Remember Liquid Paper?


photo-259I was very mean to my mother.  When I was 17, we got a new IBM Selectric typewriter with automatic corrections and I gleefully threw the little bottle of White-Out away.  We also got a VCR (Video Cassette Recorder) and I smugly taped all my favorite shows, getting frustrated that she couldn’t learn how everything worked when I explained it all.  My mother stood by watching helplessly from that day on; incompetent to type without her old manual typewriter and unable to watch her Days of Our Lives soap opera with the complex remote controls.   But she had a prophecy:

One day when new inventions come out, you’ll have a child who is impatient with you.  And I’ll just call you up and laugh.  And laugh.

photo-258Today is that day.  I have a used Mac.  Someone gave it to me.   In my world, Mac is an expensive brand of cosmetics, a Big fast-food hamburger or a really cranky cab driver.  Apparently it is also a different kind of computer. Not only do I have this confusing Mac, but I also have three sons away at college who are technologically gifted.  Listen to the following phone call.

Youngest Son – – Mom,  we’ve been at this for over an hour. I have to get to class.  There are professionals who will come to your house and help you.  But I’m not “The Geek Squad.”

Me – –  Yeah, you’re more like “The Bleak Squad.”  If you could just explain it one last time – –  I promise I’ll get it.  All I want to do is write a post on my blog.  Please??  So at the bottom left of my screen, I double click the thing with the little thingy and the funny blue face, right?

Youngest Son – –  (long pause)  The thing with the little thingy.  Yeeeeaaah.  Listen, what is your ultimate goal here?  To share your humor, right?   Have you ever considered doing stand-up comedy?

I offer him my homemade lasagne if he’ll just come to the house and help me get things set up.  He asks if it’s the same recipe he remembers from living at home?  After I confirm it is, he tells me we have a bad connection, but he thinks his brother might be hungry.

In the time it takes me to search for my middle son’s number in my contacts list and refresh my memory with how to use Skype, his brother has already sent him a “Mom’s on the loose with her new Mac!” warning text.

Middle Son – – Hello Mom.  I Already ate. The thing with the Blue Face is called Your Finder.  That’s like your old “Start Up.”  But you have a great stage presence.  You could do a funny helpless routine that would make Jerry Seinfeld jealous.  Gotta go.

Me – –  Okay, Just tell me one thing. When I click on the cute little fruit with the bite taken out of it on the upper left corner and there’s a “Sleep” option, will that help with my insomnia?

Middle Son – – Click.

I explore on my own and manage to figure out that I’m now in a Garage Band and I already have a reputation for being a “Quick Time Player.”  I have a fear of tigers, so I don’t even think about clicking on “Safari.”

But I’m certain that my firstborn child won’t let me down.

Oldest Son – –  No!  Didn’t you hear me??  You cannot press, “Control, Alt, Delete” anymore!

Me – – So how do I stop that pretty iridescent disk from just spinning around and around??

Oldest Son – – Think of it like your old hourglass.  You just have to wait patiently.

Me – – Well, can I still “Escape?’

Oldest Son – – (Sigh)  Yes.  Yes,  you can Mom.  But unfortunately it’s too late for me to.

While the intelligent child that I taught to read (once upon a time ago) gets more and more sarcastic with me (and I get no help whatsoever) I receive a text from my mother, now 71 years old.

My three sons must’ve taught her how to type “LOL”.  Because that’s all it says.  Again and again – – as the Elton John song from the Lion King movie loudly blares from my cellphone, “The Circle of Life!”    Touché.photo-257

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64 thoughts on “Remember Liquid Paper?

  1. Pingback: An Open (Mopin’, Copin’, Gropin’ & Hopin’) Letter to the Internet: | Once Upon Your Prime. . .

  2. My husband is the Techi person BUT, as someone remarked, techies don’t have the patience or the wherewithal to go through ‘step by step’ instructions. When I first ventured into cyber world, he lost me after the what-cha-may-call-it … several times! So I enrolled at the nearest college and signed up for a class. He found out when he saw the bill, but I think he was secretly pleased that I did.
    All the best with the Mac, Stephanie. You have my sympathy.
    I have to say, I make a pretty mean Lasagne as well. Perhaps we can have a bake-off! 🙂

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  3. So glad you got everything worked out! My tech-savvy son gave up on helping when I got a Mac and my non-tech-savvy husband won’t touch it (which means nobody is ever on my computer when I want to be!). But once I made the adjustment, I loved it. Next thing you know, my son-in-law got a Mac because he knew how much I liked mine. Then my daughter (his wife) did, and now they’re Apple all the way. But HE got the year of tutorials that I didn’t, so I call him when I need help!

    Now we’re dealing with TV stuff. We dropped U-verse last week, and I’m trying to get the blu-ray player to connect to the wireless network for Netflix and Hulu. Not much luck so far, so I have to go watch the smart TV down in the cold, closed-in basement. Technology – once you get the hang of something, everything changes!

    BTW, you have a fun blog, and I’ll be reading regularly!

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    • You have really honored me with leaving such a fun and lengthy comment! I can tell you can so relate. We’re in the Tech Challenged club together. I really laughed about the Netflix thing. I cannot do it either!!! A million thanks for becoming a follower. I’m going to explore your blog now!
      take care,
      Stephanie

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  4. Well, for the first time since I’ve started reading your blog you’re reminding me of MY mother. The thing with the thingy. Yup. I’ve had to translate that. Good luck. 🙂

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  5. I lingered at “Garage Band” trying to guess what was coming next. That was a really good one!

    Warning to Mac aficionados: I am obviously already headless, so no need to bite.

    Good luck, Stephanie. Even my techiest kid won’t touch one. Of course, never look a gift horse in the mouth, but why was someone giving away a free computer? ‘Fess up: you rescued it from a computer shelter? It might make a nice lawn ornament, especially close to the curb.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my God! So funny! So true! So funny AND true!

    “The thing with the Blue Face is called Your Finder.”

    Why did they have to give it a face that looks like two faces?!? It creeps me out. Every. Time.

    In the future when I read your posts I’m going to have to bust out that towel I used to sit on when I was pregnant. You know what I’m talking about!

    😉

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    • Oh, and you should see the bewildered look on my father’s face as he watches my toddler, yes toddler, use the iPad. The whole concept of using your fingers to manipulate what you see on the screen terrifies him, and meanwhile, the toddler is sitting there messing around with Plants vs. Zombies. Kids, I tell ya . . .

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      • “One of us, one of us. Gobble-gobble, gobble-gobble.”

        Have we finally achieved super-creepdom yet?

        I love that you always know what I’m talking about!

        🙂

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  7. Oh my, oh my, oh my, that is the funniest post, you are amazing how you write.You and I have a lot in common…I think my tetchy son has changed his number! What is it with these kids, after all we taught THEM EVERY THING THEY KNOW…just not techi stuff. I am so glad I found you.

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    • AND I am so glad you’re back in the blogosphere! I’m telling you your blog said that it was “out of order” and I got extremely anxious seeing that message! Thank you for the compliments. And you’re right….we did teach them so much, didn’t we!!

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  8. Hahahahaha. This is great. This is what it’s like trying to teach my Dad how to use his droid. And I remember years ago when he was the first one to text in the house, and what a big deal it was. Now It takes him two hours to set up his new HP.
    If it makes you feel better, I would have been a little more patient coaching you through your new Mac…but no promises as to the amount of laughs/jokes I would have shared at a later family gathering at the Christmas dinner table.

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  9. My 13 yr. old granddaughter has been programming my phone for me for years. And I only use it for a phone…I don’t text and I don’t take pictures with it. I finally broke down and got an ATM card and my 11 yr. old grandson showed me how to get $$ out of that little machine.

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  10. This reminds me of the curse I put upon my 3 sons. It went something like “you will have kids just like you.” My oldest was on the Geek Squad and is attending Robert Morris University for his Bachelor’s degree in IT but I’ve given up asking him anything. His response to me is always “just Google it mom, that’s what I do.” My thing is I don’t care what he does, what he fails to understand is when someone has that God-given talent and another seeks counsel from them, they (the recipent of said talent) needs to share that with the seekers.

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    • Here, Here! I completely concur. I guess it’s my turn now to put my own prophecy out there on my kids . . . lol. Let’s see – – how about, “One day you’ll cook a dinner and try your hardest to please and you’ll have kids who turn up their nose at it and ask for cereal instead!” Thanks for commenting Stephanae!

      Liked by 1 person

    • But that truly is our open secret… I’m not a professional, but much of the time, when I’ve done diagnostics and troubleshooting for friends and family, I indeed do a web search for the problem.

      I do try to help them and walk them through it. Here’s the thing, however: I.T. professionals do not always make good educators, and that is the talent needed– at least in my experience– to effectively explain technology to people. In full disclosure: I was an education major.

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      • Ah, and that would explain your patience. You are correct that most IT professionals while having mad skills aren’t really people persons. I don’t think my son or others like him choose this career because they like the solitude, although it suits their personalities, but they don’t connect with people when it comes to walking them through issues. And perhaps, in their defense, dealing with people who aren’t very computer saavy aids in their frustration.

        I’ve just resigned myself to doing my own research and resolving issues on my own. But I do get a kick out of knowing technology or platforms that he’s not familiar with. Still haven’t had a chance to tell him “why don’t you Google it?” That, would make my day!!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Another winner! Sounds like the “apples” don’t fall far from the tree! As regards technology, yeah, it’s getting to the point in our household neither of us wants to tackle new technology. It took the better part of three weeks before the new HD TV was set up and working.

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  12. Oh my, that brings back some memories. I use to be the one who, at my parents frustration, took apart things and . . . well, most of the time, okay. . . some of the time put them back together. However, my father and I would have long conversations about some seemingly simple tasks on the computer. Bless him, when I would see him I saw he took copious notes in a binder of step by step what I went over with him. Even though some of those times were frustrating, I look back and enjoy them. Wonderful, fantastic and laugh filled detour, laughing all the way.

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  13. I like your style dear. I am completely dependent on my nephew Michael for using technology, understanding how places like WordPress work, and getting bottles of sherry out of self service supermarkets. But it’s worth aft soaping him to get the benefit of his skills, because I enjoy the results. Particularly reading gunny stuff like yours with a small Harvey’s Bristol Cream in my hand.

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  14. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL.
    (But with you, not at you.)
    I can’t even get my Now TV box to connect to the internet (so I’ve paid to have a little white, useless box sit next to my TV whilst being stuck with basic terrestrial channels). The pamphlet guff (‘instructions’) said it would be simple. I fell at Step 2.
    Congratulations on working out mac-based blog posting. (Unless you ended up chucking it out of the window and have gone back to Windows). Without your persistence we’d be bereft and you’re a long way for me to travel for gigs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Love this comment!!!! But in particular, how did you get your LOL’s to slant uphill? Or is that some sort of optical illusion? Bizarre! Thank you for coming over here and making me laugh and yes I am officially posting on my Mac!! yay!

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  15. That home-made lasagne sounds great to me. Though I don’t think anybody here would allow me to go over there and I’d probably not make it before dinner tonight. Have you figured everything out yet? Have you ever thought about becoming a stand-up comedian? I’d be one your biggest fans.

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    • You’re just the nicest kid! You wouldn’t turn up your nose at my cooking, would ya? lol. Well, you can’t say yet, can you?!! And you’d be one of my biggest fans if I did a stand-up comedy routine? I am soooooooo shy and hate public speaking so much that I would have to write down my jokes and pass them on notes around to the entire audience. If would be the quietest act ever. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hahahaha I can definitely relate to this. I just switched from an iPhone to a samsung because I needed a change, but I didn’t think about how different the phones were. ..I had to call, text, and have private tutoring sessions with my 18 year old cousin to figure it out. ..And I’m still lost! Gah. Technology. Change. Bah humbug.

    Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • But the Samsung came with a much lower price tag, didn’t it? 😉

      The hardware for most phones is pretty similar, actually; it’s the operating systems that differ. Good luck on your switch from iOS (the operating system most mobile “i” Apple devices use) to Android (which most Samsung mobiles use). It could have been a switch to Windows 8, you know… 😉 😉

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  17. Man I can relate! Yesterday I changed the hosting site for my blog…by myself…after watching AND reading the tutorial over 25 times. In the middle, I thought all hope was lost. I had to call tech support, and he didn’t disappoint. In the dictionary under condescending is his picture. After I got the email that the files had transferred, there wasn’t enough wine on the planet to get my shoulders off my ears…it was 2:30 in the afternoon.
    Love you, love your blog. We are kindred souls.
    XoxJanet

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    • Somehow I missed this great comment. And yes, I do believe we are kindred souls. Thank you so much for relating that impossible incident. If I ever try to change a “hosting site,” it will just be from my living room to maybe my back patio. And hopefully the party guests will still think I’m the “Hostess with the Mostess.” 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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