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Monday, December 5, 2011


I’ve been thinking about technology the past couple of weeks. I have my first iPhone! The 4s. This was big for me. HUGE. Remember, I’ve had many cellphones that were TLC’s old ones. (See Hand-Me-Downs on January 20th.) I was near the end of my contract for my business cell and decided I was ready for the iPhone challenge. But I’m faced with the fact that I don’t feel like I’m completely capable of using all the stuff this amazing phone has to offer. Cut. Paste. Apps. Siri. Yikes.

I’ve also been trying to accept that I’m now considered a “Senior Citizen.” YUCK. Those two words make me shiver. (I always forget to ask for my Senior Discount. Hubby does, too. And he’s ten years older. Why don't all those peeps remind us? Probably because we look sooo young. Yes. Yes, that's it.)

Technology often frustrates me. For many reasons. On so many levels. Let me give you some background and maybe you’ll understand the “block” that happens to my brain when faced with too much new information.

My Hubby has always, for as long as I’ve known him, loved keeping up with new gadgets/technology. Not just because he must for his profession. It’s that curiosity and, I think, competitiveness, for which I believe most men have from the time they’re born. (I’m not saying girls/women don’t have these attributes. They do. I’m curious. Always have been. I simply don’t have a competitive bone in my chubby little body and I know a lot of women who feel the same. It's so "unMotherly," right?) Among our family members and friends, Hubby bought one of the first video cameras. He purchased it right before TLC turned a year old. It was huge and bulky. Although I was, at the beginning, against investing in it, I ended up being the one who video-ed EVERYTHING. We have VHS tapes crammed with what you Younguns would certainly consider mundane, boring and ridiculous silliness. If you’re 40 or older, you probably have many of these same types of VHS tapes on your shelves or in a closet. I wouldn’t take one billion dollars for them if you said I could have the money, but I’d have to give up the tapes, and those memories, forever. Nope. No way.

Then came the time Hubby bought me a new typewriter. Yes. Typewriter. Not computer. (That came five years later.) TLC was probably . It was the latest “memory” model. I spent years volunteering for many school and community organizations. Often I was “Secretary” (I’d actually have to read minutes at meetings). I was constantly borrowing his assistant’s typewriter. This one wasn’t expensive, but Hubby was proud he had “gifted” it to me and even spent time setting it up for me in our home office. TLC’s bedroom was on the other side of the wall of that room. The night Hubby brought it home, he suggested I come in, after putting TLC to bed, in order to "school" me on all its “bells and whistles.”

I remember being tired and wishing we could do this “lesson” another night. He was clearly pumped. Out of gratitude, I agreed. He told me to sit down at the desk. He was standing beside me—explaining how to turn it on, how to use the “correction” feature. Etc. Then he said, “I’ve been saving the best part about this as a surprise.” Hmmm. “Surprise?” I asked, sweetly. “Yep,” he said. “You can talk to this typewriter and it types for you!”

HUH? I looked at him with… major suspicion. Have I ever mentioned what a Practical Joker he is? Yep. And a good one, when he puts his mind to it. I don’t exaggerate. His acting is often Oscar-worthy.

“How ridiculous. I’ve never heard of that. That's cRaZy. I’m tired. Let’s get the basics out of the way so I can go to bed,” I stated, possibly a little haughtily.

“I’m not kidding! Just say a sentence. Any sentence. See what happens,” Hubby quickly suggested. Too quickly, actually.

I squinted my eyes at him, beyond skeptical. “Where’s the microphone?” I asked.

“Right there. Right in there. Just talk in there,” he said, pointing to the bottom left side of the typewriter. I saw nothing that looked like it could be a microphone. But he seemed seriously convincing.

“Now is the time for all good men . . .” I began.


“I knew it. You are so full of it, Mr. Goofball.” I was now getting truly annoyed.

“You’re not talking loud enough. Talk a little louder,” he encouraged.

“I don’t want to wake TLC.” This might have come out sounding like a threat.

“Well, you’ve got to be a little louder than that or it won’t work,” he urged.

“Now is the time for all good men . . .” I almost screamed.


I waited a few more seconds. Then turned around to find him laying face-down on the floor, laughing so hard his shoulders were shaking, tears streaming from his eyes, as he desperately tried to muffle his hysteria. BAM. Got me. Again.

“I can’t believe you thought it would type if you talked to it!” he said, between gasps.

He has continued, year after year, to genuinely and innocently wonder why I am never excited about the new technology he wants to buy. Satellite TV. Video recorders. DVRs. Cameras. Cellphones. Endless. Always needing major and detailed “instructions” for me to even begin to understand how to use these things. And my patience. My often-not-really-there patience.

I thought about this story as I “talked” to “Siri” the other day. He and I laughed as we recalled his (only one of hundreds) joke on me. I guess we knew, deep down, even all those many years ago, we’d be able to talk to some kind of device, some day in the future. And it’d type for us. The day is here. Yippee. And WOW.

This phone could be my greatest nemesis. I want to be successful. I truly do. TLC and Autumn have agreed to be “on-call” for my questions. (Hubby has a Blackberry. I'm glad.) Autumn should be most valuable to me, since we’re the same age, we think a LOT alike, and she’s had an iPhone for quite some time. TLC, also having had the iPhone for many years, sometimes gets that young person “edge” to her voice when she realizes I’m about to ask a “phone” question. Or, really, any question, now that I think about it. Just a tidbit of an edge. It’s okay, TLC. I completely understand how hard it is to try to explain things you already know to someone who doesn’t have a clue. Yes. Yes, I do know that feeling, Sweetie-Pie.

If I call you—and we get disconnected—HELP ME OUT. I give you my word I’m doing the best iCan!


Autumn said...

Yes, very entertaining, that story about the typewriter!
Now - I wanted to say that I found a guy who transferred all my old VHS tapes, even the little tiny micro sized ones, onto DVD's so I can actually watch them again! It has been several years since we've even had a VHS player, so I was thrilled!

The Leightons said...

Merci, Autumn! I was thinking you might have heard "The Typewriter Story" on one of those hundreds (thousands?) of walks we made during that time frame.

And I'm sure there are many Younguns out there who believe I must be truly ancient. Otherwise I should have known I could have those VHS tapes copied to discs. The truth? I did know it. I've been either too skeptical or too lazy to seriously check into it. Now that I know you've been through the process and it was successful--and you have the name of the expert for moi--I'm going to treat myself to this gift--ASAP!!!

Hope you're having a Marvelous Monday, Sweet Friend...thank you, as always, for your words of encouragement and wisdom!