My Love-Hate Relationship
Folks who know me understand that I have a strong love-hate relationship with technology.
Take my phone. Please (as an old-time comic would say). I love the camera, pre-ordering Louie’s pizza online, plus having a computer in hand 24/7 to search names of actors, movies, and books which I know as well as my own name but cannot retrieve in simple conversation.
I hate robots calling me about the IRS coming after me or a warranty opportunity for my 17-year-old Lexus.
And talking about cars, I love that my antique vehicle still has a CD player. In my lifetime I’ve religiously replaced my entire Broadway show collection from vinyl (although we didn’t call it that in the 60s) to bulky 8-track, to cassette (having a pencil handy to fix runaway tape), to my beloved CDs. Siri and Alexa both have trouble pulling up “Jubilation T. Cornpone” from Li’l Abner or “I’m in Love with a Girl Named Fred” from Once Upon a Mattress. Someday, an undertaker will pry a CD from my cold, dead hand.
Alternately, I just hate that my car doesn’t read me my texts. I despise pulling off the road to answer a text, because apparently, I am psychologically unable to wait an effing second to find out what’s happening. And then it’s a text offering me money to put a useless product logo on my car. I will say that if Grey Goose contacted me, I might consider the gig.
I also really hate that my old car doesn’t make ominous warning beeps if I drift out of my lane. I could use the help when I’m in a coma on a summer Saturday creeping along Route One.
My wife has a newer car. I love that you only have to have the key somewhere on your person to start the ignition.
I hate that you only need have the key somewhere on your person to start the ignition. When I pull into my driveway and exit the vehicle, I have to give myself a complete TSA pat down of pockets or purse to find the keys to open the front door. Last night, by the time I did everything but a strip search, I discovered I’d I left my keys back in the car cupholder. I was drenched, cold, and asking Bonnie, “Is it time to leave for Florida yet?”
Also, I hate when her car tries to help me park. I learned to drive in New York City. Goodness knows, I can parallel park. I get so confused watching the orange squiggles on the dashboard, when I finally make the car’s parking adviser happy, I need an Uber to get from the car to the curb.
And then there’s my new washing machine. I love that it’s so great looking as I’ve always been a form-over-function gal. I love all its fancy bells and whistles for water temp, spin, and rinse cycles.
I hate that the top loader is so deep and I’m so short that I need salad tongs to retrieve my underpants.
And how about those QR codes restaurants post on their tables in lieu of menus. I love that Kevin McDuffie from Aqua showed me how to use it. I felt very proud of myself and quite up-to-date. And it worked great to read their menu.
I hate when I use the QR code in a restaurant with a crappy web site and it takes forever to figure out what’s for lunch. Here’s my plea—restaurants, if you are going to make diners use high tech, make the site easier to navigate.
And finally, I love my GPS. I have absolutely no innate sense of direction, so GPS has improved my life immeasurably.
But I hate exiting the car, stuffing it in my pocket, and forgetting to turn it off.
This summer, when I was traveling home from Vermont, we stopped at a rest stop so I could go to the bathroom. I was in the very process of sitting down, nearly in full squat, when my pocket announced, “When possible, make a U-turn.”
There’s even a high tech (sort of), low-tech love-hate ratio to our upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Forgive me for reaching here a bit.
I love canned cranberry sauce, compete with the tell-tale rings on the jellied blob on the plate. There, I’ve said it.
And at peril of insulting some of the fine amateur and professional chefs I know, I really don’t love (hate is too extreme) cranberry sauce recipes with whole cranberries, vanilla, cinnamon, or a touch of orange peel, etc. Sorry.
But whatever you love or hate from the Thanksgiving table, I wish all Letters readers who celebrate the holiday with their bio families or families of choice, a very happy Thanksgiving indeed. ▼
Fay Jacobs is the author of five published books and is touring with her one-woman sit-down comedy show, Aging Gracelessly. Her reports on Rehoboth’s LGBTQ history can be heard on RadioRehoboth, 99.1.