MY MIL HAS NO DIGITAL LIFE
Another repost, because of my Twitter status update and BlaBla’s comment…
With the constantly emerging stream of new technology; I can only begin to imagine what an alien world it must seem to my 82 year-old Mother In Law.
As a girl she never dreamed of owning a car, flying in an airplane or watching television. She speaks proudly of her working days and tells how she was the first person in her office to be taught the workings of a Telex machine and how, years later; she did research for her company using the Microfiche system. (It is interesting that these words are so obsolete that my Microsoft dictionary is rejecting them).
She has wonderful conspiracy theories and believes that the staff at Checkers are inferior to those at Woolworths, that they steal a few slices of bread from the Best Of Both packs before putting them on the shelves and skimp on the sugar in their All Gold Tomato Sauce. No amount of reasoning will convince her that these items all come from the same factory and are not manufactured ‘in the back of the shop’.
We gave her a cell phone recently; she’s very frail and we need to know that she can contact us in the event of a fall or worse. She is very mistrustful of it and has refused steadfastly to use it, until last week. She asked me to draw a bank statement for her “but use the auto bank machine outside Woolies, they give a much better statement than those people inside the machine at Checkers”.
I wasn’t gone long and pulled into my driveway to find her standing there, agitatedly muttering down at her cell phone screen. I asked what was going on and she said she had wanted to catch me while I was at Woolworths to ask me to bring her some scones;
“But that rude girl inside this phone kept bleating on about insufficient airtime and, even when I said I just wanted a quick word with my daughter in law, she didn’t listen to me and carried on talking. These young people have no manners any more!”
She has just been in my study to tell me of her experience this morning. She went to have a blood test at the local pharmacy and the pharmacist asked if he could take a photo of the procedure for their soon-to-be-launched website. “I’m going to be famous” she said “please watch out for me on the internet and can you tape it for me when it comes on?”