For a lot of us coming of age in the late 90s and early aughts, the crowning achievement of our afterschool careers was having crafted the perfect AIM away message. It was a high-stakes game of balancing frivolity with diary-entry gravitas, difficult font choices, and chasing down unturned Dave Matthews Band quotes. When you nailed it, your self-identity gained a point. When you didn’t, you just hoped your crush wouldn’t sign on.
For the last month, 24-year-old Manhattanite Caroline Moss has dug deep into her years growing up in Westchester, whipping up spot-on parody posts for the Twitter feed, @YourAwayMessage. The randomized capitalization, the overused exclamation marks, the distress of being kicked off when your Mom or Dad picked up the phone in the next room: It’s all there. Following along is both hilarious and humiliating, but definitely more hilarious. We were once so young! So lame! So unsneakingly blatant with our feelings! We talked to Moss about the overwhelming response to the project, the ease of slipping back into a teenage mind-set, nostalgia and bOyz. OMG, let’s do this:
[the sound of a door swinging open]