The secret language of tweens

Olivia and I were in a jewelry store for kids and teens. The clerk immediately informed us of some special promotion: buy two, get one free- though certain hot-selling items did not count towards that promo.

Seeing this sign first would have cleared up a lot of confusion.

“No Pusheen, Shopkins, Surprise Packs, and JoJo Siwa bows,” listed the staffer. The whole list ran right over my head the way Awren sounds when she lets loose with her Elven language in the Hobbit.

I asked her to repeat it twice. I only understood half of that. I stumbled across Pusheen myself on the Internet before, and Olivia liked Shopkins for a short phase. The rest, I don’t know. 

Now, I could make out the words “Surprise Packs,” though I don’t know that specific product. But that last one sounded like “jojosewa bowls” to me, and I was a total black hole of information on that one.

What the heck is that??? Is it a decorated bowl, like for food or jewelry? What is that first word? What’s a jojosewa?

Finally, I just asked Olivia, “Did you get all that?” She nodded.

For some reason, I couldn’t let it go. When we got to the cash wrap, I asked the clerk again, “What was that last thing?”

Jojosewa bowls, she said, and pointed to a corner that did nothing to elucidate the confusion. We did this another couple of times. It was Groundhog Day.

I took a different tack. “Is it a bowl?”

“Yes, it’s a bow,” she confirmed. Darn English and its silent Ls.

“What’s a jojosewa?” I persisted.

“JoJo. Siwa,” she returned.

“Is that a person?” I asked.

“It’s a girl. A dancer,” she patiently replied. 

“Ohh! So her name is JoJo something?” I said, finally solving the mystery. 

THAT’S what she was saying!

We went through another minute of her trying to spell the last name for me, because it would help me pronounce it better. This poor clerk.

I’m so out of it, at least in the pop culture of pre-teens. See, if someone had said, “Jennifer Lopez surprise packs,” I could have extrapolated that J-Lo is hawking something, but I had never heard the name JoJo Siwa before.

In the end, I had to laugh, because it took me ten minutes to understand something that my daughter comprehended immediately. It’s the world of tweens, don’t you know? Obviously, I do not.

Diane Ako

Peace of mind By Diane Ako I like to reflect on life. Sometimes it’s philosophically. Sometimes it’s humorously. For all its beauty, life is far too difficult a journey to take alone. You need the support and connection with others to help carry you along the way. Writing brings me that connection– within and without. It clarifies my thoughts and feelings. It helps me reach out to others for advice, wisdom, or feedback. Your thoughts become your actions. Your actions become you. A wise yogi- Patanjali- said, “Speak what is true. Speak what is pleasant.” Let’s speak of things pleasant to one another and seek some peace of mind along the way. ABOUT Diane Ako joined Hawaii: In Real Life in October 2016. She likes being part of a community of local bloggers – people who like writing and sharing, like she does. Ako is an anchor/ reporter at Island News (KITV4 – ABC) in Honolulu. She previously anchored and reported at KHON2 (FOX) and KHNL (NBC), and at stations in California, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania, In between news jobs, in 2017, she launched and ran her own p.r. company, Diane Ako PR. From 2010-2014, she headed the public relations department at Halekulani Corporation, which oversees luxury resort Halekulani and boutique hotel Waikiki Parc. She’s been blogging since 2009 – before Hawaii: IRL, she wrote for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the state’s largest daily newspaper, where her stories garnered a dozen journalism awards and an Emmy nomination. Ako has a BA in Communications from Menlo College and an MA in Political Science from University of Hawaii at Manoa. One day, she might figure out how to put that master’s degree to use.

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