“Hello… Hello… Is anybody there?” I often hear this refrain from my Mom who just can’t seem to figure out ‘call waiting.’ I put it on her phone so that she would never miss an important call (from me) while chatting with her friends. I might need to tell her that I’ll be home late or that they didn’t have the library book she asked me to pick up for her and is there a second choice on her list. But if she’s going over the crossword puzzle answers or debating politics for the umpteenth time with her friends then I better just give up and come home (of course then she’ll tell me she was worried sick and why didn’t I call).
There’s been a fairly contentious TV battle going on in our home, too. We have several TVs (one in each room not including the bathrooms) so it’s not like you’re outta luck if one of them goes dark. I have repeatedly shown my mother the art of HD and explained that the HD TV does not respond as well on standard channels so just add 500 to all your favorites and the TV will be your new best friend. Simply waiting for a service call is, obviously, not an option.
I’ve long since lost the ‘computer’ war with my folks but that doesn’t mean they don’t see the good that my having one does them (in full disclosure, I don’t actually have one either because I do all my business on my phone).
“Ellen, what is 10 across and 29 down – can you look that up for me?”
“Ellen, can you deposit this check for me and check my bank balance?”
“Ellen, can you get me a digital coupon for this week’s shopping?”
And so on and so on…
The bottom line, clearly, for them is that THEY don’t need to have a computer because they have ME!
If there’s one thing you learn fairly quickly when living with people of a certain age it’s that you should never interrupt their ‘programs.’ That’s right. We all have shows that we like to watch. Sometimes (given our busy schedules), we’ve even been known to binge watch on the weekends.
So here’s something important you need to know: NEVER EVER try to speak with your elders in the middle of a game show or during their soaps. Seriously. Even if you smell smoke. Or you get called about a family emergency and have to leave immediately.
In their defense, and I can’t believe I’m even saying this, they already feel like they’ve lost so much. So many things we all take for granted – our health, our sight, our ability to come and go as we please – may one day be taken from us, too, leaving behind a shell of the life we once knew with very little to fill up all those empty hours.
So, if you really must have their full attention and you have no other recourse, tell ’em: “Buy A Vowel,” quickly turn off the tv and run like hell!
*BTW… does anyone know the answer to this puzzle???