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​Plug Me In And Charge Me Up…

By Pam Pollock

September, 2016

It’s a pretty well known fact that I am a little challenged in the technology department. I get very overwhelmed when handed any kind of electronic device. I sputter, I sweat, I moan and groan. And don’t even ask me to read the instruction booklet.

I feel really, really bad for our kids, because my spouse is exactly the same way when it comes to cell phones, computers, and iPads. He, however, reads the instruction manuals and still is confused. We do our best to muddle through setting up our new toys but the patience virtue has sadly skipped over the two of us. We start out all calm and collected – which lasts for approximately 15.67532 seconds and then fury and wrath ascends and it’s not a good thing to watch! Our tone of voice rises with our exasperation and soon we are putting on a show that isn’t exactly PG-13 rated. Unless the grandkids are around, then we paste on that fake grandparent smile and use the fake “everything is hunky-dory” high-pitched sickenly sweet grandparent tone: “Oooh, Gaga seems to be having some trouble with this DVD player today.” Gaga wags her finger at the DVD player and giggles and says, “Naughty, naughty DVD player, why won’t you work for Gaga?” Inside, I am seething and I want to take a sledgehammer and just bash that stupid, blasted $*@^&#% DVD player. My oldest granddaughter (who is 3.5 yeas old) tries to show me how to work it but she doesn’t know if I turn the TV to Video 3 or 4 or 5 or 6… She rather testily tell me, “My other Gaga knows how to do this…” My fake smile grows even larger and I grit my teeth and pretend that is soooo cool and awesome. I then call my daughter and make her give me step-by-step instructions for the 284th time on how to get the Brave DVD to work.

Hurray! Success! The movie works but now our phones have received automatic updates and all of our contacts have been erased and I can’t send photos with my texts! What the ^$*#@! I yell for my son – but he feigns confusion because he has Verizon and I have Sprint. “But we both have iPhones” I bellow at him. He pretends that I am speaking a foreign language and he can’t understand a single word that I am saying. I sigh and call his sister – because you know, she’s not busy raising two children, working part time and building a new house…

My spouse, in the meantime, is experiencing technical difficulties of his own with his iPad. I tell him to just toss it in the dumpster and buy a desktop computer. He is not amused. I throw my hands up in the air, grab a box of Chicken In A Biscuit crackers and hide out in my home office. He calls the oldest granddaughter but she can’t help him out because all she only plays games on her mommy’s iPad.

We decide to jump in the car and get away from it all. I tell Siri to call someone from my contact list. I guess she doesn’t comprehend Western PA redneck dialect because she keeps repeating over and over, “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get your reply.” I call her a nasty name; she tells me that I am not a nice person and hangs up on me. Defeated, we shut the car off, locking it, of course, with our electronic key fob. We stumble up the front steps of our humble abode and collapse on the couch. “Do you want to watch a movie?” My husband asks. I threw my laptop at him…