There’s no specific age or any singular event that starts the wheelchair rolling on those pesky senior’s moments. You’re not necessarily old at the sight of your first grey hair (of the non-ear variety anyway), or your sudden inability to read stop signs without squinting, or your not being able to recognize anyone under thirty on the cover of People Magazine anymore. It’s when you no longer care that you can’t. That’s the age of wisdom.
I remember being smugly amused by my mother’s inability to program her VCR (for you twenty-somethings, that was PVR’s grandmother), and could never have imagined being beaten by household technology. But last Tuesday I had a dignity-draining oldster moment in front of my own kids during a rare Must-See-TV frenzy I was in over the finale of So You Think You Can Dance.
Like any reasonable grownup, I don’t ask for much from my cable provider, just a clear signal, a realistic bill and a converter that doesn’t resemble the flight deck at NASA. But at 7:59pm as I eagerly turned on the TV and then the PVR (or was it the PVR first, and then the TV?), the screen showed a list of prompts I didn’t understand. As the clock display rolled over to 8:00pm, I grabbed the remote and frantically pressed channel 8, but that simply caused an ‘Error HD’ prompt I’d never seen before. I could hear voices (like there were real people in there!) but every time I pressed a button, the channel kept changing. When I did nothing, the channel kept changing. Even when I swore at it, the channel kept changing.
That’s when kids can be so helpful.
“Let me do it Mum!”
“No, I’LL do it!”
“I’LL DO IT!”
“GIVE ME THAT REMOTE!”
“I HAD IT FIRST!”
“And the winner of So You Think You Can Dance 2012 iiiis …
From now on, I’m leaving the tv set to the weather channel. I hear it’s pretty entertaining.