Happy (thanks) birthday (giving) to meeeeee!
Sorry, but I’m taking a tiny detour in the story of my court date this week, just to remind you all that my birthday was this past Friday (I know your present is in the mail) although the year I was born (around 1836) it fell on Thanksgiving. Yes, my parents wanted a turkey -- and they got me! Shut up.
And, to those of you who would ask, I have absolutely nothing to impart about turning 4,000 years old, except how lucky I am to have lived to see the day that I would be older than, say, air.
OK, I’m not really 4,000 years old ... I only FEEL like I’m 4,000 years old, and there’s a huge difference ... like, um ... well, trust me, there’s a huge difference. For example, I may not actually be old enough to get the senior discount on things like movies, hotels, airplane flights or headstones, but I’m ready for them, you know, mentally. And once one has mentally prepared oneself to be old, I think it’s just incumbent upon the world to accommodate that.
Like, old people -- either physically or mentally -- shouldn’t have to understand every freaking technological term out there. No one should ever walk up to a 4,000-year-old person and say something like “Apps.”
Yesterday -- and I am not making this up -- a student spoke an entire technology-related sentence to me in which I understood three words: the, in and of. That’s it. Oh, I heard a few things like “Facebook” and “upload” (or “download” -- WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE!) but those are only vaguely recognizable terms that have no real meaning for me. Youngsters do this just for a chance to laugh hysterically at us, and it should immediately result in yard work for a month while we “seniors” scream words at them that they won’t understand either, like: Culottes! Transistor Radio! Captain Kangaroo! Punctuation!
It’s also important to stop bothering us “elderly” with this Kindle and iPad stuff. I understand it’s all the rage, and young people look scornfully down upon those who prefer an actual book, but here’s what I say: When you run out of batteries, we are still reading; when we fall asleep reading and drop our books on the floor, which reawakens us, not to mention the dogs, at least the most we might damage is a $4.50 paperback, and possibly a lamp; whereas you could ruin a $200 piece of technology; and imagine if, instead of on the floor, you dropped it on your face ... not that I ever did that ... you could end up with extensive dental or nasal surgery, whereas we would simply keep sleeping, the only damage being a few soggy pages from drooling ... not that I ever did that, either.
It’s not that I don’t believe technology has its place, even for those who have reached the tender age of 4,000. For instance, even my 85-year-old mother immediately grasped the significance of technological advances like the microwave oven, the programmable coffee-maker, and the ability to shop online 24 hours a day. And, my 86-year-old father quickly appreciated the advantages of remote-controlled television and remote-controlled stereo (although he’s cursing Mom’s discovery of 24/7 shopping, and tries daily to implement “parental controls” on their computer -- if only he could figure out that “mouse” thing).
Also, when a person reaches “a certain age” -- in body or soul -- simple courtesies should be expected. I understand the requirements for a handicapped parking tag; I’m just saying that maybe there should be an additional tag for those of us who feel “a certain age.” Instead of the blue and white, let’s make it yellow, which represents the sun, which is the reason most of us “mentally elderly” are developing brown spots on previously unblemished skin. Or, we could make it purple, in honor of those varicose veins -- or, the burst blood vessels on the noses of those who needed cocktails every night throughout their parenting years!
And speaking for those women who might display this tag, I propose that they be given the following considerations by everyone under age 40: You will never call them Ma’am; you will always ask for identification before selling them alcohol; you will offer to drop them off at the door of the mall before parking the car, but you’ll insist that it’s because they look tired from working out all morning, which is evident in their gorgeous physique and athleticism; and, you will pass notes in class only about how ravishing and sexy your teacher is.
So, to reiterate: I was born on Thanksgiving, which was either an extra-special blessing, or an interesting -- and cruel -- irony. Knowing me as well as you do, what do you think? Yeah, me too.
Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker. Readers may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website, www.vickiwentz.com.