*Okay, so the kids don't call it that. I'm pretty sure your grandma doesn't even say that any more. Must brush up on new phrases.
You know what makes me feel the oldest, though? It's not finding a silvery, pube-textured hair (or six) in my normally-brown locks. It's not the creases across my forehead that make me look like I walk around with my eyebrows raised all the time. It's not my long boobs, or the spider veins on the backs of my legs, or my joints creaking and popping when I get out of bed in the morning.
It's watching my kids master technology.
Or maybe, more accurately, it's struggling with it myself when it seems so easy and natural for them. I distinctly remember my grandparents puzzling over "the machine" ... i.e., the microwave we bought them for Christmas in the early '80s. My mom perpetually had trouble operating our VCR, and has only recently gotten the hang of texting. For years, texts from Mom - a woman with a degree in English, mind you - looked something like this:
I hate to admit that I'm like that about certain things, but I am. The other day, I was trying to put a new Zumba song onto my iPhone and ended up accidentally deleting my ENTIRE playlist from both my phone and my computer just a few hours before I was supposed to teach a class. On the other hand, my nineteen-month-old son can put his grubby little hands on my phone and in just a few seconds, with a couple of casual swipes, start playing a song, turn on the flashlight function, and send out a couple of random texts. He does these things as though he were born knowing how to do them.
Remember these? The iconic Fisher-Price phone that everybody had as a kid? Yeah. My kids don't recognize it as a phone. They think it's a car. I mean, why would they identify it as a phone when they've never seen a rotary dial, or a handset you have to pick up?
They're never going to know what it's like to not have a phone accessible at all times (do public pay phones even exist any more?) - or, better yet, to be tethered to a wall when you talked on the phone at home. They'll never know a time when phones were just phones, without apps or special functions. They'll never have to go to the library and use an actual card catalog to look things up, or master the Dewey Decimal System. They'll never know boom boxes or Walkmans (uh, Walkmen?) or cassette tapes.
In the meantime, I'm going to be the mom my kids make fun of for fumbling with their new-fangled contraptions. I mean, at the rate things change, who knows what kinds of gadgets we'll have access to by the time they're teenagers! Jet packs, maybe?
The world has already switched to Blu-ray while I'm still in DVD mode. And I can't even work our DVR.
Things aren't looking good for me, technologically speaking.