My parents just got new iPads. Now before you wonder why I’m telling you this, let me just say one thing. My parents are no technological wizards – but they aren’t afflicted with a disease I like to call we-think-we’re-technological-whiz-kids-but-really-we-don’t-know-a-thing-about-technology-and-can-barely-use-the-TV-remote.
No, my parents can operate a remote. It’s Harry’s parents that have issues with all those buttons. Seriously. They once called us to ask why they had no sound on their TV. Fortunately, Junior was visiting at the time and successfully found the MUTE button for them. He was 9. And this is why nobody wants them to have a cell phone that could in any way be labeled as “smart.” Also? Why they have a 7-year old computer that is only used to decorate their office. How they managed to raise an engineer (Harry) is seriously up for debate.
But back to my parents. While my parents are usually able to operate the remote for their TVs and they have been quite able to get what my 90-year old grandma calls “that nice Siri lady” from their iPhones to be polite to them and not to recommend where my father might find an escort service, my parents do have a technological disease. It’s called oh-it’s-the-latest-gadget-and-I-must-have-it-and-then-annoy-the-entire-planet-with-it.
Seriously. It’s a very common disease and you probably know someone suffering from it. Someone like me, in fact.
The second day after my parents received their shiny new iPads, they discovered Facetime. For those of you not familiar with it, Facetime is the thing we all read about in science fictions novels in the 80s and were terrified would come true. Yes, I’m talking videophones here. And yes, I know they had them on their iPhones, but my parents are not spring chickens. The tiny screens prevented any facetime happening because honestly? There is a reason my dad needs a 50-inch TV to sit two feet from him.
So the first time they facetimed me (and yes, I know “facetime” is not a verb), was 8 AM on a Sunday morning. My parents live in Texas and for them it was 10 AM. They’d already been up for half the day. I, on the other hand, had just gotten out of the shower and put my giant, black cast back on my arm when they called.
Have I mentioned I was only wearing an arm cast? Because that’s all I was wearing. And yet, I still answered for one very important reason. They are my parents. If they are calling at 8 AM on Sunday, something is wrong.
Turns out that something was my parents’ ability to tell that it was two hours earlier in California.
And after they said “hello” and confirmed that nothing was wrong, the only thing I could do was scream, “I’m naked!” To which my father replied. “Yes, we know. The camera is on you.” And mom added, “You should put on a robe before you answer the phone. Now show Dad your arm so he knows how big your scar is.”
And that’s when I hung up. I mean, honestly, isn’t that what any sane person would do when confronted with a videophone at 8 AM Sunday when they weren’t dressed?
Turns out after torturing me, they moved on to torture my sister, who was dressed. And the next day, they called me again, just so my grandmother could see me. Luckily, I was dressed. However I didn’t have makeup on, which caused my grandmother to ask if I was ill, ask to see the scar on my arm and follow that up with, “these aren’t the most flattering cameras, are they?”
Imagine what she would have thought the day before. No, wait, don’t. I wouldn’t everyone to suffer the way I’ve been suffering. Anyway, the important thing here is this: all those years ago, in the 80s, I was so right to be frightened of videophones.
Because they are here now and there is no escaping them.Add me to your rss reader | Become a Fan on Facebook!