Old People & Technology: How Cute!

Today at work I had to watch a mandatory video on sexual harassment. It was corny and cheesy and laughter-inducing, as such videos often are. To make matters worse, they made me watch it with another new hire who happened to be blonde and female. While we were leaving the conference room I had a sudden, overwhelming urge to slap her on the ass and say something like, “what a hoot that was, sugar tits.” Of course I would have been kidding, and while I think she would have laughed it off under the circumstances – we were snickering throughout the fifteen-minute video – I didn’t want to risk my job two weeks in.

Probably a wise move.

And, I’m happy to report I survived my first day on my own. A whole bunch of people stopped by ye olde cubicle to ask how I was doing, which was touching and much appreciated. There were a couple of email requests that tripped me up temporarily, but I avoided any episodes of full-blown panic and nobody yelled at me, so I’d call it a successful first day flying solo.

But enough about work.

Over the weekend, Tara and I took a momentous, important step forward in our relationship. That’s right, I popped the question and asked her to m…

…ove her cell phone plan over to mine.

Actually, we had talked about it a few months ago. Her contract with Verizon was expiring, she wasn’t happy with her carrier, and she was ready for a smart phone. I’ve been with Sprint forever and am pretty happy with them, and checking into available plans I realized I could add a line, switch to a family plan with unlimited data, and save myself about $40 a month. Tara, too, would save a few bucks this way. So, we went to Best Buy yesterday, signed on the dotted line, and walked out with a joint cell phone plan. Tara remarked that this was our first joint anything together, and I joked that a shared phone plan is the 21st-century equivalent of a strong commitment. It’s true, when you think about it. A generation or two ago a boy and a girl swapped promise rings or skate keys. Today, they share minutes. She also ended up with her very first smart phone, and is having a blast playing with it.

It’s so cute when old people embrace modern technology. (Courtesy of soundadoggymakes.com).

Tara’s not the only one who has ended up with a new smart phone recently. About a week ago, my parents took the plunge and got one. Which is both adorable and also quite funny. Because – no offense mom and dad, I know you’re reading this – older people and technology are hilarious. We were over there for dinner last week and my mom was pressing buttons willy nilly, asking what this one does and what’s the function of that one and am I using data or media and do I want to buy a $10 flirting app (seriously, mother???) because an ad popped up on her screen advertising said app. Gee, I don’t know, do you want to keep the romance alive with dear ol’ dad, or after forty-four years of marriage is a wink and a nudge a lost cause?

And why am I even talking about this?!?!

When my mom told me she took a picture with her phone of a picture on her computer screen of my brother to use as his image on her phonebook contacts list, I nearly lost it.

Get this: she ended up taking a class on Saturday that teaches old people how to use smart phones. How cute is that? (Given the whole taking-a-picture-of-a-picture thing, this was probably a wise idea). So far my folks are insisting on keeping their land line, although I predict that’ll go the way of the dinosaur within one year. In this day and age, there is simply no use for landlines anymore, and I’m sure they’ll figure that out soon enough. If my mom can tear herself away from Angry Birds long enough to actually answer the phone, that is.

I just hope she never signs up for a Facebook account. The idea of trying to explain concepts like “tagging people” and “timelines” gives me a headache.



Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

15 thoughts on “Old People & Technology: How Cute!

  1. “That’s right, I popped the question and asked her to m…

    …ove her cell phone plan over to mine.”

    VERY clever writing, Mark! You had me there for a second!

    And brava to your folks for taking the plunge and getting a smart phone. MUCH better than me because, as you know, I don’t even have a cell phone let alone a smart phone.

    Yeah…and I still have a landline phone 😦


    Fred Flintstone


  2. Hahaha….Sugartits…that’s a good one!! LOL

    I love my landline….it even has a tail!! How cute is that?!?! I have my landline because I do have an older person living with me who admitted that technology intimidates him. I’ve offered to show him the ropes and I have even offered to check out classes at the Community College and yet he refuses. So there you go….

    I love that you and Tara are so committed! With a shared plan being the 21st century commitment…were you like all nervous and stuff…like on a wedding day? Just wondering!!

    Skate keys….love it!!


    1. “It even has a tail.” THAT made me laugh out loud for real, Tracy. OLFR.

      The thought of David with a cell phone brings a smile to my lips. Just can’t picture it, you know?

      And no, I wasn’t quite as nervous as I might be on my wedding day. Guess that’s cuz we’re already shacking up!


  3. Yeah, probably wise to avoid the old slap on the ass. But I know what you mean about old people and technology. My mother is hopeless, at best, though Sara says I don’t use my smartphone for anything other than checking blog stats and comments on the run. Oh, well. Congrats on the big step forward in your relationship. Shared minutes are no small deal.
    Hugs to you and Tara,


    1. I figured a slap on the ass would be better than groping or fondling, but I suppose HR doesn’t look at varying degrees of sexual harassment so much as the offense itself.


    1. No, you’re not old! Because if you’re old, that means I’m getting old, and mother…that just ain’t happenin’!

      Still not sure how you can have a “wireless landline,” though…


  4. Good call on subduing your sense of humor in the workplace – best to play it safe. I was talking with some young adult whose mother was texting and innocently used the term “WTF” when commenting with surprise about something – the appalled offspring had to give a quick lesson in the meaning of text abbreviations.


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