Geezers vs. Remote-Controlled Stuff

This morning the phone rang just after The Price Is Right started. This sort of thing divides players from spectators. Anyone who knows us also knows that we are glued to this game show from 10-11am, Monday through Friday. This is a sacred time in our home. If something is more important than our show, it's REALLY BIG and we will attend to it immediately.

The problem with this day is that I was stuck in the recliner/wooby (blanky), nightgown hold. If wrestlers could use this hold, they would. By the time I got untangled and answered the television remote, the phone stopped ringing. I think this is called flusteration. If not I expect this word to be added to the dictionary because it is a condition of aging.

Mr. S was semi-quietly observing me because he had Dog On Lap and doesn't answer the phone anyway because he's a man. I hate to admit this, but he doesn't answer the remote control either. He gets a pretty good yuck out of watching me, but so do I. Sometimes he does hand a remote device to me and ask me to "fix it." This is his term for admitting that he's been pushing all the buttons I have asked him to please not push. If you push a button on any wired device 47 times, it commits suicide because you've asked it to do more than it can do.

When I explain AGAIN the relationship between on/off signals and computer devices to him, he looks attentive and seems to understand. He's only kidding. For the same reason men don't answer phones, they don't tolerate any type of remote controlled device or computer if it doesn't do what they want within seconds of pushing a button. If that one button doesn't make magic, the big guys tend to push all the buttons. This holds true of everything from microwave ovens to battery clocks.

Men like to put a key into an ignition switch and turn it so they can hear an engine roar. Yes, I know there are billions of men on this planet who brilliantly work on computers and electronic devices every day. My man and his buddies are not in that group. I can deal with this pretty well until it comes to the television. This is where the rubber meets the road at Shafferville.

For starters, we have two television remotes for the one television in our house. I'm not sure how this happened but sometime during these many years we had something fixed which brought us another remote. Great. Goody. Yeah…until you start using them as weapons. At first it was an interesting novelty. We changed channels on each other and played with the volume controls. Mr. S learned how to skip TV and go to music. For me... that was not entertaining. It's not that I don't like music, it's that I don't like it when it comes on in the middle of a movie I'm watching.

In those early days when the phone rang, I answered it and turned down the TV volume. Of course, a guy who won't answer a phone doesn't care about any conversation on it so he turned the volume back up. In fact, it became his signal that I'd been on the phone too long. Before you want to get in the line to spank him, please know that his behavior has changed.

When it comes to television shows and programming we are pretty much on the same page so the double remote hasn't caused much trouble there. We record shows that conflict with one or the other of us and that is very helpful. There are days when he decides to clean out the cue. His reasoning is simple: "I thought you already watched that," or the infamous, "That's been on there FOREVER." He is from the watch and release tribal category. I married into it.

It took me years to get it. It turns out that there is nothing on television or the internet that we can't retrieve. Who taught me this? Ah yes... Mr. S. While his by default teaching methods may frustrate me, I've come to understand and appreciate them. He's a teacher I won't find again, even on the internet.

We have a third remote now. It is for special channels we rarely use. I have been put in charge of this one because it accidentally died several times. In truth, I've given up worrying about these things. Mr. S and I have formed a truce. It helps that the kids got him a music TV for his man kitchen so he can rock on while I watch Hallmark movies in the house. Life is good.

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