It all started so innocently: a Gchat conversation in which we were discussing the emails our moms send us. “I’m sending you a hilarious email my mom just sent,” typed Jessica, “because I think you will like it.” “Ooh yay,” Doree wrote back. “I love hilarious mom emails.” After we shared a good laugh over the content of that email (which, to protect what little privacy Jessica’s mom has left, we shall keep forever secret), Doree sent Jessica an email from her mom (whose contents shall, alas, also remain a mystery). “The other thing you need to know,” Doree wrote, “is she’s told me this story FIVE HUNDRED TIMES.” “That makes it better!” Jessica responded. “My mom always tells me the same stories too.”
A few minutes later, Jessica wrote: “Also our moms still both have AOL email addresses.”
Then: “OMG,” Doree typed. “Ok. I just thought of a brilliant idea. We start a website called emailsfromourmoms.com and get people to send us emails from their moms.”
“OMG THAT IS AMAZING,” Jessica wrote back. “Let’s do it.”
We mulled over a few different names, and then Jessica suggested Postcards From Yo Momma. And thus a website, and a phenomenon, was born.
We soon realized we might be onto a sort of essential mom-ness that wasn’t just idiosyncratic to our own mothers—we had inadvertently stumbled on something that was universal. Since that day in March 2008, we’ve gotten over 7,000 emails from unsuspecting mommas around the world. Of course, they were all sent to us by their children, all of whom were eager to share their moms’ particular brand of humor and wisdom with the rest of the world.
In April 2009, our book based on the site—Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages from Home—was published by Hyperion. (For more about the book, click here.)
About the Editors
Jessica Grose is an editor at Double X, Slate’s section for women, and a former editor at Jezebel.com, Gawker Media’s website for women. She has worked for various websites in an editorial capacity since graduating from Brown in 2004. Her essays and reported features have appeared in the New York Times, Salon, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, the Village Voice, and several other publications. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.
Doree Shafrir is a reporter at The New York Observer, where she writes about culture, society, and ideas, and has profiled everyone from comedian Jimmy Fallon to 85-year-old gossip columnist Liz Smith and the so-called “hipster grifter.” She is a former editor at Gawker.com, where she was on the media beat, and has contributed to Slate, among other publications. She has a 12-year-old pit bull who doesn’t wear lipstick, and also lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.