Ironically, I am writing this for the second time. A few minutes ago, I lost my thoughts to this new computer system, which seems to be a regular occurrence with me these days. I really thought maybe I had conquered this computer, but it keeps letting me know who is in charge. At 85, I don’t seem to take to change too well, and I don’t really like being beaten by the computer. But I’m learning it’s part of today’s world. And it all sort of fits with the blog column I wrote because I was addressing the great changes in the world people my age have seen. Life at 85 can be a constant adventure.
For example, today my husband and I decided to venture out to find the local Dairy Queen. If the two of us weren’t old and didn’t live in such a traffic-mess-of-a-city, I wouldn’t label this effort “adventure.” However, since my husband can no longer remember where he is going, and I am blind and can’t read road signs … you get the picture. We usually only go where I can give him instructions these days—go right at that corner, turn left here, keep on going straight. But I’m afraid the places I am certain of in this area, which we’ve been residents of, for only half this decade, are few and far between. Also, I spent 74 years letting my husband drive while I basically daydreamed and didn’t pay attention; thus, we are now usually limited on where we can go. That’s why these outings are “adventures.”
Surprisingly, though, we had no trouble—we made only one wrong turn. However, the adventure this time occurred after we arrived. There we were standing in line to order a meal, and neither of us could read the menu on the board. Bob insisted I tell him what he wanted to eat (something that happens a lot these days), and neither of us could understand the clerk who had a strong foreign accent. We felt like idiots holding up the people waiting behind us. Finally, we got that ordeal over, and I returned to our seat to wait while Bob got the order.
Suddenly, I felt like it was lunch hour for school and a lot of kids were skipping class. The restaurant filled with a dozen young boys – all high school students, all almost six feet in height and none of them weighing more than 130 pounds! I never saw so many thin boys in my life. They all looked like their pants were about to fall off.
Three high school girls came in next wearing short shorts on their also-slim bodies. They looked cute and quite nice but the fact they could go to school looking like that shocked me. Now readers, I’m not so old I can remember when it was sinful for a girl to show her ankles, but I am of the generation when girls did not wear long pants in public. Back in my youth teenage girls wore skirts (poodle skirts if you were cool) or dresses with sweaters and saddle shoes (which were, no matter what, NOT supposed to be clean). When my daughters were teens, they wore short skirts or short dresses. My own “modern” mother assured me those skirt lengths were all right, but to this day, I am not convinced. The short shorts those girls in the Dairy Queen were wearing were actually a lot better cover than the miniskirts of the late 1960s, early 1970s.
I know I sound old fashioned, but I don’t really think of myself that way. However, so much has changed in the last forty to fifty years. In fact, so much has changed in the last ten! I have enough trouble with my cell phone and have to go to my granddaughter for help with that. And then you add the many new programs on the computer, the pop up ads I can barely see that the Internet produces, and you can understand how much I’m facing.
I do try hard, but days like today convince me that, despite the dictation program I use and the read-back program that helps, I am fighting a mighty hard battle. I am much more adept at losing copy than producing it. Is there anyone else out there who feels the same?