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Monday, March 30, 2015


Damn, I am glad I’m old.  Not something you hear every day I am sure, but do not for a second question my sincerity in this.  I was born in 1967, and while this technically only qualifies me as chronologically “middle aged”, I am still the oldest old person I know.  I just read a great human interest piece about a saucy broad named Elizabeth Sullivan, who claims she has lived to the ripe old age of 100 and freakin’ 4 by drinking Dr. Pepper every single day.  Check it:  I also drink Dr. Pepper every day, but got a strong sense that Elizabeth could kick my ass, no problem.  Hopefully that won’t come up.  I could always distract her with the offer of a cool, refreshing Dr. Pepper if need be.  Elizabeth says she enjoys being old, and so do I.  Just another thing we saucy broads have in common.  I enjoy being old because I can be the cantankerous hey-you-kids-get-off-my-lawn-and-turn-your-music-down-old-bat I was born to be.  I can eschew technology, claim ignorance of all things Katy Perry and Taylor Swift and put the word “the” in front of things I want to demean, as in “the Facebook”, “the reality TV” and “the Donald”.  I can ignore the existence of social media, refuse to use a GPS and not answer a text for hours because I almost never check my phone.  I am old, and it is my best excuse to be me.

I am the first to admit I don’t have a freaking clue what all of you are doing on your phones all the time.  I check my phone periodically throughout the day to see if the school has called or whatever, but when I am sitting in a waiting room or in traffic or eating out at a restaurant watching all my fellow wait-ers, drivers and eaters stare down at their phones, all I can think is “WTF are they looking at?”  Seriously, somebody tell me because I am genuinely curious.  I think of myself as a person with a lot of friends and I absolutely adore them all, but I need be in daily (or hourly) contact with none of them.  I love to make plans to get together and then, if there is traffic on the way, texting is a great way to let them know I will be late.  Or if I’m at the store and my husband thinks of something he needs, he can text me and that is great too.  What the hell are the rest of you texting about all the time?  I am obviously a person who has a lead ton to say on every subject imaginable, but very nearly all of it can wait until we talk again.  I think this is why people at social gatherings don’t talk any more.  They are staring at their phones because they have already texted (or posted on the Facebook) every miniscule detail of every aspect of their lives so there is nothing left to say.  I never have that problem.
I really have no understanding whatsoever of the Snapchat, the Instagram, the Pinterest and whatever else it is you all are doing on the internet these days.  I would ask someone to explain it to me, but I feel it would go down very much like the time I asked a child who was obsessed with the Pokemon to explain the Pokemon to me.  I got absolutely no clarity from the explanation and I think I accidentally killed the kid’s passion when he realized he didn’t really understand the Pokemon himself.  Video games are also a mystery to me.  I, like most people of my generation, had a brief love affair with Atari, Space Invaders and Ms. Pac Man.  But not unlike my son’s rainbow loom, after a short but intense flurry of activity, I grew bored and moved on.  From video games.  Forever.  Because I’m old.  Old people realize time is of the essence and staring at a video monitor fighting imaginary aliens in imaginary invasions for hours is a ridiculously wasteful use of my brain and lifespan, albeit a lifespan that has undoubtedly been supernaturally enhanced by Dr. Pepper.  Video games are boring.  They are not life.  Neither is the “reality” television, which appears to generally be a venue for people who would like a permanent record of themselves being humiliated on a national stage.  Count me out on all that, you dig?

I am old.  I use expressions like “you dig” and “hip to the scene” (which I clearly am not) and I don’t pay my bills online and I still have a landline and I frequently leave the house without my cell and I think e-mail is a radically boss, high tech way to stay in touch with the people I love.  I use the expressions “radically boss” and “high tech”.  I am old and I am happy to be that way.  While most people are looking down at their phones, I am looking around at the world.  I love to flirt with little kids in the grocery store, often getting to enjoy their precious antics while the harried, distracted parent is staring at a screen.  I like to talk to cashiers and waiters, make eye contact with other people who aren’t staring at their phones when something amusing happens, walk out in nature for hours with no access to technology at all.  I don’t bring my phone to church, the movies or my yoga class.  I am old.  I have a million stories from ye olde days, when we didn’t have cable TV, answering machines or microwave ovens.  Happy stories, funny stories, none of them involving technology of any kind.  Technology adds very little to the story of our lives, and when we really are old, we will not be reminiscing about the texts we received or the posts we read.  The story of your life is happening now.  Don’t miss it, please.

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