Finding a subtweet about you can sting, but finding out your mom has been subtweeting you on the regular for two years is a special combination of painful and fall-off-your-chair-hilarious. Especially when your mom doesn’t believe technology has advanced enough for Microsoft Word’s find-and-replace function to exist and emails documents with written instructions whenever she needs to copy-paste text.
She doesn’t get technology, so she doesn’t know how shady she’s being.
Some backstory: when I set up my mom’s Twitter account a few years ago, she mostly wanted it so she could follow me and my brother. She doesn’t go onto the app or her own timeline; I set it up so that every time David or I tweet, she receives it as a text. (Which is a great gut-check on whether I should really be tweeting something, even drunk at 3am.)
Mom’s more of a Facebook person, seeing daily, algorithmically-chosen updates on memes, news stories, and quizzes. Twitter is not her medium. But every once in a while, she tweets back at me. Little did I know she’s been tweeting at me more than I realized, just forgetting to actually @ me.
My mom doesn’t know it, but she’s the queen of subtweets. She’s a whole subtweet feed just for me. My mom is my own personal troll. I discovered an amazing run of tweets dating back to 2014 until now. So trying to work backwards and decipher what my mom was subtweeting me about is now my new life’s work.
Lol Brady has about four mosquito bites on his leg and wants to do— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) April 27, 2016
to the doc .. He has sensitive skin like you that mosquitoes love😊— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) April 27, 2016
This is the tweet that tipped it all off. I had called my mom, and she mentioned that she thought the tweet she’d sent me didn’t work. I went to her Twitter account and found the treasure trove. I’d tweeted about burning a success candle on my copy of the Alexander Hamilton biography, which is something worth subtweeting a human about, but my mom’s tweet wasn’t really about my weirdness—she just wanted to share what was up with my 2-year-old nephew, who has mosquito bites that he thinks are bruises because he doesn’t understand the concept bug bites yet. I also am prone to bug bites in the summer, so this will be a lifelong bond.
too😊— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) January 28, 2016
This was the end of another tweet to me, and the too was not actually a single word, but the end of the word “tattoo,” in response to a baby picture of me covered in paint. This is especially subtweety, since my mom is against tattoos and has kept me from getting inked by the sheer force of Jewish mom guilt.
day… Perfect gift for a mom who lives far away!!!!😊— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) November 5, 2015
I can’t figure out why my mom writes half a tweet, then moves on to another tweet before the 140-character limit is up. This is another instance of half a tweet, which was also very sassy. She was telling me she would get me a GPS watch because I was getting lost a lot. Also clearly a subtweet about how I live across the country and am a bad daughter for not living down the street like my brother. Jewish mother guilt to the max.
R u sleeping now!!! U miss your mom:)— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) April 17, 2015
I'm up FaceTime me— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) April 17, 2015
I had insomnia, and tweeted about it, and instead of just calling or texting me, my mom told the whole world to FaceTime her. I mean, who knows if she really wanted me to talk to her, or just wanted to mention that she was up and looking for someone to talk to—but not me. How rude.
need to find a permanent partner so quickly!!— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) April 3, 2015
This was the middle part of a great tweet from my mom reviewing Younger, one of her favorite TV shows. The tweet after, she manages to @ me correctly and remark that she’s glad she has Facebook for longer writing. It’s a pretty great. When she does remember to @ me, it often doesn’t make any more sense than the deluge of accidental subtweets.
lack of proper entertainment parenting:)— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) September 13, 2014
This is clearly supposed to relate to a previous tweet, but I seriously have no idea what she’s trying to say. I think she’s subtweeting herself here, since I’m not a parent.
@raebotta: now I am curious ..it s like asking someone not to taste the cookies in the cookie jar!— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) May 9, 2014
Perhaps I better off not knowing ???
My mom gave me my name, so she should be able to remember what it looks like. Seems even shadier to misspell it. She’s referring to a cryptic tweet of mine, so it’s a subtweet about me being cryptic, which is itself so cryptic that she misnames me, which is really next-level shit. Hats off to you, mom.
@@— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) April 3, 2014
I have no idea what’s happening here.
#####— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) April 3, 2014
Really. No clue. Probably a commentary on my abundance of hashtags. So harsh.
The subtweeting actually goes back to 2010, when I first set her up on Twitter. For example:
Think I forgot to put the message in…in the learning curve— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) March 17, 2011
Yup that how we roll— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) April 13, 2011
I agree .. A long nap.— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) April 12, 2011
She even tried to engage my old handle in artsy style, using AT instead of @.
at blurintofocus : dress cool my little chickie .. Call home ET— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) June 1, 2011
Sometimes my mom used the system to get real info out of me.
What's your fl number so I can use my delta app— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) June 2, 2011
Also, here are some subtweets I am including just to show you my mom is actually the nicest.
own version of dolly Rae … It would not have been half ad wonderful as the real thing.. Everyday u amaze me even more … And I love u too— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) June 26, 2011
U ok ? I feel asleep on the couch … Going to bed… I love u— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) November 13, 2012
Here’s a series of my mom sending single letters, which maybe unscrambles into a secret message? Is my mom’s twitter an elaborate performance piece like @horse_ebooks?
U— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) December 8, 2011
C— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) October 5, 2012
P— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) March 14, 2013
U— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) August 27, 2013
Dntgiortunf— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) December 5, 2011
Yep. My mom’s Twitter is definitely art.
What was I trying to say?? Aliens must be using my twitter account!— Nancy Votta (@nancyvotta) August 27, 2013