Friday, February 23, 2018

My Mother Taught Me Better Than That

Today is my birthday. But last week, my husband Murray decided to give me an early birthday present.

Our phone company had a great deal on an IPhone. Murray was so excited when he gave it to me.

I think my first words were, “I wanted an IPad.”

Not a very grateful response to an expensive gift.

Murray says he’s sure I told him I wanted an IPhone. What I remember is saying I wanted an IPad, to read ebooks. Maybe sometime I could get an IPhone, but for now, my cheap flip phone did everything I wanted, even text.

I’ve been having quite a bit of difficulty learning to use my new phone. My sons Benjamin and Caleb both use an IPhone. Caleb said almost every blind person he knows has one.

Well, that stiffened my spine a little. I refused to let myself be one of the only blind people who couldn’t use something, a former rehab teacher, who felt pretty capable of learning new technology.

Of course, the people Caleb knows are younger than I am, with far more flexible brains and fingers.

Caleb’s been working with me on using the phone. He is an encouraging and patient teacher. Yet we must remember the rough, raw student-material he has to work with. Me.

On one web site I found while looking for IPhone manuals, it said that people who’d never used an Apple product, or even a smart phone, would find learning to use an IPhone a difficult and frustrating process. It might take them several months.

That made me feel a little better. Maybe I’m not a dunce. Maybe.

It’s true. I’m used to using computers and devices with definite, clear buttons to push. Here we’ve got flicks and slides and drags, and finding the correct place on the screen.

Definitely frustrating. And not only did I not show Murray the proper thanks for his gift, but I’m constantly irritable about it. Sometimes I want to yell, “If you didn’t give me this dumb thing, I wouldn’t be having all this trouble!”

My mother definitely taught me better manners than that.

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