sent me several more plus some wacky emojis and it was so cute! Made me smile throughout the day.
    Ps. He also answers always and often signs off with a follow up text of that creepy clown emoji. Ha,

  6. Elizabeth says...

    Oh wow, what a post! Makes me miss my dad so much and wish that I’d paid more attention to the nuances of his conversations. He died in 1993, way before email, smart phones, etc. but fortunately I have a number of his letters and about 60 years worth of day-timer journals. So grateful for ephemera.

  7. I died at “BLESSINGS COMMA LARRY” ???

    • B says...

      Same. I may have snort-laughed. Fortunately, I’m late for lunch today and am alone in the staff lounge.

  8. Sally says...

    My dad passed away very suddenly 18 months ago, and I’m slowly coming to grips with the dad-shaped hole in my life. We were very close – personality twins in many way – and I’m slow remembering little things about him that would make me laugh, which aren’t so much shrouded in sadness any more.

    For instance, we both worked in the same field for many years, and he would save up all his work-related puzzles and funnies to share with me on the phone, usually opening with, “this’ll make you laugh!” They were never THAT funny, but I’d dutifully chuckle away, and he’d be cry-laughing down the phone at me.

    I miss him every single day, but am starting to find the joy in our relationship again. It’s nice.

    • Whitney says...

      Holding you in the light, Sally. What a tender and special relationship you and your dad must have shared ♥️

    • Kiams says...

      I’m so sorry Sally. I’m glad you’re doing better. He sounds like he was a great dad and human being.

  9. Sisu says...

    Years ago when I was in grade school and middle school, I used to be bullied and had low self-esteem and my dad would always tell me “You have to remember Rule #1: You are worth so much!” and now he will sometimes, out of the blue but especially when he knows I am having a tough time, text me “Remember Rule #1!”

    • Kelsey says...

      That is the sweetest!!! What a great Dad you have!

  10. Mara says...

    My sweet dad is in his 70’s and begrudgingly started texting 5 years ago (with his longstanding excuse being, “My fingers are too fat.”) One of his first texts was [following a missed call from me], “What do you want.” He adds no colorful punctuation, and his [still rare] texts are so serious that my sister and I sometimes fear the worst! Whenever we see “Call me ASAP” our hearts stop, we drop everything to call, yell “What’s wrong?!”…and he chirps a happy greeting! He gets us every time!

    • Lacey says...

      Hahaha. My dad does not text but I imagine if he did, he would be very similar!

  11. Kate says...

    My dad died this week. These stories are so lovely but also so heartbreaking. I have a screenshot of the last text he sent me, before his surgery that didn’t go well; I told him that I loved him, and he told me “‘I know.’ – Han Solo.” Dadding it to the end.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Kate. He sounds like an awesome dad.

    • Kate says...

      Kate, I’m so sorry about your dad. Even in that one anecdote it’s clear he was amazing and loved you so much. Sending you so much love from another Kate.

    • Claire says...

      Kate, I am so sorry. Sending you lots of love from Texas.

    • Mette says...

      I’m so sorry to hear that, Kate. Lots of love/aroha from Wellington, New Zealand

    • Lacey says...

      Oh no. I’m so sorry. Sending a hug your way.

    • Laura C. says...

      Oh Kate, I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad is a really amazing dad. Sending a big hug from Europe. ❤️

    • rebecca says...

      This is so beautiful.

    • Amy KS says...

      Kate,
      So sorry for the loss of your dad. Sending you peace and strength today and always.

  12. Mac says...

    Joanna, same. My dad is an attorney and he once answered my FaceTime call while he was AT THE JAIL waiting to meet to a client. Which my 7 and 4 year old were very interested in, so he started giving them a little walking tour of the jail. I had to say OMG DAD we’ll call you back!

    • Brooke says...

      Oh my goodness Mac hilarious! Love your narrative of how you ended it too ?.

  13. Sydni says...

    One of my good friends recently moved to Michigan. I was a little worried for her because she’s always lived by the beach. This winter, when the polar vortex hit, I came across an article highlighting how severe some of the temperatures were up there, I figured I would send it to her to let her know she was on my mind. I wrote “Stay warm!” And then realized I was totally sending her a dad email, so I poked fun at myself. She responded, laughing hysterically, that her dad had indeed sent her a very similar email that same morning. Whoops! Haha

  14. Lauren Lyons says...

    My Dad also ALWAYS answers the phone when I call regardless of where he is. He once answered while he was umpiring a baseball game and once while he’d pulled someone over for speeding (he’s a retired cop).

  15. K says...

    My dad doesn’t have any texting quirks, but he does call me everyday at the exact same time. We had a really rough period of time for a while, and that’s when he started calling me every afternoon. For probably two years I just didn’t want to talk to him and would give him perfunctory answers and hang up as soon as possible. But he persisted for years and after a while our relationship was restored, and I was so glad he had shown me for all that time that he loved me and would keep on trying.

    • tod says...

      aaawwww! thank goodness for all the parents who never give up.

  16. Kenni says...

    Dad’s are so special, there’s something about how they handle situations that just makes everything better. My dad is definitely a man of few words, especially when texting, but even so he always says just the right thing. The day I found out I had cancer I was on my way to visit my fiance, but was so rattled I didn’t feel like I could drive the 7 hours after that. We also live in a rural area, so the doctor’s office was 45 minutes from home. Anyway my mom phoned me right away which was good. But my dad just texted and said, “Do you want me to come get you? Love you”. Even know it makes me tear up that he was going to leave work just so I didn’t have to drive myself home. That was all I needed to hear, that he was there if I needed him.

  17. rebecca says...

    My grandfather used to leave messages on our home answering machine only to my dad (since the outgoing message is in his voice). The last one I remember is (in Polish accent): “This is your father-in-law, Oscar H, I want to talk to my daughter, Annie. I want to know how she is. I hope you are good too. Goodnight.” I wish we had saved it – I miss him all the time.

    • Maggie says...

      This made me smile.

  18. Court says...

    Dad’s are the cutest. I have to remember not to text mine any emoji faces, otherwise he responds with “what are those corn kernels?” Unclear if he is being stubborn or if he really doesn’t know.

    • Jo says...

      Ha ha ha ha! Corn kernels! I love it.

  19. A few years ago my dad had just retired and wasn’t quite sure how to fill his days. I lived abroad and had a young child at home so wasn’t quite sure how to fill mine either at times. So we started our own ‘book club’. He sent me duplicate copies of a few old books he had from when I was little and I sent him a few that my daughter loved to read. We would call each other on Skype during the daytime when we were at a loose end so he could read to her over the computer, and she would turn the pages of the same book here at home with me. It made all of us feel so connected. He passed away last year, but I will always remember him reading Blueberries for Sal and The Princess and the Giant – voices and all.

    • Angela says...

      Oh wow, this is so touching!

  20. S says...

    My parents are currently travelling. My mom sends my sister and I these very postcard-like e-mails telling us where they are, what they saw, how the weather is, etc. My dad’s messages, however, are basically transcriptions of last night’s menu. A recent one read like this: “stir fried squid. bok choy and perfumed mushrooms. stir fried beef on morning glories. deep fried pork with lotus. different dipping sauces. delicious with a glass of sauvignon blanc.” shortly followed by: “p.s. please share the meal details with your sister. bye.” But, I mean, I get it. I love food too.

    • Lou says...

      Hilarious and also the best kind of trip details to get.

  21. Oh man, this makes me miss talking to my dad so much. He has had Alzheimer’s for around 15 years now and hasn’t known who I am for 10 of those. Ask your dads all the questions now! I wish more than anything that I could just chat with my dad for five minutes about anything. And now I’m crying…

    • maria says...

      oh lisa – you just broke my heart! my father has been gone since 1992 – 4 months before my wedding. it was heartbreaking not to have him there on my special day, but in some ways a blessing as he would not have been able to dance with me, nor would he have remembered it as he too had alzheimers at the end of his life. my father died long before texting, but i DO have so many letters from him while i lived in london. i might just now need to dig them up.

    • anja says...

      Dear Lisa, I hear you, my father has Parkinsons disease and severe dementia and sometimes it is hard to grasp how someone can be here and not here at the very same time. Lots of love to you, Anja

    • Thank you so much for the kind words, Maria and Anja. Lots of love to you both.

  22. Sydni says...

    I have a great relationship with my dad but he is a man of few words. He tells me he loves me, that he’s proud of me, etc, but the thing that really confirms how much he cares about me is that when he calls me he actually says “Bye” – for everyone else he just hangs up the phone. :)

    • maria says...

      and this just made me laugh, so thanks for that! :)

    • Kirstin says...

      My dad is a man of even less words, I don’t think he’s ever said the ‘I love you’ but he builds me stuff – a desk in my study, a front porch, a garden shed (he isn’t actually a builder either), he mows my lawn, and when I was really sick for a couple years he drove up waited out the front and drove me to the train station at 5am in the dark and the rain so I wouldn’t get tired walking. I love him.

  23. Yana says...

    My dad passed away 5 years ago, but this post reminded me of the dynamic of our relationship. He didn’t text, but he would always call with these requests. My dad was an immigrant and a small business owner, and he often asked me for help proofreading a proposal to a client, calling his insurance company while he was out of the country, contacting his credit card to dispute a charge–hundreds of small favors over the years.
    The requests always began the same way: he would call, usually while I was at work, and ask, “Are you busy?”
    “Yes,” I would say. “I’m working. But what do you need?”
    He’d explain, I would hem and haw for a while, and then I would agree to do it. Sometimes it was awkward, having to explain that I was calling on his behalf; sometimes I wasn’t sure how to do what he asked. But as a child in an immigrant family, you often experience a role reversal in which you have to explain things to your parents because you understand the language and culture better than they do. Every time I fulfilled one of his requests, I hope it made him happy. It makes me happy now to think that I never said “no” or “I don’t have time.”

    • Erin says...

      Oh, I bet he appreciated it so much! You are undoubtedly a kind and generous person and should be so proud that you helped him even when you had a lot on your own plate! Sometimes even just making a phone call (especially when you are uncertain about something) can feel like a huge task. I’m sure he recognized this and valued your efforts to help!

    • agnes says...

      It made him happy and so proud!

  24. BB says...

    My dad is artist and responds to texts with those funny drawn pictures images. And yes, you have to turn your phone horizontally to send them. So instead of getting a response like ” yes, the new car is great,” I get a drawn image of a man in a car giving a thumbs up sign. Honestly, few things in life gives me greater joy than getting one of those pictures from my dad.

  25. Claire says...

    My dad is a former policeman, the most fit human I know, a successful lawyer, and notoriously grumpy. Because he spends so much time being serious, I decided to start cataloging his funnier moments on Instagram and tagged them #JackDoesStuff. Over the last several years, this hashtag has included: his first ever text he sent to me (it said: “Hslo baba” – no idea what it was supposed to be), him dancing at bluegrass shows to make us laugh, and cracking up at Anchorman 2 when he dragged us all along for a Christmas viewing. After years of Jack doing stuff, if I haven’t posted in a while, my friends will text me and say, what stuff has Jack been doing lately?

  26. Jody says...

    My dad has this obnoxious ringtone on his phone (imagine an old timey driinnggg drriiinggg) and he seems to have the ringer on as high as it can possibly go. He also keeps it in his chest pocket and it seems to startle him every time it rings. I’ve told him that he can change it or lower the volume but to no avail. After reading through these other dad stories, I now realize it might be so that he doesn’t miss my calls because he, like so many other dads, ALWAYS answers when I call. I need to make a conscious effort to do the same for him.

  27. Lee says...

    My dad always leaves me voicemails that say “This is Dad. Just calling to hear your voice.” I love those voicemails so much! They make me feel so loved and also guilty for not picking up (haha).

    • Erin says...

      going to make me cry over here!!

  28. Debra says...

    I was in my first year of teaching elementary school and I accidentally slept through my alarm and arrived late to school. I was horrified and vied to never let it happen again. My Dad, always my biggest supporter, decided to wake up at 6:00 every morning (even though he worked from home and didn’t need to wake up until about 8:30) to text me and make sure I was awake. I had to text back and say that I was up and getting ready for the day. He did this for over two years despite me urging him to stop waking up so early.

    To top it all off, at the time he had a Blackberry and I an Iphone. He would include a hugging emoji at the end of his wake-up message. However, it didn’t translate between the two types of phones and ended up looking something this {[*]} – no doubt a punctuation form of a woman’s anatomy, LOL! We both got quite the laugh when I finally had the heart to tell him what he had been sending me for years.

    • Sydni says...

      Omg soooo sweet!!!

    • Owl says...

      Awww! ? Heartwarming.

  29. Cliona says...

    I was the recipient of my dad’s first text message. It read: “howdoyouputspacesbetweenwordslovedadfirstmessage”. I was 10 minutes away from meeting him at a coffee shop so I didn’t reply. When I walked in, the first thing he said to me, peevishly, was, “hey, you didn’t respond to my tweet!” I love that he really had no idea what twitter was but still managed to create a hashtag (#dadfirstmessage). Eight years later my husband and I still call texting “tweeting.”

    • Kim says...

      oh my gosh this is adorable!

    • oh man this made me cry with laughter!

    • Ceridwe says...

      This made me laugh so much!

    • K says...

      Haha love this!!

  30. Rakhee says...

    Not going to lie – I definitely have visited this page multiple times today to read the new comments. Definitely calling my Dad tonight! (who also starts calls by formally introducing himself…but ends calls with a “Okay. Hm. Talk to you” and ends emails with a “Rest all fine. Dad.”

    Side note: Pretty sure my parents can have full conversations in gentle grunts. Even on the phone. My brother and I were talking about it once, and agreed it’s very odd…but also very personal and intimate to them.

  31. AbbieMirand says...

    I can always tell when my dad is truly happy- he does this laugh that starts small like ” hmm hmm hmm” with his mouth closed and then slowly builds to ” he he he” and finally turns to a full on roaring “HA HA HA” I recently had a baby and my dad LOVES hearing any and all tidbits about her daily activities and developments. The other day I called him to catch up and when I told him that she tried lentil soup and was eating it up happily he did that laugh, and was finally just cracking up on the phone and I could hear the joy in his voice. Then, he quieted down and in a hushed voice, he said ” hey can I actually call you later? we’re in a meeting.” It just kills me every time I think about it- Best. Dad. Ever. and Grandpa!

  32. Susan says...

    My father always answers the phone “Hi Honey, is everything under control?” when I call, to which I reply, “yes, and with you?” and he says “yes, everything is under complete control.” Then we have a chat. I have teased him about saying this (e.g. Are you sure everything is under COMPLETE control? Not just partial control?) but never asked him why he says it. I presume he says it to figure out immediately if he should be worried about me or if I am ok. Perhaps the lingo is from his career as an engineer?

  33. Marie says...

    My Dad uses the “replace word with emoji” iPhone function ALL THE TIME.
    Like “you forgot your [umbrella emoji]” or “this is very [cool sunglasses emoji]
    Nobody else does that but he doesn’t seem to care.
    The best thing about this is that he uses the pair of jeans emoji to refer to my 17-year-old brother Jean (John in French) – he’ll write “Went to a football game with [pair of jeans emoji]” and it drives him nuts, which is so funny to witness.

    • Ali says...

      ???
      That’s awesome!

    • K says...

      Hahaha I’m crying from laughing so hard! Love it!

    • Laura says...

      I laughed out loud! This is so great!

    • Lou says...

      I can’t stop laughing about this! HAHA!

  34. EAC says...

    This comment section is literally making me laugh and cry at the same time. Somehow these responses need to be made into a book or something…so sweet.

  35. Lindsey says...

    My favorite recent conversation was out of absolutely nowhere, without having texted for 10 days:
    Dad: “Have you ever been to the hotel del Coronado?”
    Dad: “It’s near San Diego.”
    Me: “I haven’t. I’ve only been to SD twice. Why?” (p.s. I live in LA)
    Dad: “It looks pretty spectacular. We’re watching the Antiques Roadshow that was filmed at the site.”
    Me: “There’s a lot of really nice hotels over here.”

    And that was it! Full conversation. Hahaha it was just so random and out of the blue. Love ya, Dad.

  36. Jessica says...

    Up until recently, my dad had a flip phone where you had to push the number multiple times to get the letter you wanted. He rarely texted, but when he did, he ended every text with ‘luv u’. My dad is older, so I have no idea where he got the idea to abbreviate it like that, but it made me smile every time. Now that he has a smartphone, he spells out ‘love you’, and I still kind of wish he’d send it the old way.

  37. Jackie says...

    Ha – My dad texts like a 16 year old girl. He uses “u” and “c” and “l8r”. He also just texts “hi” randomly.

  38. Veronica says...

    I have two great texting stories about my dad. The first happened when I sent my dad a text that was meant for my little sister (they share a first name). I was asking for an opinion on which color of Adidas sneakers to get. I got a response back that said, “The lime green ones.” The sneakers were sage/mint. It caused me to do a double take, and that’s when I finally realized I had sent the message to the wrong ‘Alex.’ I love that my dad didn’t question that I was asking him about his opinion on fashion, which I never do, he just gave me what I asked for.

    The second was a few weeks ago. My dad and I work in the same industry, and my coworkers and I were having a conversation. I thought my dad would offer some interesting perspective. He responded very quickly, and then began to type verbose messages, one after the other, talking about the history of the particular method we were discussing, about case studies, all this info. Then, as I was catching up on reading all of the texts, he sent the final one. “Can you just call me? I’m tired of typing.” I had to laugh. I would have sent that text much earlier if I were him :)

    • Veronica says...

      Kiki’s comment below made me think of another favorite story of my dad and communication. When my siblings and I were in college, when he felt like we weren’t calling him enough, he would send us form letters in the mail, with multiple choice answers. It was the same letter every time, but he would change the answer choices. He would always include a line about what we were studying the most, which included three of our current classes and the always fourth choice, “anatomy” (none of us have bio degrees), as well who we were studying with, which included two roommates/classmates, someone of the opposite sex whose name he knew, and a fill in the blank option. I’m almost positive none of us ever broke a new romance to him via the form letter, despite his attempts.

  39. Erin in AZ says...

    Whenever I call my Dad, he answers the phone with my full name “Erin Castner” followed by “what are you doing now?” …Before my Grandfather passed (before cell phones) if he spoke to me on the phone, he would say “Is this my number one grand daughter?” as in first born, not favorite, he loved us all, but it always made me feel special to be ‘number one’ to my grandpa.

  40. Kim says...

    Text or voicemail, our dad would start with, “This is Dad,” and end with, “Give me a jingle.” Favorite topics are weather and the state of my car, of course.

  41. Kate says...

    My Dad passed before texting, but a couple of days before he died he sent me an Email telling me to have a good weekend and telling me how proud he was of me and how much he loved me I printed it out and taped it to the mirror over my bureau. It is still the first thing I read every single day! Dad had laughing eyes – how I wish they would look across the room to share a private joke one more time!!

    • Lisa says...

      This made me tear up, it is so beautiful that he sent you that sweet message. Love that you still read it every morning.

    • Yana says...

      This made me cry. My dad passed away suddenly at 65. At the time, I had 4 random voicemails on my phone from him and I have gone to extreme lengths to preserve them, waiting ages to upgrade my phone to make sure I had them recorded somewhere first. One voicemail was about a recipe for soup, with a follow-up voicemail that he got it from someone else. I miss those completely random phone calls with him.

    • Gretchen says...

      This made me cry, too. Thank you for sharing this sweet message from your dad.

  42. kiki says...

    My mom would send care packages in college (as moms do) and would always include a letter. The funny thing is, she’d type it out all formal-like, with the proper address / heading / footer / signature. After printing it out, she’d sign “mom” in blue pen in the signature portion. LOL. So much effort to be formal, only to stay casual with the “mom”. LOVED it.

    • Lisa says...

      This reminded me of the time when my dad sent me a care package while I was living abroad. In the package there was a block of velveeta and a few other items. I dug around for the letter and, finding a piece of paper, assumed that I had found it. Nope. No letter. Just a typed recipe for “Dad’s world famous mac&cheese.” He just wanted to make sure I was getting enough to eat.

  43. nora says...

    These are so heart warming (and hysterical). A small (and warning – sad) anecdote about saving voicemails –
    On my husband’s side, we are lucky to have a family home by the beach, that unfortunately got decimated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It was a small bungalow that had been in the family for almost 100 years. On our first day back to assess the damage, my mother in law kept saying “find the answering machine” and we didn’t know why. We found it and of course it was a wreck, it had been battered and submerged in the water, no longer working. She had been pretty stoic and matter of fact (in a haze, really) but she hugged the machine and started sobbing. That answering machine had a voicemail from her mom that she had been saving for years. “Now I’ll really never hear her voice again.”

    • Emily L says...

      Before my Grandmother passed away her voicemail message was still my Grandfather, even though he passed away 14 years before. Sometimes I would call even when I knew she wasn’t home just to hear his voice.

    • Toni says...

      Oh Nora this is heartbreaking. My family also lost a home to Hurricane Sandy and it was/continues to be an overwhelming loss. Sending healing thoughts to your mother in law.

  44. Lydia Brooks says...

    This year on my birthday I received what I thought was a butt dial voicemail from my dad but after about 10 seconds of silence I heard him say in a dead monotone, “Happy birthday exclamation point,” and realized he was attempting, and failing, to send me a voice to text message. It was the funniest, best gift!

  45. My dad died 5 years ago but when he was alive, he would send me off to school /work with the same line everytime: “Drink lots of water ok?” We weren’t that great at communicating (Chinese family) but it was his way of caring & reminding his daughter of this mundane, basic yet easily forgettable thing in the day. Everything was in that line. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so, so sweet, jasmine.

  46. Katie Larissa says...

    My mama DOES NOT CURSE. Ever. So all of us kids were really confused when we started getting text messages with quite a bit of bad language peppered through them.
    Turns out she was voice texting whilst driving, and therefore not reading through her texts before she sent them, and her autocorrect was turning some of her words into the F-word or S-word. My husband finally took her phone and went into her settings to turn off the ability for autocorrect to put curse words in. We thought it was hilarious. She did not.

  47. I once buttdialed my Dad and didn’t realize for five minutes. When I saw the open call I put my ear to the speaker and he was still there – just listening to the random sounds of my day, blurred by my pocket.
    He told me it made him happy to be part of my day.
    Oh man, gotta go call my dad!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg tears!!!!!!

    • holagranola says...

      that’s so sweet!

    • Sarah says...

      omg, this made me tear up. what a sweet, kind dad you have.

  48. Megan says...

    My mom was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer around the time I got engaged to my now husband. My wonderful father, therefore, dove in to help me plan “our” wedding (as he called it) as my mother juggled appointments and suffered “chemo brain.” Amidst the chaos of it all, he signed one text #tryingtohelpeverybodynotworryaboutanything. He didn’t quite stick the hashtag landing, but If THAT doesn’t sum up dads…

    My dad also answers EVERY phone call, even when he’s in a meeting! He often answers on speaker and jokingly says “You’re on speaker, don’t say anything bad about (blank)!” (i.e. whomever he is in the room with, usually my mother). Every. time.

  49. Emily says...

    When I was in elementary school, my dad used to draw silly pictures on my brown paper lunch bags and caption each with silly nonsense. Sometimes he would tape spare change to the bag (for the snack cart) and incorporate the coins into the picture, e.g. the head of a person or a balloon. He was particularly fond of drawing a made-up foot creature whose face was on the big toe. I used to love showing off my dad and his goofy lunch bag drawings until it was no longer “cool.”

    Now that I live far away, my dad and I constantly connect via text/FaceTime/family group chat. Recently, my older brother and his wife (who live in the same city as my parents) came to visit. My dad sent with them a few brown paper grocery bags full of my favorite snacks from home, and on the bags were the same drawings and silly captions. Like, a giant, bearded foot-creature saying, “Hi, Emily!”

    It’s now hanging in my bedroom. So funny! And so sweet!

    • Jo says...

      Your Dad’s bearded toe character reminds me of the banners my Dad used to draw for our birthdays. The birthday child would be featured in a funny but glorifying scene, e.g. engaged in some sort of sporting prowess, and there was ALWAYS a little worm poking out of a wholesomewhere on the banner, passing comment on the situation, e.g. “What a gal!”

      I’m wondering now if my sister (who also reads Cupofjo) will get this deep into the comments. If she does, she’ll definitely know it’s me! There can’t be another birthday worm…

  50. Patricia Perez says...

    Last year when my mom was really sick in the ICU (she’s thankfully since recovered), my dad hugged me and my sister and said: “My brother always had big aspirations. He’s always been ambitious. But all I ever wanted in life was to be a good dad.”

    My great aunt also said once that when my dad’s grandfather died, everyone spoke about him so highly and beautifully at his memorial. My dad turned to my great aunt and said, “I hope one day my daughters speak so beautifully about me the wya you’ve spoken about your dad.”

    Tears. Literal tears right now. I am now 25 and my parents are 50 and although that’s not old at all, it’s impossible for me to imagine that they won’t be around throughout my life time. I was blessed with amazing parents.

  51. N says...

    My dad’s phone sometimes makes emoji’s out of words. Once, he wrote about cookies (koekkies in Dutch). ‘Koe’ in Dutch is ‘cow’, so there was an image of a cow followed by ‘kkies’. Cracked us up!

  52. Caitlin says...

    Several years ago I noticed my dad was including his whole email signature whenever he commented on Facebook. Like job title, full address, office phone number, cell phone number… I commented something gentle on a comment he made on a photo of mine like “hey dad, that’s a lot of info for Facebook :)” and he replied back “Dear daughter please advise immediately, perhaps via phone. Love, Dad” and of course his full email signature. Gotta love dads.

    • Desley says...

      This is amazing, made me laugh out loud here :)

  53. Anon says...

    I read these as a anthropological experiment. I know people grew up with intact families and parents who loved them and made them feel safe, but it’s another planet for many of us.

    • Amy says...

      Heard. I’m reading this as a person whose dad was a mixed bag, but also as a person who is about to adopt a teen or teens from foster care. I’m thinking on so many levels right now about how this kind of conversation might read to them one day. I want to give you a really big hug and thank you for taking the time to share your perspective.

    • june2 says...

      @ anon Same. But it feels good to know that there are families who actually love each other and have relationships. It feels healing and I am feeling all the love reading through. Anything is possible for the future.

  54. Cece says...

    My dad sends me a text every New Year’s Eve (at about 9pm so he can get ahead of the imaginary rush). It just says ‘HNY. Dad’ and nothing else. What better way to usher in a new year! ?

  55. erin says...

    my dad’s not the chattiest of digital communicators. in both emails and texts, he’ll write as few words as possible. not surprisingly, he’s also very hard to shop for. we made him create an amazon wishlist one christmas & he put food items that you might gift a client on it, like gourmet soup baskets and assorted nuts. i emailed him back asking if he really wanted those things for christmas and he just responded: “yes”

    • Lindsey says...

      Hahaha this is absolutely perfect. Reminds me of my dad’s christmas list this year which said “Sweater, medium”. Thanks for that helpful list dad. :)

    • Sydni says...

      Hahah! This year, after my brother and I had already decided to give our dad a joint present, my sister in law discovered he had made an Amazon wishlist. He has never ONCE requested anything specific. We all felt really bad, and I think my brother and sister-in-law got him something small from it. It was adorable – there were only like 5 things on it, including a couple of Tom Clancy novels (his favorite series) and a homemade whipped cream canister. On Christmas, he told us it was just supposed to be a list of ideas for my mom to give him. :)

    • Bethany says...

      hahaha this is so MY dad too! my parents babysit my two daughters every thursday when i go to work (i’m a nurse in a PRN position) and i always text them to ask how they’re doing, and he always responds in the fewest words possible! “she’s ok.” “slept well.” DAAAAD give me some details!!

  56. Moriah says...

    A quirky thing about my Dad is he loves hot dogs. When Apple announced the hot dog emoji I was so excited I sent my Dad a text telling him about it. He responded back with an emoji of a shrimp. Confused, I asked “What’s with the shrimp?” He replied “Couldn’t find the hot dog.” because he didn’t know he had to update his phone to get new emojis. Now he signs all this texts “Love, Dad” with a shrimp emoji and every time I laugh out loud.

    • Megan says...

      This made me laugh out loud! Love this. :)

    • Sarah says...

      My dad has the endearing habit of texting me (always blurry!) photos of my own life. Looking through our text thread, I have images of every birthday, christmas, and thank you card I’ve given him, 10 images in a row of me walking across the graduation stage (none of which have my face visible), a gingerbread house I’ve decorated, dinner with family (blinded by flash, naturally). None of them include a single caption.

      My dad and I don’t have a good relationship, but it’s pretty sweet to look at a little photoessay of my own life through my dad’s eyes.

  57. ErikaMC says...

    Dads are so funny.

    My dad hardly ever uses his cell phone to call and even texts less. I group texted him and my mom to wish them a happy anniversary not figuring he’d reply, but he did and it said “Thank ynm have a good0dax” – that was over 4 years ago and the only text I’ve gotten from him so I have it saved.

    I kinda wish LOL meant lots of love :)

  58. Cabby says...

    I enjoyed reading all of Dad’s Texts. My Dad died 32 years ago. No cell phones then, but he would have joined right in if he had one. Thanks so much for sharing. Cabby

  59. Lauren E. says...

    I wish I could screenshot my dad’s texts and leave the photo here. One day he just sent a smiley face (just the colon plus half parentheses) over and over and over again. The most recent one:

    “The FBI called ma and I about bribing ur way into college. Ma said she would go to jail instead of me. Said she needs a break. Wouldn’t say from what.”

    • Talia says...

      This is hysterical!

  60. Lynn says...

    My mom does the time thing Gemma described and my dad ALWAYS relays our respective weather and also the weather of Fairbanks Alaska because I went there once.

    • Isa says...

      Hahahaha the weather of Fairbanks Alaska that is hilarious…

  61. Love these :) my dad also answers calls anytime anyplace, but because he is in Vietnam and I am in Canada we normally FaceTime or Skype – so a few minutes into these calls he ends up switching the camera around and suddenly I am in my pjs with a baby on my lap and waving hello to the suited execs in his work meeting / his waiter at the coffee shop etc… he’s just too keen to show off his grandchildren :)

  62. Jordan G says...

    My dad passed away almost 4 years but he had so many funny quirks. He always called me with, “Hi Jordan, have a second to talk?” and if I called him, he’d answer with “JORDAN!” like it was the delight of his life that I called him.

    I never had an alarm growing up – he would wake me up every day. When in high school, he would sneak in my room sometimes and put my cell phone right next to my face on my pillow. Then he’d call me from the stairmaster at the gym: “JORDAN! Time to wake up!” in this incredibly cheerful voice that 16-year-old me didn’t always appreciate. DADS.

  63. Lena says...

    My dad is possibly America’s biggest Luddite. He just got a cell phone for emergencies but he doesn’t know how to use it. He remains confused by FaceTime or Skype and doesn’t understand voicemail at all. Every voicemail starts with, Lena, it’s your Dad, (his full name) (as if I had two dads?) please pick up the phone. Are you there? Lena please pick up….. ok well and then he leave a message. I’ve explained countless times it’s not an answering machine but he still does it.

    • Sydni says...

      This reminds me of my uncle. When he was still living, he would call and always start with, Hi Sydni, this is your uncle…(short pause, then his full name). If I didn’t pick up, 30 seconds later he would call again. In 5 minutes if I didn’t call him back he would send me a text saying Hi Sydni, I just tried to call you. More than a day of not returning his call and then I’d hear about it from my dad – your uncles been trying to call you!

  64. RLG says...

    My dad died 11 years ago and I have so many sweet memories of his calls and instant messages. For the first year or more that he used AOL instant messenger, he signed each message “LOVE, DAD”. While proficient with computers, he never learned to type properly, so I always appreciated how much time each little instant message must have taken him to compose. Phone calls from him were the best…reassuring even when focused on the mundane (e.g., “have you prepared our taxes” – which seems to be a common reason for dads to reach out!). Just talking to him was like receiving a warm hug. He always ended our calls by thanking me for calling (sometimes I had to remind him that he called me) and I truly felt that he was grateful for the time.

  65. Liz says...

    While visiting my parents out of state last month, I noticed that my dad opens the weather app on his phone first thing in the morning. He checks the forecast in Pasadena, Portland, San Francisco and Denver every day, where his brothers, sister, my sister and myself each live. While I was there, he still wanted to know what temperatures I would be heading back to at the end of the week. He even asked if I needed to borrow a coat from my mom to take home with me, so that I would be warm enough getting off the plane.

    Now that I’m home, it makes me smile every time he texts to ask how the weather is, because I know he has already checked. :)

  66. This made me chuckle. My dad is such a ham with correspondence. He always signs his texts “LLL PAPA!!! XXOOXXOOXXOOXXOO” The “L” stands for “Love.” The XXOO is such a signature for him that I actually had it tattooed on my arm in his handwriting. He used to sign all of my school permission slips with his name and then “Father-in-Chief” or “Esteemed Father.” I would be mortified! But now I think it’s hilarious. When my sister and I went to summer camp, my mom used to send us normal handwritten letters, but my dad would put together these elaborate faxed (!!!) neighborhood newsletters. He would update us about the neighborhood block parties and the weekly weather and whether the turtles had hatched in the back yard and how many miles he and my mom biked that week. He even put in little fake advertisements and photos. I found some of them a few years ago, and I was crying from laughing so hard.

    • Judy says...

      My dad used to do the same thing when my sister and I were at summer camp! Once he traced his hand and wrote a letter (almost incomprehensibly) tracing the outline of his hand – like winding up and down his fingers so I had to rotate the letter a million times to read it. He also printed a letter and cut each line out individually, taped their edges together, and packed it in a tiny canister. I had to roll out the letter – probably 50 feet long at this point – to read it. He also sent me an official certificate (complete with his wax notary seal) listing all the ways he was proud of me. He’s the best!

    • JSS says...

      Maggie, “Esteemed Father” is amazing! And Judy, I love the time your dad put into sending those letters to camp! But the notarized documentation of all the ways he’s proud of you is the best. Kudos, Judy’s dad.

  67. Becca says...

    When I lived in Spain away from my family for the first time long term, my Dad would sign emails with a small piece of advice such as “Don’t let your feet get wet, Dad” or “Eat Fruit, Dad.” I loved it.

    • “Eat Fruit, Dad.” LOL! My husband and I joke that I am going to be the one who handles all the dad jokes when we have kids…and I would totally say this.

  68. N says...

    I Facetime my Dad around 6:30PM every night so that my daughter can say goodnight to him before she starts her bedtime routine. He answers that call no matter what! Often, a nurse will pick up the phone and say “Hi Honey, your Dad wanted me to pick up, but he’s performing surgery right now.” And we yell out “HI DAD!!! WE LOVE YOU, DOING GREAT!” to lots of laughs, and I can see him sometimes in the background, breaking out into a huge grin underneath his mask.

    I cherish these memories so much. Dad’s are the greatest.

  69. Johanna says...

    Shortly after my dad upgraded to a phone with texting capabilities (just recently), I received a blank text from him. When I texted back, the response I got was “Mistakes were made.” That remains the only text I’ve received!

    • Lauren E. says...

      I’m laughing so hard. My dad also randomly sends a blank text. One time I wrote, “Yes?” And he responded, “Gimme a minute.” The next text came through days later, unrelated.

    • Jody says...

      SO good. This one cracked me up.

  70. My dad doesn’t text but hearing my husband painstakingly help him with IT support over the phone to my non-technical dad is just precious. My husband is very calm, descriptive, and can always fix what is happening. My dad thinks my husband is a genius. I love both sides of it.

  71. H says...

    My dad (who works in tech!!) always calls or texts and says “Hey H, it’s dad”… like yes, dad, your # is programmed I KNOW IT’S YOU. Always gives me a laugh.

  72. Julia says...

    My dad uses only question marks as punctuation.

    “Hey Julia? We are at the beach? Call us back?

    Upon arriving back from Ireland- “Welcome back????”

    After talking with my siblings we have come to the conclusion that his thumbs might be too big, and while trying to hit the explanation point he must be hitting the question mark. Either way his texts always make me smile

    • R says...

      This made ME smile too! :)

  73. EJ says...

    My grandfather, who is in his mid-70s and has quite the knack for technology, has always signed his texts “PLY.” For a while we all thought it was some sort of weird inside joke, since those are not his initials and he signs it in response to every single text in a conversation. Finally, one of the grandkids asked and turns out it stands for “Poppy Loves You.” And sure enough, he (somehow) has it set as an automatic text signature! The thought of his old school Brooklyn friends receiving texts from him signed “PLY” makes my heart melt <3 <3

    • Sydni says...

      Awwww!!!

      My dad will send me a photo with the caption “TOY” – weirded me out until he explained it stands for Thinking Of You.

    • Kim says...

      I’m crying!

  74. Kerry says...

    For years, my parents’ answering machine was them trying to figure out how to record a message, and just killing themselves laughing over it. They were clearly enjoying each other, and it made me happy every time I heard it.

    • Brooke says...

      Kerry!! This is so wonderful. You reminded me that my dear favorite college roommate and I did this for our (old school!!) landline and listening to it made us laugh all over again. I love that your parents did this.

  75. Kim says...

    My dad snow sends me texts consisting solely of emojis. They tell a story, and he always laughs so hard when I call him and ask him to translate.

    He also thought LOL was lots of love and I only found out after I finally asked him what was so funny about doing my taxes!

    • Kim says...

      *now, not snow

  76. RL says...

    My dad’s texts were always “Call me.” I’d immediately think that the worst possible thing had happened… something so bad it could not be communicated over text. I’d stop whatever I was doing to call him. But mostly nothing was wrong – he’d want to see if I sent in my tax returns or ask about a meeting I’d had. There may have been once or twice it had to do with health issues of my grandparents. Now that he knows it makes my sister and I very stressed, he texts: “Call me, when available.”

    • Hannie says...

      Oh this made me laugh…my dad used to do the same thing! Now he texts (very seriously) “Call me when you can. Nothing urgent.” because he knows I am a ball of nerves and will think the worst. It took me years to get him to lighten up and use some Emojis.

    • Amanda Tyler says...

      My dad does this also! Or he’ll call and leave a voicemail where all he says is ‘Call me back.’ Nine times of ten, he is at REI trying to decide what size shirt to buy my mom.

  77. Amber says...

    My dad’s first text was from my mom’s phone and went something like this: “thisisdadwhattimewillyoubebackthisismyfirsttextmessagewhereisthespacebar” We still tease him about this.

    • Maeve says...

      that is hilarious!

    • marci says...

      My mom’s first text was like this. But instead of not using a space, she didn’t use punctuation. hi my marci look im texting you i can see you

  78. Hani says...

    My Dad recently started texting(to our collective shock, him being a lifelong self-professed Luddite)
    and I kept all his messages in the beginning because I was so unnacustomed to him *saying* anything to me.

    But, now, he texts me pretty regularly—at first composing formal, well-thought our paragraphs with proper punctuation and nary an abbreviation in sight; it’s gradually softened and become more silly, even.
    (The first time he used an emoji, I was genuinely floored- now he uses them all the time)

    You know how people decry technology for replacing face-to-face interaction?
    Well, it’s *happily* replaced face-to-face interaction with my dad. Texting somehow bridges this anxious gap that’s always existed between him and us kids.
    I’ve seen a more endearing ‘Dad’ side of him than I ever knew existed.
    [and yes, he still signs each and every one, no matter how short!)

    • Emily says...

      I love this!

  79. Jeanne says...

    Oh boy. My girlfriend and I are texting this moment about how hard it is when you are no longer a main part of your college-aged kids’ lives. It’s a tough transition when they go from being 24/7 to “hey I’m going to spend Spring Break with my friends, see you in 3 months”. Of course we want them to be independent but for the parent, it’s kinda feels like a breakup you didn’t instigate. So naturally, I ALWAYS pick up the phone when my son calls. I miss him terribly and hearing his voice and the stories about his daily life are a gift. My friends and I acknowledge that this separation will only grow wider as they have lives of their own and possibly their own families. Omg I’m such a downer lol. (Lots of Love!)

    • Katia says...

      This thought already makes me cry and my kids are 4.5 and 1.5

  80. Christina Harger says...

    I can still hear my dear Dad starting each phone conversation with “Hi honey!” I sure do miss him…he was my favorite person to talk to.

  81. Andrea says...

    My dad always signs “Blessings, Larry” <3

  82. emily says...

    my dad died just over a year ago and this makes my eyes swell up w/ tears immediately. my dad ALWAYS answered the phone. i used to tease him so much about it. now i miss it so much, it was such a gesture of love.

    • Rebecca says...

      Sending you so much love. Your comment made me tear up. My dad always answers too and it really is a gesture of love. Dads are so special.

  83. My dad is one of those people who knows everything about everything. I am always so captivated by how much knowledge he carries! One time, I told him my friend’s parents lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia and my dad replied “Oh, they are government employees!” I was in awe – he was right! How did he know?! He replied as he always does whether in conversation or when he signs his emails/text messages:
    “D A D.”

    He always

    • Megan says...

      As a Fredericksburg native (and daughter of govt employees), I love that your dad had that knowledge tucked away?.

  84. Meredith says...

    My dad’s texts and e-mails are hilarious because he *never* uses punctuation. I like to read them out loud as they are written: “Hi Meredith I hope you are having a happy birthday I am thinking about you love Dad” Commas are not the enemy, Dad!

  85. Lorraine says...

    my dad is emotionally awkward, as are many asian dads, and we generally don’t talk on the phone (if he answers the house phone, he immediately says he’ll go get my mom). when i moved farther away from my parents, all the way to the west coast, my dad had to find excuses to call me. so he would call to request lotto tickets from where i lived at the time (Oregon). if he left a voicemail and didn’t hear back right away, he would call repeatedly, sometimes leaving multiple voicemails instructing me on what plays to buy (powerplay on powerball). we were kind of like lotto penpals for a little whlie. it was hilariously cute, everyone in my office who would see my voicemails pile up knew it was my dad calling with lotto specs.

  86. Agnes says...

    My dad never tried a mobile phone (too big of fingers and too old of a dad) and he didn’t like the landline phone either. Once he was talking to me and bellowing, ‘speak up, I can’t hear you!!’ from a far distance, and I heard my mom’s WAH WAH (Charlie Brown) in the background. He finally came on clearly and said cheesily, ‘oh helleewww!’ He’d had the phone upside down and was talking into the earpiece…

    • Caitlin says...

      Omg, amazing! One time I called my dad’s cell phone and when he picked up I heard him thanking someone… he couldn’t remember how to answer and had to ask someone he passed on the street to show him how to answer. Makes me laugh just thinking about it.

  87. Nina says...

    This is sweet.

    My dad is a jerk. So I don’t have sweet stories.

    But I love reading others.

    My dad refuses to text so I think ONCE I texted him and he responded back: *AHDARH#(%&! to indicate he won’t text. with me. I’m sure he texts with his wife and her kids. EYEROLL. He hasn’t changed his voicemail in like 10 years so it STILL says “please leave your number as this is a new phone and I lost all the phone numbers from my old one.”

    I actually find it super annoying and rarely call him because he will COMPLAIN on facebook his kids never call and literally 1 minute or so after I call when he’s done telling me everything I’m doing wrong with my life and how awful his is, he will say “well, I’m going to let you go”

    …argh I hate conversations with him. Plus, due to how awful he is, my 11 year old refuses to talk to him on the phone…and my dad keeps asking “where is Asher” and I have to pretend to not really hear him…

  88. D says...

    My dad mixed up the thumbs-up emoji with the middle-finger emoji for a reeeaallly long time. A friend recently told me that her mom though the poop emoji was a chocolate kiss, and would always sign her texts with hugs and “kisses.” TOO GOOD

    • Liz says...

      too good!!! this make me laugh so much

  89. Meghan says...

    My dad passed away four years ago and I still have every silly text saved, from conversations about grocery store pick-ups, car-shopping, handyman fixes at my house, and birthday love. My dad was a texter of few words but most ended with ILU, Dad. I love you too, Dad and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t long for your booming voice to call me and say “Hello, Meghan, it’s your dear old dad.”

    I was always in awe of how my dad just felt comfortable doing his own thing and going against the grain. It seems like this is an overall dad trait, no? I miss those quirks and that unconditional love.

  90. Rachael says...

    My dad spells “you” as “yu” in all of his texts… For no explicable reason! But I love it so much. And whenever I call him, he greets me every time by yelling “RACHY!!!” It always makes me smile. :)

  91. Ashley says...

    @Gemma I second this a thousand times over, SAVE YOUR PARENTS’ VOICEMAILS. My dad died about 5 years ago and one of my most treasured possessions is a :06-second .mp3 file where he says, “Hey Ash, it’s your dad. Just calling to make sure you got your flu shot. It’s 4:30 on Sunday. Call me when you can. Love you, bye.”

    • Laurice says...

      Exactly! Not to be morbid, but especially when they are old and can go anytime. I always save the very last voicemail of the day. Same goes for saving my aging Mom’s.

  92. MR says...

    My dad is a retired LA Sheriff and used to sit in up to 3 hours of traffic a day. He is very chatty and we knew it was an especially trafficked day when he would go down the list of my many siblings seeing who would answer so we could keep him company. The funniest part though, is if he is calling for a purpose (not just to chat), he gets the information he needs AND THEN HANGS UP WITHOUT SAYING GOODBYE. My siblings and I all tease him about it, often yelling into the phone as he is hanging up, “Well okay then, love you bye!!!”. He also often throws in procedure words in our text conversations, using “roger, over, etc” to let us know he has received messages. I always respond in same but I don’t think he realizes I am participating in jest ;)

  93. Amanda says...

    My grandpa thought LOL meant “lots of love” and would use it to sign texts and facebook posts. Us granddaughters just laughed about it with each other. Then one day he commented on an obituary post with “Praying for you. LOL.” Yikes! We had to break it to him after that.

    • Danielle says...

      OMG my aunt did this! She texted me to let me know that their beloved dog had passed away and when I replied “I’m so sorry, thinking of you both” she replied “Thanks, LOL”. It took me moment…

  94. Kirstin says...

    I recently just bought my first home and my dad is a general contractor — I’ve been calling him so often with questions (sometimes four times a day) he started answering, “customer service, this is Dave.” Makes me laugh every time.

  95. Danielle says...

    This is adorable.

    My dad never, ever knows where his phone is. I don’t think I actually had his number for the first 5 years he had a cell mostly because he couldn’t remember what his number was. I think he charges it once and month and leaves it in the car in case he gets stuck. A text would floor him

  96. Marcella says...

    Lol, a lot of my texts from my dad are actually my mom responding on my dad’s phone and always signing “Mom”. Thanks for specifying mom! We also send each other lots of political stuff, most recently during the senate election here in Texas where he’d sign “Go Beto” or “Argentina’s new prez looks like Beto ha”

  97. Heidi says...

    My father in law LIVES to give a weather report. He lives in Florida and we live in Oklahoma. So when we talk to him on the phone he’ll say “Well, it looks like it’s raining there.” Or “It’s about to get really hot where you are, you oughta mow your grass now.” As if we can’t look out our own window to see it. Then he’ll tell us the weather for all of the states where my husband’s siblings live. It’s the sweetest thing.

    “BLESSINGS COMMA LARRY” sent me over the edge laughing, by the way.

  98. Marissa says...

    You can email your saved voicemails to yourself!

    My dad has a neurological disorder, MSA, that has essentially taken away his ability to speak, so having those saved voicemails are so precious. Hearing his former voice, the way he casually used to say “Hey Min, (my nickname, Mini) I know you had a long flight, I’m waiting at arrivals with your favorite salad”, breaks my heart, but makes me so nostalgic to listen.

    I was always so scared that if I lost my phone, I’d lose those memories, until I realized you could email them to yourself and save them forever. I do that all the time, and highly recommend it.

    • Laurice says...

      Great idea! Thanks!

  99. Heather says...

    Similar to the LOL lots of love texts, my mom (I know, a whole different breed of texting animal), thought LOL meant lots of luck. We realized this only last year after she responded with LOL to a text meltdown I was having. When questioned about what she thought it meant, the truth was reveleaved. She also thought LMAO meant Leave My Ass Out, as in this is getting to be too much, I’m out…

    • Patricia says...

      Leave my ass out….I’m dying. Hahahahahahaha!

  100. re: Katie’s comment…

    My dad’s mother would always sign her emails LOL as well. We couldn’t understand why she was finding everything so humorous and then we got an email from her telling us the news of a friend of hers that had passed away–and still signed it LOL. Considering there wasn’t anything to laugh about with that, we finally realized she meant it as lots of love.

    We always chuckled about her rhythm in letters and emails, especially my dad. But the funny thing is, now his emails sounds JUST LIKE HER. Random tidbits thrown in from out of nowhere, facts about who knows what out of the blue, and always this “~” before an “!”. My brother and I still can’t figure that one out… ~!

  101. Allison says...

    My dad always uses voice to text but he sends the texts no matter how incoherent they are! Sometimes he sends a bunch in a row that are all variations on the same thing as he tries to get it to write the correct words. He’s usually satisfied with it being close enough. I asked why he doesn’t just delete them and start again and he said he figures I know what he means!

    • Devin says...

      Oh my gosh this is my father too. I have to actively spend time deciphering what he wrote and it takes so much longer than a simple phone call ;) always cracks me up!

  102. Loesie says...

    My Dad always texts me a question. Then I text him right back, only for him to ask me the answer days later. “But I already texted you my answer!”
    “Oh, you did?”

    It’s like he just blurts something out there and then just leaves it somewhere in the cell phone universe.

    Over and over again.

    PS: back when texting and cell phones just appeared, my folks would text me, but they wouldn’t know how to put in a space between every word, so I would get just one verrrry long sentence. LOL

  103. Shivani Dharia says...

    My mom does this thing where is it is the end of the conversation in her mind, she will hang up. She won’t say Bye or gotta go. Sometimes I am left still talking and I realize I am talking to myself!!
    Come to think of it, my Grandmother does the exact same thing. And recently, my husband pointed out that I did it to him a couple of times (yikes!!)!!

  104. All of these have given me the giggles and the happy tears. I don’t have a relationship with my dad, but I love living through these.

    However, my sweet father in law signs every card to us D.O.D. ‘Dear Old Dad’ I tear up a little every time I see it.

  105. My dad ends every single text with the balloon and rainbow emojis. ??

    • Rachael says...

      oh my heart <3

    • Erin says...

      so cute!

  106. Jamey says...

    I’ve called my dad, “Dad” for the last 30 years. But he signs every single text with “Ciao, Pops”.

    • Sydni says...

      I LOVE that. He must be so awesome.

    • Y says...

      Lol, I need to know why! Is he Italian? Did he call HIS dad Pops? Did he try to get you to call him that when you were little to no avail but he can’t let it go?

  107. Rebecca says...

    My dad has custom ringtones for everyone in our family. When I text him, his phone plays Carole King’s “Where You Lead.” THE ENTIRE SONG.

  108. A says...

    I absolutely love reading about this and really wish that I had the same experience. There are times when my dad (and my mom) can be funny and sweet and when I can find a lot of humor and joy in my communication with them. There are also lots of times where the communication is perpetuating the themes of my childhood – threats that love will be withheld, blame, and lots and lots of yelling. These posts give me lots of hope, though. I know that I am raising my own kids very differently, in a house defined by love and kindness and hope that they will someday look at writing like this and really relate to it.

    • Becky says...

      A, I too wish I had the same experience to share about. I no longer speak to my parents, because one parent not the other. It was a wise decision on my part. Maybe one day it will change. When my husband and I have a child I know I’ll do better too.

  109. Hannie says...

    My parents go to Costco religiously every Friday. They especially love going to Costco when they travel to see how it differs from the one in our hometown. I don’t know how it started, but my dad always texts me a picture of him in front of whichever one they happen to find on their travels. Sometimes I didn’t even know they were on a trip and a text will pop up of just a bald man, almost always in a polo, smiling in front of the big box building to brighten my day. I love it so much. I almost screamed when I read that there is a Costco in Iceland, where my fiance and I will be traveling in a few months. I can’t wait to return the favor (sans polo)!

    • L E says...

      My parents love to visit different Costcos, and to show visitors from out of town the Costco here. I thought it was a Vermont thing- so funny to hear that others do it too!!

    • Louisa says...

      Omg you have to wear a polo.

  110. Amanda says...

    I love reading all these comments and sweet tidbits about awesome, loving dads! My biological father wasn’t present in my life past the age of 4, and my stepfather and I never had a healthy, loving relationship (he was never quite sure what to do with a girl, even a tomboy!).

    Don’t ever lose your love and appreciation for the good fathers in your lives!! They are worth more than you can imagine.

  111. Martini says...

    Off topic but…
    Anton’s right foot, the big toe. Oh Lord if that isn’t the cutest! Just tickled me.
    What is it with children’s toes? We used to call them “piggies”.
    Barefoot was called “Naked Piggies”.

  112. My dad is a graduate school professor and recently I gave him a call and after a couple minutes of asking me how I was doing he finally acknowledged “Oh yes, dear. I’m in class right now. Say hi to the students!” (a group of about thirty 25-50 year olds!) Dads… they pick up the phone ANYWHERE. ;)

  113. teri says...

    My father in law is a very formal person. When he calls its short and practical.

    However, he always want to speak to our children after that. We put him on speaker, but he just cant grasp the concept of it. When we tried to explain him we hear him, he simply announced: ‘my cellphone doesn’t do those things your apples do’.

    So now we hear him talk to our children uncensored. He talks for hours with our kids about Lego, friends, peppa pig and slides. He ends every conversation with: ‘I love you and your parents. You are an amazing bunch. Oh so proud!’

    Its the best. :)

  114. Marissa Lanterman says...

    Every single time I talk to my Dad on the phone he opens with “Hi Honey, how’s the car running?” I’ve learned to interpret this as his way of asking “How are things in your world?” <3

  115. Kate M says...

    I spent years thinking my dad didn’t know how to use emojis and that all of his texts were very gruff and business like. But then one day I saw the adorable emoji-filled casual texts he sent my mother.
    I called him out and now also get sweet smiliey filled texts as well but nothing can compare to the gem of the first time I saw the texts he sent her.

  116. Rachel says...

    My dad always, always, ALWAYS calls my mom on the home phone when he’s headed home from work. If she doesn’t answer, he leaves a message (again, always the same), and I can hear him saying this as I type: “Hi, it’s mee, I’m coming home. SeeyouwhenIgetthere, bye.”

  117. Kelly says...

    Nicole Cliffe (of twitter fame)’s husband Steve responds to each of her texts with a word from the text and an exclamation point. Like, “Lamp!” or “Happy!” I’ve started doing the same thing to my husband.

  118. Molly says...

    When my dad calls anyone in our family he introduces himself with “Molly, its dad…” or to my husband “Brian, its your father-in-law, Chris.” Like we don’t have caller ID, nor do we recognize his voice. My husband thinks it’s hilarious and has taken to introducing himself with “Chris, it’s your son-in-law, Brian” every time he calls my dad now.

  119. Meg says...

    MY DAD TOO! Always always always answers. I called him once and he was directing a high powered industry board meeting. (DAD?!?!!) He’s insane but true to his values… I’ll never doubt that I’m the most important thing in his life and for that I’ll always be grateful.

  120. Stephanie says...

    My boyfriend’s dad’s texts are short, with no flair. The most common response is just “cool”. No emojis, no exclamation marks. I swear we could tell him we won the lottery and and cured cancer and he would still respond with “cool”. HA!

  121. Erin says...

    My dad is still very into emails over text messages, and sends them frequently. Sometimes the email title is so long it explains the entire email! :) He does text sometimes, and he makes sure to send me a photo of every vegetarian meal he eats, because I’m a vegetarian.

  122. lili says...

    When I was in high school my dad and I would watch Gossip Girl together every Monday. Once I left for college, he would text me every Monday to tell me he was still watching. When the show finally ended, he texted me “Last Gossip Girl tonight, end of an era” A text for the ages.

    • Jenna Senter says...

      OH MY GOODNESS. This is the sweetest!

    • Abby says...

      Oh how sweet! This reminds me of my weekly Gilmore Girls sessions with my parents and later just my mum when my dad decided to jump out of the picture. Once they moved the Programme from afternoon to evening Entertainment we would always watch it together and have dinner the Gilmore Girls style: ordering Chinese, have lemonades and M&Ms or other “naughty” food while watching tv. It was bliss!
      When Netflix released new episodes two years ago, my mum made sure we would watch them together with the same kind of food – even though we live in different countries now!
      Thanks for that memory Lili!

  123. Sarah says...

    My dad is a big man with a booming voice and starts every voicemail to me with, “HI SWEETIE, IT’S YOUR DAD!” I save all of them, which means my voice mailbox is regularly over full. Oh well.

    • Katie Weltner says...

      My dad did the same thing. I only saved two of his messages but since he passed I listen to them over and over and over again. “KATIE DEAR, IT’S YOUR DAD.” Gets me every time.

    • Alexandra says...

      My dad passed away three years ago, but this was exactly how he started every single voicemail, as though I would not recognize his loud, distinctive voice. I saved the last few from him, but man I wish I had more.

      Thanks for the memory, Sarah. :)

  124. Emma says...

    Sometimes if I call my parents house and my dad is the only one home, he will tell me he can’t talk now and I need to call back when my mom is home. He knows she’ll get mad if he hears new information about the events of my life before she does. Sometimes we’ll still talk and he’ll insist that I call back in an hour when she’s home, and don’t tell her I already talked to him today.

    My friend told me that when he got engaged to his longtime girlfriend, he called his grandparents to tell them the good news. His grandfather answered and realized what he was about to say and shushed him!! Then only let him talk when he’d handed the phone off to his grandmother, so she could hear first.

    • Alison says...

      that is so sweet!!

  125. Kate says...

    My dad always answers the phone, too, and his greeting is basically his salutation – “HeycanIcallyaback?” So so sweet because I know if I needed anything he’d leave whatever else he was doing and talk to me!

  126. Courtney says...

    This post is so wonderful.

    My favorite dadism is the fact that he always picked up no matter where he was. There were countless times he was in a meeting but I would only find that out after I went into some long pointless story. Then he’d quietly whisper, can I call you back I’m in a meeting?? To which I’d immediately have a mental image of him ducking under the table during our interaction. I’m sure he didn’t but it made me laugh none the less and love him that much more.

  127. JB says...

    My dad always answers the phone “Go ahead, caller. You’re on the air.”

    Like he’s a radio announcer. He’s not!

    • Rachel says...

      Oh, dads! Ha!!

    • Kate says...

      This is HILARIOUS! The most dad thing anyone has ever dadded! Love love love it.

    • Bonnie says...

      I LOVE THIS! That’s great, JB!

    • Rachel says...

      I love that he does this every time! The best dad jokes are the sustained ones :)

  128. Greta says...

    When he knows it’s me, my dad always answers the phone in gibberish then says, “Which in the language of that day meant…hey baby, you are loved.” Or something similar. It always lightens my mood, no matter what I’m going through!

  129. Camille says...

    This reminds me of the first episode of Modern Family where Phil Dunphy thinks wtf means “why the face”
    my heart !!!!

  130. My dad will always write out his text messages with “…” between his thoughts. “Hey ladies …I am in Chicago this week…have a great week…love you…Dad.” It always makes me smile!

    • CK says...

      Mine does that too!

    • Hannah says...

      This made me laugh! SO CUTE!

  131. Erin says...

    My dad butt dials me more than anyone else. Like, at least once a week. Also, he never texts me out of the blue, except for once a year. Every year he texts me the day before his birthday. It’s always super short and random, just ‘Hi honey, thinking about you, love dad.’ I’ve been suspecting he does it to remind me it’s his birthday. This year I finally called him out and he was like, ‘But I’m totally subtle, right?’. Love that guy.

    • Erin says...

      too funny!

  132. Every once in a while when I go visit my mom, I’ll be in the car with her and she’ll make me text our arrival time to her husband since she doesn’t wanna text while driving. Every time I do this, he forgets that it’s my phone number and not hers, and then a few days later I’ll get messages like “Hi my love, went to buy bread” or “See you soon darling!!!” haha

  133. Rachel says...

    My dad loves reading the news, and he actually downloaded the news app for the city where I live, so he’ll text me about local things going on here. (And he gives me the best hometown gossip, cause no one thinks that he’s listening but he totally knows who is getting a divorce and who has a girlfriend and everything else.)

    • Kelli says...

      My dad does this with my local weather. He lives thousands of miles away, but is always the one to tell me if I’m going to need a raincoat today.

  134. My dad is coming to visit tonight — I can’t wait!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how fun!!!! hope you guys have a great visit.

    • Meg says...

      Jealous! Have fun!!!!

  135. Alex says...

    One time, I casually mentioned to my dad on the phone that I needed to hang a picture in my apartment but I didn’t have the right screws. He promptly put some screws in an envelope and mailed them! When I opened the envelope, I also found a brief letter from him which he typed and printed out. He left enough space between the typed words “love” and “Papi” to sign “Papi” with pen! It was so cute and business-y despite the casual content that I almost passed out.

  136. Kahani says...

    Dad’s not a big texter but his thing is to immediately bellow down the phone WHERE ARE YOU??!?? In an up down up sequence. Once he tried to get hold of me while I was watching a really long movie and I found 7 voicemails all going WHERE ARE YOU?!? in increasing agitation. So, I did the obvious thing. I turned his ringtone to me into his voice hollering WHERE ARE YOU?!? this was a laugh until one poor date (did I mention my dad’s a scary brimstone and hell kind of pastor?) jumped so hard in terror he upset an entire plate of very tomatoe-y pasta on his lap. That was 20 years ago. Dad STILL starts conversations with WHERE ARE YOU?!?

    • Jessica says...

      This made me legitimately laugh out loud at work. Love it!!!

    • Laura says...

      Love this! I truly laughed out loud and scared my poor cat!

  137. Twyla says...

    I’ve introduced my Dad to Marco Polo (an app that lets you send video texts), and he’s very confused by it. It alerts him if I’ve opened the app (it just says Twyla is online now), and he thinks I’m messaging him, so he sends a message to me almost immediately. I can’t open the app to check my other messages without my Dad messaging me. The cool thing is that you can save all the videos. I have one with him checking his hair for about a full minute. It’s adorable.

  138. Yup, my dad always signs his texts, Dad. And he leaves the longest voicemails telling me all the things he would have told me if I had answered the phone.

    • Kelli says...

      My dad does this too!!! And then after a 6 1/2 minute voicemail, says “So anyway, give me a call to discuss.” And I’m like, what is there possibly left to discuss??

  139. TJ says...

    Texting with my dad is very short. He always texts very direct messages without any sort of greeting. For example, “2 gas points” followed by my response (sometimes a “lengthy” sentence response). If my dad has nothing else to add, which he usually doesn’t, he always shuts down the conversation with “ok bye”. Always. Sometimes I’ll continue the conversation with a question. Does he answer it? No. He just replies with an “ok bye” haha. Shut. it. Down.

  140. Kyle L Akeley says...

    In a fit of pre-college anxiety, I made my parents tell me the protocol for when someone in our family passed away. The only role assigned my Dad was to tell me if my Mom died. Since then, he has pre-texted me “don’t worry, Mom’s alive” before calling. It feels like love to me.

    • Hahaha that’s amazing!

    • Laura says...

      My dad almost never calls – it’s usually my mom who does. And then he just yells things to me in the background. So when my dad does call me, he pretty much almost always starts off the conversation with “Don’t worry, everything’s fine…”

  141. J says...

    Years ago, my dad who is not a formal person, would start every voicemail with “ J… this is your father speaking” . Treasures…

  142. Alissa says...

    Oh man, my dad signs his texts too! He’ll also text saying that he left me a voicemail. My favorite though is that he’ll sometimes leave himself a message on his work phone of something for when he’s back in the office – “Hi John, remember the presentation…”.

    We all tease him about it, but love it just the same. And he’s in good company, since his father would still refer to himself by first AND last name whenever he called our house!

  143. Elizabeth says...

    My Dad has had the same phone number for as long as I can remember, and yet every time he leaves me a voicemail he uses his FULL NAME, and repeats his phone number, TWICE! He will also list things like “Item one, item two”. I guess it’s his engineering brain?

    • Heather says...

      This post and comments are filling my heart! My favorite story is one from my grandfather, who got his first cell phone when he was 83. He kept it in his breast pocket, attached to a loop of oxygen tubing around his neck (he didn’t use oxygen) so that it wouldn’t fall down if he bent over. It confused people to see an old man with an oxygen tube that seemed to go nowhere. He once answered his phone in the middle of mass (!!) and the next week the priest made an announcement not to answer your phone during service. He’s been gone for more than 10 years but I still giggle when I picture him answering his phone, attached to the oxygen tubing, in the middle of church.

  144. Lesley says...

    Mine says LUD which I love so much!

    • Katherine says...

      My dad has bipolar disorder, and isn’t always the best about communicating or talking about his feelings. Back in 2007 when I was a few months away from graduating from college and was completely overwhelmed by student teaching, I emailed my parents asking if they’d be disappointed in me if I did something other than teaching when I graduated (spoiler alert, I became a teacher and taught elementary school for a decade). My dad replied saying he wouldn’t ever be disappointed in me, and that his hopes and dreams for me could best be summed up in the song “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womack. I cannot listen to that song now without crying, and after I finished my first year of teaching, I asked him to write “I hope you dance” and got that lyric tattooed on my ribs (I have “Let it be” on the other side of my ribs in my mom’s handwriting). Now I carry a reminder of his hopes and dreams with me everywhere I go.

  145. Jamie says...

    Absolutely love this post. I don’t have a dad, but my mom has a similar email quirk. When she sends an email, the subject line is always: It’s your MOM. No matter what the subject. My sister and I think it’s so hilarious, and I have a folder to save them all. It has also influenced me, and now I sign notes and cards to my daughters MOM, always in all caps.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahaha my stepfather-in-law always says “GALLAGHER SENDS” as the email subject — I think it’s a holdover from his navy days!

    • Caroline says...

      In a similar manner my dad always signs his texts “Love, DAD.” The capitalized letters get me every time :)

    • Jessica says...

      Yes, my mom would sign her texts MOM back before she had a smart phone. <3

    • Louisa says...

      Me, too! – What is this about??
      Love, MOM

    • Tiffany says...

      My mother-in-law does something similar whenever she emails my husband. Subject: MOM (The Greatest). Her signatures also always the same. Love, Mom (The Greatest). Makes me smile every time.

  146. Debbie says...

    My dad is an immigrant from Korea so my siblings and I often chuckle at his English over texts. But our favorite is H.A.G.T. It stands for “have a good time.” He basically made up his own acronym. But the best thing about it is that he takes the time to add periods between each letter! We love it so much we had t-shirts made of it for our family vacation last year.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Omg that is SO cute.

  147. Rebecca P says...

    My parents are old school, meaning they still buy minutes for their cell phones! One Christmas a few years ago, my sister and I gifted them an iPad so we could FaceTime since we both live far from home. My dad discovered he also loved to text from the iPad. Every text we receive from him ends in #dadonipad. We like to thank him for confirming he’s on the iPad when it comes from the iPad. Plus the fact that he uses a hashtag is hysterical. ;)

    • Kirstin says...

      I almost chocked on the apple I was eating laughing at this…hahaha!

  148. Alison says...

    Katie’s comment made me me actually LOL. :)

    • Hannah says...

      Me too!! <3

  149. Judy says...

    My dad is recently obsessed with Bitmojis. He answers most of my texts with a cartoon character version of himself (it’s so realistic – down to the balding head!) and, even better, he even changes his Bitmoji outfit according to the seasons. He is very invested.

    • jacqui says...

      my mom does this too! it cracks me up!

  150. Nickie says...

    I recently realized that my dad puts two spaces in between every sentence in his texts. Apparently he thinks he’s texting on a typewriter :)

    • Emma says...

      Lol to all of this! Semi related, my grandpa called the internet the cybernet and once said, “I don’t understand what Twitter is, but I know what twittering of the heart is when I see my beautiful grand daughters.” Haha man I miss him so much!