My days are filled with reminders that I am no longer young. I wake up each morning with stiff and aching joints. I can’t apply make-up without the help of a magnifying mirror, which is annoying because the magnifying mirror also does a terrific job of revealing every single wrinkle on my face. (When I use a regular mirror I only notice my sagging chin and eye bags, but I found out the hard way that it’s not a good idea to apply mascara when you can’t actually see your eyelashes.) I am reminded daily that I have nowhere near the strength or stamina I had even ten years ago. One way or another, it is impossible for me to forget that I am getting old. And while I may not especially like it, I do accept it.
But accepting the fact that I am, shall we say, “a woman of a certain age” doesn’t mean that I enjoy being treated as if the fact that I am old also means I am incompetent and stupid. Which is why I tend to get just a bit crabby when either my computer or my smart phone decides to act up and I am stuck with the daunting task of trying to get it fixed.
I’m not the sort of person who panics the minute something goes wrong. I always try to identify the problem and look up ways to fix it before I finally (and reluctantly) ask for help. And I put off asking for help because I know that as soon as I do, I will be told by someone half my age that the problem must be that I am doing something wrong. Because if someone who looks like me (see above reference to sags, bags and wrinkles) is having a problem with her technology, the problem has to be that she isn’t bright enough to work it properly. It can’t possibly be the fault of the computer, the smart phone, or the I-Pad, etc.
I once spent an hour with an employee at a cell-phone store who kept telling me that the problem I was explaining simply couldn’t exist. Politely but persistently, I assured him it did. (We old people can be stubborn.) And even when, after exhausting all other possible explanations, he finally realized that I was telling the truth, he didn’t actually acknowledge I was right. He just fiddled with my phone some more and handed it back to me, assuring me that it was now working just fine. And then then went to “help” the next customer.
I know I’m not a whiz at technology, and that I was born back in the days when phones were rotary, televisions were black and white, and there was no such thing as a personal computer. None of this comes naturally to me. But I have learned how to operate a smart phone, publish a blog on the internet, and even send a decent text message as long as I remember to put on my reading glasses before I begin typing. So I think I have earned the right to at least be given the benefit of the doubt when I say that something on my computer or phone isn’t working properly.
There’s so much more I could say on this subject, but I don’t have the time. My 87-year old mother is having problems opening her emails, and I have to go over to her house and figure out just what she is doing wrong…..