Lesson Learned: Don’t Trust The Emoji…


TOOTHLESS EMOJIWell, we’re heading into the home-stretch of the school year now and it’s hard to believe my youngest is almost finished with her first year of college. In preparation for the upcoming final exams, I received a message from the University of Iowa that a Care Package filled with healthy snacks (or not so healthy, depending on how much you love your child) can be ordered to help them get through that grueling week of final exams.

Let me just say right here that I have always been a person overflowing with good intentions… Over the course of four children,  ten years of college (so far),  and a grand total (so far) of twenty-five Final Exam Weeks, I know I sent a Care Package at least once. Maybe twice. Possibly three times, but probably not.  So last fall, when I received the same email notification, I thought, “Wouldn’t that be a nice little surprise for Mary Kate?”  But of course, time got the best of me and I suddenly realized that the deadline to order had arrived. In my haste, I hurriedly filled out the online form from my cell phone and clicked, “Submit.” YES!!! I did it! I have to say, I was quite proud of myself and  smiled thinking how happy and surprised she’d be to get such a fun, special delivery. I was riding high, but my state of euphoria was soon  squelched when I received another email that changed everything. It went something like this. Well, actually, it went EXACTLY like this:

Steven D., Extended Services Director uiowaarhesd@gmail.com

Hello Marilyn,

I am the Extended Services Director for the Associated Residence Halls Board of Directors. I just wanted to let you know that your Care Package order did not go through and the reason was due to the use of an emoji in the order form. Please feel free to try and order again, however, without the use of an emoji. Let me know if you run into any other troubles.


An emoji??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  I admit to, probably, an over-use of emojis in my text messages, but how the heck did an emoji sneak into my order form? And, more importantly, WHICH emoji was sent?  I’ll never know. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with emoji, they are  those cute little smiley faces which often accompany a text message or Facebook status. Besides the smiley faces, there are a myriad of other little symbols that seem to perfectly punctuate most of my text messages. Upon reading of my failure to successfully order a Care Package,  I was so deflated that I decided I couldn’t go through the emotional trauma of attempting another order. So, once again, my kid had to somehow get through finals without healthy snacks to fortify her. I later learned that she only had one final since, as a music major,  most of her final grades were based on various performances.  But now, as another finals week approaches, I am grappling with the dilemma of Care Package? Or no?  Dare I? Mary Kate did ask if I could give it another try,” however, without the use of an emoji.”  I’ll let you know how that works out…

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