WHY DO OLDER PEOPLE HAVE CELL PHONES?

For the love of all things holy, it doesn't have to be this difficult!

 

There are certain questions in life for which we may never have definitive answers…. 

Where do we all go when we die? 

Why must we speak in tongues at Starbucks? 

Why do kids on soap operas go from infant to college in three years? 

And just why, why, why do older people bother to have cell phones? 

Help me understand. I really wanna know.  Please feel free to present your theories, and the most plausible will be posted here in a subsequent blog post. Winner will receive a free subscription to muffintopmommy for life and my unending gratitude. (Depending on how you view it, the prize is either worthless or priceless. It’s on you!) 

This question has been bugging me for a while. I’m not proud, but I’ve frequently gotten huffy with my rents who travel two hours to visit us, but don’t call when they leave to give me an ETA. (So I can make sure I’m home when they arrive. Or maybe NOT WORRY about their well being! Wouldn’t you think they’d be totally into that since they appreciated the heads up phone call– and probably would have put a tracking device in my shoe had it been available– when I was growing up?) 

The rents also fail to answer their phone when I call to inquire as to their whereabouts. My mum and dad will arrive, and mum will throw her hands up in the air all “Oops! I guess it was at the bottom of my purse and I didn’t hear it!” (In her defense, it’s totally possible my dad blasted talk radio at concert decibels. But bottom of the purse–not prime hearing the phone ring locale.) This is the same woman, God love her, who til recently if I called her on my cell and lost the connection, she’d call back my house and leave a message, “Hallo! Hallo! What happened? We got disconnected!” I mean, would I hang up on my own mother? Shouldn’t she know I wasn’t raised that way and assume I was on my cell? Or look at her caller ID to see where I called from? Nope. She called me the other day to ask if I called and hung up on their answering machine. (Again, why would I crank call my own parents? Huh? She’s not a cute boy and it’s not 7th grade, circa 1985.)  

 “Was I on your caller ID?” A tiny part of me thought maybe 2 year old hit redial or something. Oldest called Nebraska once so you never know! 

 “Oh, you know, I never even thought to check that!”  Freaking Comcast, just stop taking caller ID money from anyone over 65, you scammers! You know none of them even use it! 

I swear to God, I am not trying to make fun of my beloved mother who gave me food, love,  shelter, and Nike Cortez sneakers. I am not. I simply don’t understand. I know this is gonna bite me in the muffin top some day when my sons are all flustered that I don’t remember to call them in the Andes in 3-D or whatever the hell we’re expected to do then. 

My friend’s parents never even got caller ID. (They are so banking that $5.99 a month at least.) But now caller ID automatically shows up on their tv when it’s on so they think they’re all funny answering, “Hi, friend of muffintopmommy! HEE HEE.” when she calls. (I’m not going to start outing friends, sorry.)  But…but… the 90’s called and they want their joke back. OMG. 

This whole cell phone madness finally came to a head the other night.  Unfortunately, the rubber met the road on a jammed Route 93 South in New Hampshire. We were taking the fam to meet the in laws (Follow along…totally different set of older people…I’m equal opportunity with my phone snark.) for dinner about thirty miles south in Massachusetts because my son and hubs both have birthdays this week. You figure 30 miles, 30 minutes? Give or take an unexpected potty stop or two? Except we forgot it was the Sunday after the end of school vacation week for Mass. (That sound you heard Sunday night was me slapping my gigantic forehead.) So, there we sat on 93, along with every Bode and Lindsey disciple who came north to New Hampshire to ski for vacation and now voyaged south to get home.  

After the highway screeched to a halt, we jumped off  the nearest exit, and soon found ourselves winding our way down random back roads, blindly heading south. (Not really blindly. We did both get our licenses in Massachusetts so our driving skills are probably questionable in other regions of the continental United States, but our eyesight is totally fine. And while the registry, aka DMV, officer who administered my driving test junior year in high school did ask me if I had an eye deficiency after I parallel parked, I still passed with flying colors. Okay, I passed–barely–no need to be a show off! Someone has to barely make the cut or there’d be no cut, am I right?) 

Anyway, after it looked like our circuitous voyage would be a rather long one, I said to the hubs as I eye balled the hungry trio in the back, “You better call your parents and tell them we’re going to be really late. Or even ask them if they want to start driving north and meet us halfway somewhere else to eat.” 

“Yeah, you’re right.”  Of course I’m right! That’s the wife’s job! Scratch that. If I were that smart, we wouldn’t have gone 93. And I’d be way better at parallel parking.  

So the hubs dials up the parentals….and…..NO ANSWER. 

I raise my eyebrow. 

Dials them up again five minutes later. NO ANSWER. 

I raise my voice. (Which was difficult. Given the intense competition coming from the bleacher seats.) 

And again? He dials. And you guessed it….NO ANSWER! NO ANSWER, NO ANSWER, NO ANSWER. NO. ANSWER. 

I raise my pointer finger and squint all mommy/tv trial lawyer/Bubba Clinton. “WHY EVEN HAVE A CELL PHONE!!!!” 

“I know! This is your next blog post. Why do older people have cell phones? WHY!” 

After our collective (and surprisingly cathartic) huff is over, I finally figure out, A-HA! We can go all 90’s and just call the restaurant, like you’d do if someone had NO cell phone.  Rocking the brain cells that night! 

Hubs gets the restaurant number right away off the iphone (See! Cell phones are your friend!) and explains the sitch to the hostess. 

“You? You….have TWO parties of 7 for 5 o’clock for Dick?” 

Seriously? I cannot make this shit up. Two parties, under the name “DICK” for half past the stroke of blue light special. 

OMG, my mind can’t help but wander as he looks at me dumbfounded….what are the odds? Eleventy billion to one? I swear to God, I’m gonna go buy one of those MEGABILLIONTRILLIONMULTISTATE lottery tickets. Because with odds like there being two parties of 7 at 5 o’clock for Dick, I think we just might have the chance to be sunning oceanfront at the Cape some day on our own freaking Kennedy-esque compound! 

Why yes, I would like my Bud-Light in a frosty mug, thank you, Jeeves….just leave the stack of People and OK! right over there by the massage table!  

Snap! Paging muffintopmommy…. 

“Oh, one has a high chair? Okay, then that’s our…Dick. Yup. Yes. Oh, he’s not there? Okay, well if he checks in can you tell him we’re going to be pretty late because 93 was a parking lot? And can you ask him to call his son?” 

At this point, steam is coming out of my typically calm husband’s ears. (That’s not good, because that’s my job, along with being right!) 

“Well, I feel badly they’re going to be waiting so long for us.” Translation: I feel sorta bad but I postulate that if I were in their shoes, I’d be lovin’ me some bar snacks and frosty adult beverages, while I watched some Bode butt on the flat screen in the restaurant bar. (What? I am not obssessed with Bode. He’s from NH and I’m all about him representing is all!) 

“Too bad! Serves ’em right for probably sitting on the cell phone in the car with the ringer turned off!” Dial down the anger, boyfriend! We’re just minutes from toasted ravioli! 

But then….the baby starts whining, 2 year old keeps shaking his head saying, “I don’t see the Ta-toe, I really don’t see the Ta-toe!” (The Chateau!), and birthday boy says he has to “pee and he doesn’t know how long he can hold it…”, and there is not a store or a business in sight in Eastbumblebee, Cow Hampshire. 

 “Dad, are you SURE you’re going the right way?” 4 year old demands.  

“YES!” husband uncharacteristically snaps as the team starts assaulting us one by one. Yeah, he so had no clue and the gig is about up. They’re totally turning on us. 

In the midst of  this family fun adventure, I start rethinking my steadfast claim that I don’t need a GPS because, “I don’t go anywhere but Tarjay or the grocery store!” If we’d had a GPS, we might have known there was traffic. Calling the in laws would be a moot point. We’d have gone another way, and been yukking it up over toasted ravs. 

Maybe our blame and cell phone fury has been totally misplaced this entire time! We’ve been livid with the collective older folk in our lives for not using technology to our liking and to our advantage but WE could have had a completely different trip had WE gotten all 2008 and gotten a GPS! 

Smug much, muffintopmommy and hubs? 

Anyone know where I can get a deal on a GPS?? Preferably one that’s, ah, easy for a technology challenged mom to use?

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12 Comments

Filed under Mom-ness, OH &^%$!!, Random Rage, Some things just don't fit into a neat little box. The uncategory!

12 responses to “WHY DO OLDER PEOPLE HAVE CELL PHONES?

  1. Erin

    Ok MTM, get this one…My father-in-law was given a cordless phone by his son b/c he had only one phone (an old school phone with cord and all) on the second floor of his apartment. My dear sweet father-in-law took it with him to the MALL and tried calling his kids. He was simply baffled that he couldn’t reach anyone. He thought he was given a cell phone… Yikes!

  2. Katerina Schnitzelvonheiss

    I’m sure this doesn’t apply to your parents… However, as disturbing as it sounds, more and more old fogeys are getting cell phones to “sext.” No, I am not kidding.
    Evidence:
    1. http://www.aarp.org/family/love/articles/sexting_not_just_for_kids.html
    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFCUqozOhOY

    • muffintopmommy

      OMG! That is VERY disturbing! I am sure my rents would not be able to figure that out never mind be into that. I’m not that surprised though…I just heard about one of those senior living villages down in FL having an outbreak of um, stds, a few years ago. ICK!!!! I guess I didn’t give the older folks enough credit bc I can barely text never mind sext. EEEW.

      • Lisa Feeney

        the sext reminds me of a nursing home in Demark that actually has “ladies of the night” hired to come in and “please” the older men cause they were driving the older woman insane there!!!

        My dad doesnt have a cell phone. He wont get one and so many times it would be handy if he had one but if he did he would never answer. He has the phone on the wall with a cord and its a ROTARY phone!!! No voice mail no caller id and he is perfectly content with it all!!

  3. Deb

    My 75 yr old MIL is so tech savy, she can email, text, and use her cell phone all at the same time. My mom often tells me she can’t hear the phone ring, but we all pretty much believe her since we’ve been telling her for years to get her hearing check. She insists she can hear just fine. Yeah, right.

  4. mimi

    so true!! my folks have a cell phone and it’s NEVER on (except when they make the rare outgoing call).. When they travel, they never remember the cord to plug it in! and they don’t know how to listen to their messages… The best is that when they decided to get a second cell phone, they got one through a different cell company so that they could talk to each other : ) so much for being the thriftiest people I know!

  5. Jen D.

    My parents still have an old fashion answering machine and no caller ID. They have cell phones and Dad will always answer his, but Mom never turns it on, although she always has it with her!!

  6. Wow, i like this article , Thx

  7. Breonna

    Hey muffintopmommy I am a Nursing student and I wanted to ask permission to use this photo in my nursinf informatics project.

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