My father missed out big time. So many things that are available now would have thrilled him. Perhaps the biggest thrills would have been Sky Sports and sat nav. He would have embraced both with gusto.
Admittedly I too have embraced sat nav. It certainly was a factor in reducing our marital carguments. The number of times we would arrive at dinner parties not speaking because one of us had taken a wrong turn.
We were not alone an AA poll of more than 17,000 motorists showed that 56% have had a row with someone either when they were behind the wheel or someone else was. The most common cause of disputes is getting lost (33%), followed by backseat driving (29%), running late (19%), traffic (15%) and general life issues (14%).
Interestingly the poll also showed that in the aftermath of a fight, more than two out of three respondents (68%) said they carried on the journey in silence. Well yes our carguments usually terminated with an uncomfortable silence.
Yesterday driving to the other side of London I found myself arguing with sat nav. Bit sad really. It was rush hour and as I waited in a long line of traffic trying to join a main road because sat nav had suggested a short cut…. I shouted at her.
“Why did you make me take this route – stupid woman.” And then proceeded to have a very one sided dispute about the route. “Next time,” I growled, “I am going to ignore your advice.” No answer clearly she was giving me the silent treatment.
Some couples take Sat Nav a tad too seriously. Toby – not my Toby — in his blog Understanding Uncertainty has used data re deaths, accidents etc. and looked at how many deaths could be avoided if route planners sent car drivers on the safest routes possible? It is detailed with graphs and analysis. Clearly too much time on his hands.
Zoom is another 21st century invention. Obviously not one for Dad but for me it has been my saving grace during this prolonged COVID isolation. Of course it does have its glitches. Take this morning’s pilates class. Clearly there were gremlins a foot.
“I can’t see you,” says the lady in the white T shirt. I know what she is wearing cause I can see her.
“I can just see the top of your head,” replied our Pilates teacher.
“You are just blank – what should I do,” says the white t shirt.
“You are frozen,” pipes in another lady referring to the teacher.
“Yes,” said a few others, “you are frozen with us too.”
Then the advice starts, click on the little dots on the right hand side, log out and back in, advises our teacher.
“Still can’t see you,” says the white T shirt who apparently can now hear but not see.
10 minutes later the class has still not started and advice to the white T shirt is flowing fierce and fast.
Eventually it is decided by concencus that we will start the class and the lady in the white T shirt will just follow instructions.
I think she just needs to update her Zoom app. That said my mother would never have managed this technology. It was hard enough trying to explain after dad died, how to work the video machine. I would talk her through it, write down copious bullet points for her to follow and yet every week we would have to go through it all again. It’s when the penny dropped and I realised that mum was slipping into dementia. Sequencing is something people with dementia find very difficult and that is why mum couldn’t follow my instructions. It was a sad day.
In comparison to dad’s sat nav and Sky Sports mum would have loved suitcases on wheels with long handles. I can still see them lugging huge suitcases full of absolutely everything one might need when going away on holiday. The notion that Teneriffe had shops that one could buy stuff in never seemed to occur to them. Literally it was almost the kitchen sink as they rented an apartment and because mum was strictly kosher utensils and food would be piled into the suitcase accompanied by medical supplies for all eventualities.
I have a big smile on my face remembering their idiosyncrasies and I do so wish they could have seen programmes like Strictly and Dancing on Ice. They were huge Torvil and Dean fans. In their younger days they used to skate together and they loved dancing. Mum taught me to do the Foxtrot, dad the waltz and I once won a Chubby Checker twisting competition with him.
“Let’s be careful out there”