I do not need a caretaker, though lord knows I would certainly like someone to clean my house and also, please, cook dinner!
I need someone to guide me through what I need to do each day. Remind me what day it is. If I have an appointment. Where the appointment is. Make sure I remember to take the GPS or printed directions — or both. The GPS is a fine idea, but around these exurban spaces, it gets wonky. It sends us on bizarre excursions down woodland trails that haven’t been used since pre-Colonial days. I don’t know where it gets its mapping information.
All the GPS’s seem to be made in Germany, so maybe that’s the problem.
I need someone to remind me whether or not I took my medication today. Or was that yesterday?
I used to have a memory that took care of all this. When that began to get overloaded, I got a PDA — a cell phone without the phone or internet. It was essentially an electronic datebook. I used mine all the time for keeping my schedule and reminding me what else needed doing. When I was working, there were a lot of things on my agenda.
One day, my PDA batteries died and the entire memory left with it. Because it was my single source for everything, I developed a certain bitter feeling towards depending entirely on electronic connections.
Still, Garry and I were the first cell phone users I know. Garry was always somewhere in the middle of who-knows-where doing a story about something or other and I worked miles away, often in another state.
One of my first gifts to him was a giant brick telephone. They must have had one hell of a signal because Garry could call me from anywhere and ALWAYS get me. That battery lasted three or four days before needing to recharge.
It weighed about 5-pounds. When the Blackberry came out, we switched to them. Even Garry loved that Blackberry. It had a little keyboard and he wrote all his email on it. It had a good, clear sound for telephone calls and it worked. It was stable, strong and did exactly what it promised.
Somehow, we got snookered out of the Blackberries. They were going out of business and there wasn’t a choice, but neither of us loved a cell phone after that.
I don’t text. My thumbs are the wrong shape.
I don’t write lists on it, either. We write lists on pieces of paper. With pens. Even in the grocery store where there’s barely a signal, that piece of paper works fantastically well. I should point out that we live in a river valley and our reception is pretty pathetic. Usually, now that the cell connects to WiFi, we can call out, but it’s pretty hard for anyone to call in. Especially other people who also live in a river valley — which is actually almost everyone I know.
I often wonder if my forgetting nearly everything isn’t my way of coping with a world that’s spinning out of control. The weather, the climate, the politics. Even this blog is crazy-time.
And then, there’s email. I clear out all the email I haven’t managed to get to on the day it arrives, usually about 250 items (depending on the volume of political and news mailings) and when I get up the next morning, there are another few hundred.
I think I need another me to remind me to be me.