Learning a New Language Can Save Your Brain……or Your Relationships

We had to do it.  After more than 5 years of a flip phone, which we lovingly called an “Amish Phone,” in my family, we had to get my 89-year-old mom a smartphone.

We considered a Jitterbug, because of the big numbers, and other capabilities that would be what she really wanted in a phone, but after interviewing some of her friends who had the Jitterbug, the smartphone seemed better for mom.

My mom texts. She checks her email. She wants to get all those cool photos my brother sends from all over the world. And she does have an iPad, so I thought there would be a bit of intuitiveness in her use of a smartphone. I was so very, very wrong.

First, and this is my fault as well as my mom’s, we didn’t get her an iPhone. We got her a Samsung. So any comparison to the iPad was already (in her mind) off the table. I have an iPhone and an iPad and at first, I didn’t find the Samsung so outrageously different. And yet, different it is.

We pushed buttons, arrows, question marks, houses, envelopes, and do-hickeys of every kind. We renamed them, the house, the three buttons, the mail, the three lines like sheet music. We renamed everything to improve our communication, so that I wasn’t yelling, “NO….NOT the up and down dots, the sideways dots.

We spent a girls’ weekend putting in her contacts (not in her eyes, in her phone) by hand from her old phone, because it had no bluetooth capability to transfer the information. Who knew mom and I would have to learn a new language in our 60’s and 80’s just to have a nice girls’ weekend?

My sisters took over on that weekend for a few hours to add games like Spider Solitaire, Free Cell and who knows what else, because….yeah……my mom plays games on the computer and iPad and wanted them on her phone as well. I DON’T EVEN PLAY THOSE GAMES.

It’s been about 2 weeks now.

Mom and I went to lunch yesterday. She showed me all the cool things her phone can do. She kept getting the camera to show up unexpectedly, so I asked the waitress if she had an android, and if so what makes the camera appear? She said if you press the ‘when-in-doubt’  twice, that’s what makes it happen. (She didn’t really say that, she said the ‘home’ button, but in CATHAMOM, our new language, it’s the big black button in the middle called the “when-in-doubt-press this button to get back to the beginning”).

This means “where are my contacts?”

Even learning how much pressure in one’s fingers to use to tap, slide, press or push is a lesson in patience, frustration and Olympic-like celebration of success when it works!

My mom texted me this morning and said, “Leaving now, see you at home.”

“Wow!” I thought, pretty darn impressive.

Translated from: “I’ll be home.”

I went to her house. She wasn’t there. She was at breakfast with her friends. Apparently, ‘at home’ means breakfast with my friends,’ in CATHAMOM.

“You Just have to Laugh…….”

©2018 Cathy Sikorski

10 thoughts on “Learning a New Language Can Save Your Brain……or Your Relationships

  1. We caved and got mom (91) the last existing landline with a spiral cord! She has a vision problem so the numbers are big enough that a plane could coordinate with her during landing. Too funny. Love this piece.

  2. Yes my DD is pushing me to get one of those fancy schmancy phones. I had a trac phone (flip), but I ran out of minutes, so now nothing. Do I really need another electronic device I can’t work very well? Sigh. So suppose you get stuck in your 15 year old Subie? What will you do? I replied that somebody will come along and call AAA for me, don’t you know…we shall see. Regards from the Wrinkle Farm/Storage Bin. =^..^=

    1. It’s a challenge and frustrating. But it does open some doors. I’d hate for you to wish you had one! Love hearing from you,Diane!! Hope you’re doing well in your new digs!

  3. I always called my flip phone my Amish Phone and I still miss it. Your Mom is so ahead of me with her new phone. You go MaryAnn. BTW, I play spider solitaire.

      1. I like all the Solitaire games, including Free Cell, Pyramid and Tri-Peaks, as well as Klondike, but I HATE Spider Solitaire. I play it sometimes, but I don’t have any fun with it. 😛

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