Living at Home Diaries: Teaching Your Parents About Technology

Recently I wrote about how moving home to live with my Mom has turned me into an Honorary Senior Citizen, and all of the fun perks that go along with that like special discounts and never having to explain why you’re wearing comfortable walking shoes. However, if you are considering moving back home (especially if you’re planning on working from home) what I failed to mention is that you should be prepared to spend at least  35% of your week helping your parents understand technology. As I’ve learned, being an Honorary Senior is all fine and dandy, until you realize you’re the only one  in the room who knows how to use Google.

It’s a vintage Will Smith kind of day.

Also, be prepared to explain or deal with the following:

1. All the Computer Things: My Mom lives in one of those West Coast modern houses that’s all big windows, cedar beams and stacked vertically like a townhouse. My bedroom/office is on the second floor, the kitchen & den are on the third floor and the top floor is a loft-style living room. A huge portion of my day is spent running from my office up to my Mom’s office every time I hear her say something like:

“AHHHHHH $%#$#$$$$ THE MOUSE IS BROKEN! I CAN’T SCROLL”

“Hold on, I’m coming Mom”

(I run upstairs)

“See, it won’t work!”

(I fix it)

“Here you go”

“Thanks Simone”

(I run back downstairs)

“AHHHHH $%#&****$$%%%%%%! SIMONE!”

“What’s wrong Mom?”

“There’s these things that keep popping up and I don’t want them there!”

(I run upstairs again)

“Mom, those are pop ups”

“Well, I never asked for them to be there!”

“No one does, Mom”

*click, click, click*

“Thanks Simone”

(run back downstairs)

“Simone?”

“Yes?”

“I’m really excited about this free beauty sample I just ordered online”

“Oh no, Mom! Did they ask for your credit card information?”

“Yes, is that bad?”

(I run upstairs)

I figure the only way I’m able to get as much done as I do living here,  is because I no longer have to spend as much time on the elliptical machine at the gym.

2. All the Blackberry Things: My Dad likes to think he’s pretty tech savvy because a few years ago he was given a company issued Blackberry and learned how to use Google Earth (which he likes to spend hours on Googling what, we’re not sure) However, recently my Dad’s friend decided to give him his old Blackberry that has a touch screen and all hell broke loose. A few weeks ago I get a call from my Dad and I can hear this high pitched alarm going off in the background.

“SIMONE?!! THE ALARM ON MY BLACKBERRY IS GOING OFF. HOW DO I MAKE IT STOP. DO YOU THINK ITS BROKEN!?”

(read more insanity after the jump)

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My Family, the Sitcom. Episode #2

Since I’ve been home in BC I’ve taken to writing down some of the stuff my family says  because they are pretty entertaining. Here’s a round-up of my favorites from the first 13 days of December. Enjoy the insanity!

On this week’s episode my Dad’s BFF learns how to “LOL”, my parents get acquainted with UrbanDictionary.com, we discuss heated toilet seats and DIY hair-cuts, I get caught “sleep eating” and we all learn the true definition of a “Me-Party.”

I watch this movie whenever I miss my own family. We are also the proud owners of a chronically malfunctioning mini-van. More on that later.

 

My Dad’s friend speaks the truth. 

(A conversation I had with my Dad’s friend while at dinner two weekends ago)

“Simone, what does LOL mean?”

“Laugh out loud”

“That’s what I thought. It’s confusing though because sometimes people use it after stuff that doesn’t sound very funny”

 

Dad learns a bad word.

(On our way home from dinner)

Dad: “Simone, what’s a Dingleberry?”

Me: “It’s gross. I can’t tell you Dad”

Mom: “We should probably tell him”

Me: “No!”

Mom: “He’ll find out sooner or later”

Me: “NO. I’m not explaining this! NO just NO!”

Mom: “Well, it’s….”

Me: “NO Mom. NO. Dad, just look it up on Urban Dictionary when you get home”

Mom: “Urban Dictionary is a real thing?”

 

Warm in a bad way.

(also on the way home from dinner)

“Did you try ______ (my Dad’s friend)’s new heated toilet seat?”

“It was very warm in a weird way. Like, I wasn’t sure whether it was heated or whether a thousand butts had sat on it, one after another”

 

My sister’s Ex-Boyfriend.

(Convo between my sister and I)

“He had terrible hair”

“He cuts it himself”

“You can tell”

 

Late night Seinfeld mumblings (I’m weird too).

(Whenever I’m home visiting, my Mom and I like to end each day with some “Seinfeld Time” – this usually involves watching the nightly news, then two episodes of Seinfeld – or if we are feeling really wild, we’ll also throw in a Frasier re-run. I almost always fall asleep during one of the Seinfeld episodes. My mom will often have conversations with me while I’m asleep (or partially asleep?) on the sofa. Apparently I say some pretty weird stuff. I had her take note of things I said last week during my nightly Seinfeld mumblings so I could share them with you guys.)

“I want to go to a garage sale and buy Christmas trees” (makes perfect sense)

“Farts smell weird” (yes, yes they do)

“I’m awake! I’m awake!” (I clearly wasn’t)

(Apparently this one time, I didn’t even say anything- I just momentarily woke up, ate a handful of crackers and then promptly went back to sleep. It’s wild times over here people. Wild times.)

 

Party of One.

And finally, my favorite saying this week (courtesy of my best friend’s boyfriend who works at a Golf Course)

Random Golf Course member: “Is it OK if I come by at 10am and play with myself?”

BFF’s boyfriend: “I’m OK with it if you are”

 

Do you have any great quotes from the past week? Tell me yours!

I Think My Family Needs their Own Sitcom

I’ve been home on the West Coast for a little over two weeks. Being home is both weird and good. Here are a few quick observations:

1) The more things change in the rest of the world, the more things stay the same in my hometown. I’m now working out at the same recreational facility I went to for swimming classes as a child. The change-rooms look and smell identical to how they did in 1985. Yesterday while at the chiropractor, I saw the secretary of my elementary school. I only recognized her because she also looks identical to how she looked in 1985. This has lead me to believe that my town actually has some weird Cocoon thing going on where elderly people & the places they frequent are magically rejuvenated so that nothing or no one ages past the time when Cocoon, the movie (1985) first hit theaters.

2) My sleepy seaside town has more coffee shops per capita than I ever thought possible. Our main drag has taken to imitating Vancouver’s Robson St and have somehow allowed one Starbucks to open right across from another Starbucks. This is real people! This stuff happens! (but only in the Pacific Northwest) All of the coffee shops in the downtown are busy all the time yet no one seems to be particularly alert. This could be because everyone is stoned. This is actually a likely prognosis and would explain the large number of white guys with dreadlocks here (MEN OF VICTORIA, IS THERE A HAIRBRUSH SHORTAGE? WHY DO YOU ALL LOOK LIKE JUSTIN BOBBY? BUT, HEY, THANKS FOR REMINDING ME WHY I SCRATCHED OFF “DATING IN VICTORIA” OFF MY TO-DO LIST YEARS AGO – Sincerely, Simone)

Cloned and looking sad at a coffee shop near you.

3) I’ve been trying to stay busy. Last night I went to go hear one of my favorite authors, Chuck Palahniuk read from his new book. It was fun & inspirational & he signed my book & gave out free chocolate bars. I’ve also taken to writing down things my family says on a daily basis. I always said I’d never blog about my family but these people are pretty entertaining. Here are my favorite quotes from the past two weeks:

My Mom on J-Kwon’s song “Tipsy”

“Tipsy just doesn’t sound right. That sounds like something that would happen at an afternoon church picnic like if someone started making Daiquiris. Not while people are…”

“I think the term you’re looking for Mom is…getting crunk”

“I thought that was a dance”

My Grandma responding to my Mom’s jokes about the “Love Shack” – our local sex shop located in a strip mall off of the highway:

“Don’t make fun of it Janis. Those products have helped a lot of people”

(Grandma?)

My mom on kinky sexual practices:

“I went to Google BC Ferries to get the updated sailing schedule but I wasn’t wearing my glasses so instead I got a bunch of listings for BC Furries. Boy, there are a lot of people into that!”

My Grandma on Sex:

“Sex…it’s not all it’s cracked up to be”

(Once again, I’m not sure what she’s talking about here & I’m not sure I want to know)

In the movie of my life I'd want Betty White to play my totally badass Grandma.

A confusing conversation that occurred between me, my sister, her gay best friend & my Mom. I’ll let you guys try and guess who said what:

“Remember that really manly looking female janitor we had in elementary school?”

“Yes! Marla”

“Marla used to be Martin”

“No-way. Are you sure? I thought she was a lesbian. Did you see her shoes?”

“I thought that was a man”

“What?!”

“She was always wearing coveralls. It’s hard to tell what’s going on under those things”

“What’s for lunch?”

“I don’t know. Maybe you should make your own lunch”

“I heard she/he used to be a basketball star before she became Marla. She was a really great electrician”

“Freaking trannies always stealing my thunder”

“What the hell are you talking about?!”

“Lunch. What’s going on with lunch?”

“I think the proper word is transgender”

“Is it? That just doesn’t sound right”

“Judging by how she rocked those coveralls, I’d say she was more transjanitor

And, now you’ve met the people I’ll be spending the holidays with. These people are fabulous. Someone get them their own show!

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