EYESIGHT AND HOT FLASHES AND PASSWORDS
Is it me or has the entire world of all things needing to be read getting smaller by the minute? It surely can’t be my eyes, can it? Doesn’t it seem like everything that is targeted to my fifty something self- workout equipment, bottoms of lipstick tubes, the ingredients on my $100 jar of skin serum, directions to any piece of equipment is shrinking at a rate that takes my breath away. I find myself squinting constantly and I WEAR GLASSES! Don’t ‘they’ know that we, these bad ass fifty year old superchicks are the ones with the income who are buying all this fancy shit? And by the way if we are not buying it for ourselves we are buying it for our kids, just in case they didn’t get that memo. This is just a metaphor for everything these days that has just gotten so complicated. I always thought it would have been nice when VCR’S (remember those?) started coming out fancier with more bells and whistles if the MANufacturers (caps of the word MAN on purpose because surely if women had come out with the VCRS back in the day, they would have made them so much easier) there would have been two choices. Option A would have been all the nonsense I never used, never gave a shit about yet paid for it because I had no choice. Option B would have been on and off, forward, rewind, pause. Done.
Fast forward, no pun intended, to this crazy world and just as I get used to using my seventh generation iphone, I realize they already have an iphone 10. Did I miss the eight and nine? Is it just me or is my relatively new iphone 7 acting wonkier, losing battery life faster? Has Apple become the Evil Empire? I can’t keep up with this. And will Apple please stop reminding me to update to the newest and latest system? Didn’t I just do that like last week? (and by the way this coincidentally it seems that is when my battery started going rogue. If I skip the reminder twenty five times, shouldn’t smart Apple know that I am not interested and just free me? I mean they know when I get in my car and where I am going when I get in there, surely they must have the ability to know by my personal algorithm that I choose not to upgrade so that my life can be easier because some 25 year old in Cupertino California wants me to. And by the way, Apple, while I am at it, why don’t you just make a phone that doesn’t need an upgrade every other week, just saying.
How about when I go on to my computer and it starts telling me all kinds of things I need to do to update it. How about I DON’T WANT TO FUCKING UPDATE ANYTHING! How about a button for that. I want there to be an Option B. for everything. I want to have the option of staying put in my little technological comfort zone and make no changes. I don’t want to upgrade Microsoft Word, I don’t want to change my password. I don’t want to have to create some security question and answer to protect myself from whatever crazy people are out there. I get it. We all live under the illusion that we are in control. Not being able to see the fine print these days and there is lots of it, (you know that I AGREE button we all hit after not reading the ten page contract with said Apple and all of the others we sign?) is an opportunity to stop looking. I don’t really mean this. When I am sprinting on the treadmill in Kathy Martin’s crazy class at ELEVATE in Middletown, RI, I probably want to see my time, my speed, my pace, my incline, but all of this passwording and relearning of technology that I am perfectly comfortable in its existing form is enough to make me want to go back to bed. My serious fantasy is to relinquish all of it. Yes Facebook, email, cell phones, all of it. But then I realize how would I communicate all these writings that have given me such a sense of daily peace? The irony!
If there is a higher power out there watching this great experiment called HUMAN BEINGS, that said higher power must be laughing her or his general neutral head off as we type in yet another password that gets rejected because we forgot to capitalize something or add a number in the middle of the word. I can barely see the computer screen these days! I don’t want any more passwords. I don’t want my apple homescreen to download on my car screen, actually I don’t want technology in my car at all anymore. It is way too distracting. I just want to go back to a radio, maybe a cd player with an on and off button. Bluelight has taken over for sunlight. I don’t want to read a recipe online or a book on a kindle. I want paper, I want butter smears on the pages. I want the page to smell like the vanilla I accidentally spilled while mixing the ingredients together on a rainy day. I pulled out my piles of recipes this morning to locate some Hanukkah old faithfuls. The textures and stains combined with my notations and initials of the people who gave them to me brought me to the power of the present moment that no recipe on my too small screen phone could ever give to me. I want to read the daily newspaper and have to wash my hands afterwards to get the smudges of ink off them. I want to take my pile of real life magazines and peruse them with abandon because I can. The sound of the pages turning and the articles I rip out on travel that I place in a real folder in a real filing cabinet always surpass the folder on my desktop.
I do love to type my stories, but there is something about pulling out my old notebook and a sharp pencil to bring my thoughts to light as I sit comfortably on my couch bundled up in my grandmother’s silly lighthouse sweatshirt. There is something about going out into my garden and forgetting what a plant is named and actually going to a garden book and looking it up rather than “googling” it, or even better, just living comfortably knowing I don’t know. Seeing a bird and pulling out my binoculars and staring at it for a few quiet moments, hearing its song, appreciating its cause for pause.
In all of this trying to connect, I don’t know about you, but I feel more and more disconnected these days. I have 5 pages of passwords. (For those of you who don’t have your passwords in a safe place neatly written, please make that a new year’s resolution and let someone know, you can’t believe how much easier this will make someone’s life if said Higher Power decides your time is up). I want to turn on my old fashioned music and surround myself with the sounds of Ruthie Foster stunning voice belting, When It Don’t Come Easy, as I quietly contemplate my existence in candle light instead of bluelight. I want to be able to go to bed and actually sleep for an entire night without a hot flash to wake me up with a power surge that gets me out of bed. Is it too much to ask the companies that we have allowed to manipulate our souls to stop for just a minute and let us catch our breath? And while they are at it, maybe they could make the font just a little bigger. Is this too much to ask?