“What would you like for Christmas Mum?” I asked brightly this morning.
“I’m thinking maybe an ipad” she responded
I feel palpitations starting – a relatively new menopausal symptom often made worse by stressful situations.
“What about a spa day?” I whimper
“No I think definitely an ipad. Joyce has one and loves it – oh by the way we need to pop round there later as she wants you to put Gardening Pokemon on it for her”
I push down the menopausal irritability – “I know nothing of Pokomon” I say and try and fight the hot flush that is kicking in at the thought of a repeat of smartphonegate. I did not realise that getting my mum a smartphone for her 75th birthday and setting her up on Facebook and Whatsapp meant automatically nominating myself as her (and all her Silver Surfer friends)personal IT Consultant. Menopausal brain fog is not conducive to such a role.
The last six months have seen my mum attempting to embrace the digital era and has done little to quell my menopausal moodiness.
First there was the #metoo saga – just after I set her up on Facebook I noticed she was writing #metoo in loads of her posts. I called her up and it went a bit like this:
Me: Mum – why are you putting #metoo all over your Facebook?
Mum: Oh it’s what you do when you agree with someone – didn’t you know?
Me: No – that’s not what it’s for at all.
Mum: Oh yes it is – look I put it underneath Joyce’s picture of the sunset she liked
Me: No – no actually Mum no – have you heard of Harvey Weinstein?
Mum: Yes – he isn’t a very nice man is he?
Me: Oh God….
Then there was the Whatsapp incident. I set up a group for all the family and a few days later I am half way through a meeting at work and I look down to see a message from my mum to the whole family. “Uncle John Dead”. I had to leave and phone her and explain why this isn’t an appropriate way to inform people of a family members passing. A barrage of questions then followed on what was and wasn’t acceptable. ‘Yes mum it’s ok to tell everyone about the Dine in for a Tenner offer being back at M&S”. “No Whatsapp isn’t the right place to suggest Uncle Johns Funeral be moved as you and Auntie Pat have a spa day booked on the proposed date. Actually it’s not OK at all to suggest that in any form – yes I know it’s a Groupon deal but even then a Family Members funeral always trumps a Spa day. Just one of those unwritten rules Mum”
Then in the John Lewis cafe (of all places!) she announced that her neighbour had set her up with a threesome with her two friends in Australia. Which turned out to be simply a Skype conversation. The word Skype seems to be missing from her vocabulary – she refers to it now as a ‘Talking Postcard’ which is infinitely preferably.
Anyway – turns out Joyce wanted a Gardening Podcast rather than Gardening Pokemon – so it was relatively straightforward. I download Spotify for her and we listen to a bit of Etta James and I am impressed at her ability to master it. Until we get to the end of the playlist and she asks how to turn it over.
‘How to turn it over?’ I repeat confused
‘Yes – how do you turn it over to listen to the other side?’
I drink a lot of Jack Daniels
Which is a mistake – because that leads me to the on line Apple store.
Her shiny new ipad will be here in time for Christmas Day….
I am now considering doubling my HRT dose
And the last remaining shreds of my sanity will likely be gone by Boxing Day….
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