Today, almost everybody has a smart phone and texting is no longer limited to teenagers and twenty-somethings. Today at Target, I heard two second graders (there was also a discussion of second grade school supplies so I can absolutely confirm their grade) discussing SIM cards. Second Grader #1 looked at Second Grader #2’s cell phone, handed it back to him and told him, “You really need to upgrade your SIM card.”
All ages, from second graders to senior citizens, are caught up in the technology rat race. (I know, I know. Why would a second grader need a smart phone? I mean who are they even calling? And shouldn’t you learn to read and write multisyllabic words before you are allowed to text? LOL! JK! No, I’m not.)
Public opinion is probably more likely to question why a child would need a smart phone and I agree. But due to some deeply disturbing personal experiences, I am seriously questioning whether the senior crowd is really ready for the full capabilities of a smartphone.
There is a reason the Jitterbug was invented. (If you are not familiar with the Jitterbug, you obviously do not watch enough local daytime or late night TV programming. Try to remedy that.) It’s hard to picture Liam Neeson (he’s 61) or Susan Sarandon (she’s 67) fumbling around trying to figure out how to use an iPhone, but before you write me off as a gerontophobe, (not to be confused with a gerontophile…ewww), please hear me out.
FROM: Dad Cell
Spoke to Lane last night. He is okay with us getting married. No concerns at all. Wished us well.
WTF? Lane is my brother. I don’t think my brother would be okay at all with his sister and his father getting married. His relationship with my dad has been strained at various periods, but I don’t think even he would go this far for dad’s acceptance. I am fairly positive that he would not want to have to explain to my nephew why he should now call me Grandma Chelle.
Clearly this wasn’t meant for me. My dad had a girlfriend at the time (new territory for my family after losing my mom). But he had just told me a few weeks prior that they had discussed getting married, but weren’t considering it for “a couple of years.” Apparently, a couple of years equals now. I replied to my dad with a note saying I didn’t think this was meant for me. Perhaps, it was meant for Belinda (his lady friend).
On my way to work, I received a panicked phone call from daddy dearest.
From: Belinda Cell
My mom ran into Ronny Morrow. He asked whether we were dating. He told her Bob Hill has been telling everyone in town that we are a hot item.
First, why is Belinda randomly texting me? She only texts me for gift ideas for my dad. And who in the hell are Ronny Morrow and Bob Hill? These names sound vaguely familiar from stories from about my parents’ childhood, but I couldn’t really tell you anything about either gentleman. “Hot item?” My dad and some woman he (and my mom) went to high school with are now a “hot item.” Pass the trash can because I am about to be sick.
I forwarded this to my dad with a note saying I didn’t think this was meant for me. Perhaps, it was meant for him. I also included a snide comment about his being a “hot item” because how could I resist?
Missed call from Belinda Cell 8:06 p.m.
Missed call from Belinda Cell 8:08 p.m.
Voice mail from Belinda Cell 8:09 p.m.
Uh, hi Chelle. It’s Belinda…I just tried to call you and I am such an idiot. I didn’t end the call so uh, if you heard me and your Dad talking about you. Please know that we were just kidding. We didn’t mean it. Your dad said to tell you that before my hair turned gray I was a blonde. Can’t you tell? HA! Anyway, sorry about that. We were just kidding!”
After playing this voice mail, I was so overwhelmed with emotions (anger, sadness, anger again, annoyance) that I actually threw my phone. Even though, she failed to end the first call, I did not receive a message recording what she and my dad said. I would love to think they were discussing how smart and beautiful I am, but clearly they weren’t. And I never would have been the wiser if she hadn’t called and announced that they had been talking badly about me. Smooth move with the smart phone, granny pants.
There was no reply or forwarded message this time. I just let her and my dad stew in it and wonder what I had or had not heard. To this day, I still haven’t said anything. I am picking my moment.
There was also an incident with my dad’s phone involving a text from Belinda that mentioned her ta-tas. I just can’t make myself type the words to fully describe that incident here. Let’s just say if you ever caught your parents in the act and were so mortified that you thought you might actually die. Well, try seeing a sext between your widowed father and his lady friend. Take the mortification you felt and multiply that by infinity.
I’ll be getting a two-fer package deal on the Jitterbug this holiday season. I think I’ll make Lane tell Dad and Belinda to surrender their smartphones.