Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Take Two Aspirin and Text Me in the Morning

Technology and I do not get along. I've stated this repeatedly I think, which makes me wonder why my mom keeps calling me for computer advice. It's a well established fact that I don't know how to fix things, only how to break them. Case in point, when the brakes start going out on the car, my solution is to turn the music up louder so that I don't have to hear the metal grinding against the rotor. I've discovered that's not the answer to cell phones or computers, however. I know because I tried.

To be honest that's not completely accurate about hating technology. I love technology - when it works. The problem is that I get so used to pushing buttons and every little flashy thing working as it should that the few times that it doesn't my life goes into a tailspin. I have the patience to enjoy a trilogy where every book is over 500 pages, but not the patience for the computer to reboot.

I also tend to forget that things wear out. Shoes, clothes, computer equipment - it doesn't matter. I expect things to last forever and just don't grasp that eventually they fall apart from use. When I wind up with soggy socks and prune feet after a rain storm, I inspect my shoes, which were fine last week, and am stupefied as to why there's a hole in the bottom. I had been careful. I hadn't stepped on anything sharp and I don't shuffle my feet like old men with muscle issues. Now I have a ruined pair of shoes with no explanation. I feel the same about car parts. Not brakes, however. I know why they wear out, but starters, alternators, even batteries, confuse me since they just sit there.

I was really flabbergasted the other day when the text feature ceased to function on my phone. It had worked properly just five minutes prior as I made my witty Facebook update that few understood. Now, it's not working and I have no idea as to why. I do what I always do in this situation and whine to the girls. This time it was Teri who rallied and called Sprint to keep me from sucking my thumb.

"They're having software issues."

"The software was fine ten minutes ago."

"Apparently something in the software upgrade screwed up all the Palm phones. They didn't know it involved the Pixies as well."

I hate that my phone is called a Pixie, especially a Palm Pixie. It just sounds...odd. "Wait. They send stuff to my phone?"

"Apparently they send upgrades at night."

That just sounded sinister. I wondered if they could send stuff to my phone if they could also take stuff off as well. Time to remove those pictures.

Three days I went with my text application not functioning. I was missing serious tweets! Yet, I was also missing messages from the kids and my mother's morning "I hope you have a great day. Love you." I don't think hers had periods in it, however. Still, life was now louder because I actually had to pick up the phone and talk to someone. Before, I could keep the radio up at full blare and send both girls an "I'm heading home" at the same time. This was going to hurt my relationship with Rihanna in major ways.

Everything can be done by text message nowadays. You can get weather reports, breaking news and Alyssa Milano's whereabouts. You can even order pizza, movie tickets and update your Facebook without ever logging onto a computer or talking on a phone. Soon, therapy and doctor's exams will be done this way as well.

"Oh, pus is oozing out of your big toe? Can you text me a picture please." So we do as we bite our nails off from the pain. "Why, yes, the lighting in your photo is bad but that does look like pus. You're going to need pliers and a straw." Hopefully, the doctor doesn't get side tracked like my children do and forget to text back. I could dehydrate from the gook seeping from under that toenail.

The phone call when you get home after a late night of partying is now replaced with a quick "Home safely" text. Of course, I won't know until the following morning when I'm on the toilet catching up on texts and statuses because I fell asleep before the person ever left my driveway. Don't call me in an emergency that late because I won't hear the phone ring. I'd sleep through earthquakes I'm told, which is good since I snore like a point four on the Richter magnitude scale. How the girls sleep through it I will never know.

Most conversations are done through text nowadays, which I know takes the personal touch off of it. When it comes to answering questions from the kids, though, this is perfect. I don't have to hear the whining that comes after every "No" or see the facial expressions that make me want to put the eighteen year old up for adoption. It also helps as my hearing is going.

"Wal-Mart’s on fire?"

"No, Dad. Mark got fired."

Texting is also great for calling the family to dinner at the same time without raising your voice or going from bedroom to bedroom. You can't avoid chores by hiding on the roof because a text sends the task to you regardless. It's a great intercom system without the static or squawk box.

Of course, people have used it for more erotic purposes but this is a family blog and I'll let you discover those experiences on your own. I will warn you to make sure a text meant for a lover doesn't accidentally go to your mom or to Facebook. She won't think it's funny even though the rest of us would.

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