I realized as I wrote the title to this blog post that “I got my mom an iPhone” sounds like the start of a really good country song…because so much could go wrong.
Mom and dad live in Old Lyme, Connecticut. It’s the kind of quaint town where you expect to see Julia Roberts riding her bicycle down the street while a quaint piano-based theme song plays in the background. My mom grew up there. Her father was the town librarian – there’s even a plaque with his name on it in the reference room! (For you kids reading this – a library is a building that has books – the kind that have paper pages with words on them.) My mom is an active member and fundraiser for the library and is the brains behind the Bookworm Ball – an annual themed event that raises money to keep the library alive and thriving.
This is a town where people go to the library to use the computers and the internet because they do NOT HAVE THEIR OWN COMPUTERS AT HOME. Breathe deeply – I know. I didn’t believe it either at first. Some of these folks still have phones that are physically attached to their houses! It’s called a “land line.” It doesn’t do anything other than act like a phone. And the # sign on the keypad means “pound,” not hashtag, as in #hashtag #pound.
Sorry – getting a little meta there.
It is into this environment that I am introducing the iPhone. Not just any iPhone. The iPhone 6. The large one. The one that looks like you’re talking into a piece of toast when you hold it up to your face. Speaking of which, the last time I called my mom on FaceTime, I spoke to her cheek the entire time because she couldn’t get the hang of talking to my face. Or maybe she couldn’t hear me. I’m not sure which. Also, I shouldn’t make fun of her because I’m the one who never figured out how to snorkel because being able to see clearly underwater and breathe at the same time were too confusing to do together.
My mom isn’t a total technology rube. She simply becomes incredibly angry when technology doesn’t support her goals to get things done in a simple manner. It is a shocking thing to see my polite and graceful mom begin to spew profanities the likes of which have not been heard since sailing vessels first crossed the equator, when she encounters a problem with the internet. Or Google. Or Microsoft Word. Or email.
I’m also slightly concerned that her new iPhone 6 will become a target of gossip in Old Lyme. I get the feeling that anyone who has even as much as a flip phone is referred to in hushed tones as a communist or a lesbian. And although mom vehemently denies it, I believe she spearheaded the movement last year to evict a member of the library board because that person purchased a Kindle. She does, after all, volunteer in the “Book Seller” – a real cellar (get it? Play on words! Those punny librarians!) from which a group of townsfolk sell used books. I bet they also store their pitchforks and the bodies of AT&T and Verizon Wireless salespeople there too. Cricket Wireless seems to have gone unscathed – but only because the locals think it’s a bug conservancy organization.
I deliver the new iPhone to my mom on Thanksgiving, when the family gathers at my sister’s house. My father will have his new phone as well – I ordered him some giant flat piece of electronic toast as well, though it’s not of the “i” variety. I’ll be interested to see what he’s done with his piece of technology.
As for mom, I can’t wait to start loading all kinds of apps on her new iPhone. Then I can go home and wait for her lovely face to appear on my phone when she calls to ask me: “What IS this APP?! The phone keeps asking me for my APPLE ID! WHAT IS THAT? Can you hear me? I don’t like how I look on the screen. Can you fix that?”
(Love ya’ mom!!!)