Friday, April 17, 2015
Electronics and Perimenopause
...as if those two go together.
"Here's another thing to avoid: breaking into peals of laughter if your tech-challenged quinquagenarian pulls out a flip phone or a BlackBerry. Remember--you're dealing with someone who might have fond memories of the busy signal or a typewriter or both."--Annabelle Gurwitch in The Care and Feeding of the Menopausal Woman in Your Life, Real Simple magazine, May 2015
And I promptly burst out laughing upon reading this. Mr. A, my 61-year-old sweetheart owns and prefers a flip phone. Occasionally I have to search amazon.com for a replacement as his is well-used and abused being the sole means of communication for his sign business. About a year ago, some young soul at the Verizon store got him to *update* to a slide phone and he. hated. it. My phone, a little rectangular number about 3/4" thick bit the dust, and I secretly coveted the slide phone he cursed daily.
I finally found the flip phone he wanted and he happily relinquished the slide phone to me with the caveat that I'd hate it. I don't hate it. I just recently, though, figured out how to answer it, depressing a numeral as opposed to pushing the button which gives auto-text replies. I first was in awe of a slide phone when my baby boy got one. He bought it for himself with funds from his first job as a lifeguard when he was 16 years old. He's 24 now, so in electronic years my phone is about 8.7 quintillion years old. And that's OK with me, resident quinquagenarian at The Ponderosa.
Quinquagenarian--a person who is 50 years old or whose age is between 50 and 60. That would be me, a word nerd who learned a new one today.
The rest of Ms. Gurwitch's article dealt with other delicate topics such as vaginal dryness and the need for ocular assistance in reading restaurant menus. Once again, I hear my mother's quiet wit, usually reserved for those closest to her, "My mini won't pause."
And oh am I reaping what I sowed when I used to kid her about wearing glasses perched on the end of her nose. I'm also reaping for wishing my older son's sixth grade teacher would take a tweezer to those long white hairs on her chin. Mine are black and I don't see them until I go on a search and destroy mission with the 5x magnification mirror. (You can get one of those at amazon.com as well.)
Oh, Mama, so far my mini hasn't paused long either and I breathing on 52. Oh it's taken a few breaks, enough to scare Mr. A into thinking he was going to be a daddy when he's papa age and enough to excite me into thinking this cyclical madness has departed forevermore, but no, the occasional, "Surprise!" Or as a boss lady I had when I was a teenager bluntly put it, "Damn bloody britches." (Spell check just asked me if I meant "bitches." Well, sometimes.) It had probably been a decade or more since my gray-haired boss who resembled Madame, minus the flamboyant accessories, had that laundry issue, but her contempt was palpable.
In case you're not old enough to remember Madame:
And I get it. Like when my hairdresser, who is a year younger than I, said she "stopped" altogether a couple of years ago. That hearkens back to pregnant women who said they were never sick a day when I had morning sickness all day long for six months. Whose idea of a prank is all this?!
As a quinquagenarian who is quintessentially cold, I've found myself on the front porch at night trying to cool down a little. I can't classify this experience as a flash, but more a surge, like the flush of humidity which can be felt before a summer thunderstorm. Not long afterward, I'll be back to my old self, under a blanket in mid-April.
Old. Old enough to know better, oldest person in the gym, old enough to have learned how to type on a manual typewriter, but I have no fond memories of a busy signal. Womp...womp...womp, how irritating!
In fairness to Ms. Gurwitch, I do not care for the busy signal's solution, call waiting. The long boooop interrupting my present call is downright rude. The person on the other end of the line should just wait their turn though I can't think of an acceptable way to tell them so because I find leaving a message on an electronic machine just as cumbersome as carrying a manual typewriter.
Despite my non-impressment with modern line-less telephones, I'm techno-geeky in my own way. I can make my iPad air 2 dance--the instant messaging on it, using a Zagg keyboard, is far more efficient than texting. Texting, talk about a 20-year step back in communication, hitting a key three, four times for the correct character and if you pass it by, starting over. Wait, that's on flip phones. No one uses those anymore. Except Mr. A.
And I sent my older son, a freak of nature when it comes to uber-intelligence, a voice message via iMessage, a trick I learned before he did. For people I can't see i to i with, meaning those who do not possess an iPhone or an iPad, I found an app called textfree which enables me to nottextbuttext, again, using the Zagg keyboard. I'm one qwerty kind of quinquagenarian, much more efficient than index finger hunt and peck communication.
But you know the one thing you can't do with modern electronics when perimenopausal peevishness strikes? Slam the phone down! Try that with one of these modern numbers and it's back to smoke signals as the damage is irreparable.
OK, I admit, smoke signals were ahead even of my time, but I have great memories of several relatives born in the late 1800s!