Thursday, March 06, 2008

Technology and Your Aging Parents

My parents insist on keeping up with cutting-edge technology; they must remain at the very forefront of innovation among their peer group. For example, they've had state-of-the-art Caller-ID technology installed on their home telephone line for upwards of one year, and are now working on understanding the principle and use of what we refer to as "call waiting" (they are still grappling with the concept; they don't understand why listening to incessant beeping is considered desirable or in any way informative). The former technology allows them to see who's calling in addition to waiting to hear what the person wants on the answering machine (skeptics, indeed). Caller-ID also allows them to think up cute ways to answer the phone while they are eating dinner. This is undoubtedly one of their favorite things to do. As soon as either parent realizes one of their children is calling, the natural instinct is to answer and say something like, "I'm sorry, the person you are trying to reach his moved. Please do not try again to contact them, as they've moved very far away to someplace without telephone poles." Tonight's in particular was a good one, and I think explains why if you haven't got a very good sense of humor about yourself in our family you are basically screwed. Context: I had e-mailed my dad earlier complaining about something very dramatic and critical. As the words "disillusioned" and "failure" were used at least once - words that I only throw around in the most serious invented circumstances - one could only assume something was amiss. I called tonight looking for sympathies because that is part of their contract, and can be called upon until they have in fact moved somewhere without telephone poles or my life is perfect in every conceivable way. He answers:
"Suicide hotline?"
".... Oh good, I thought you might be closed this late at night."
Ah and that is why I love them. Nothing's sacred. Well it's a good thing that the sole by-product of my "angst" has been the purchase and occasional use of a black eyeliner pencil.

No comments: