Perhaps you’ve heard of the lovely line of children’s books called the “If You Give” series. We personally own “If You Give A Mouse and Cookie” and “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake.” They are adorable circular tales in which you follow the consequences of what shenanigans would ensue if you were, to indeed, give a rodent a cookie.
Only they’re fictional.
The mouse in the book is wearing bib overalls and doing cute things like drawing pictures and sipping on a glass of milk. Obviously these books are not describing what would actually happen if you had a mouse in your kitchen. Let’s just say any mouse that would show up in my kitchen would not be shown quite this level of hospitality. No matter how cute it looked in its bib overalls.
But this is not a book report. I just felt the need to explain about this series of books because I’ve got an idea for a new title… although we’d have to switch the genre to non-fiction. Because this scenario is real, folks.
“If You Give Your Grandma an iPad.”
Now, I’m not here to cast blame, but I am not the one who actually gave my Grandma an iPad. The person who did shall remain nameless but they know who they are. And they happen to be related to both myself and my Grandma. And I call this person “Dad” (What?! I didn’t say his name.)
Anyway, thanks to my Dad’s generosity, my grandparents own an iPad. And they deserve any gift they’re given because my grandparents are some of the sweetest, most loving, and special people I’ve ever known.
They are in their 80’s, and are a part of what’s been called the “Silent Generation.” Their generation has been described as hard-working, loyal, supportive and patriotic. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something I’m guessing they’ve never been called… tech savy.
And that’s putting it nicely.
So in my imaginary new book, that I’d like to pitch to my imaginary editor, I’d describe the perils of being the granddaughter who lives the closest to the Grandma with the shiny new iPad. And the shenanigans that ensue. And by shenanigans I mean phone calls for help. And visits. And much entertainment. Because who said that non-fiction books can’t be funny. And believe me, this stuff is funny.
Grandma’s Facebook account alone has given me hours of entertainment. Sometimes when I need a good laugh I go over and help her clean out her “likes” on Facebook. Most people “like” businesses or pages that they want to read more about or have an interest in. Grandma apparently has a different strategy. She likes random things. A nail salon in Vermont, a mechanic in Nebraska, a church in Idaho, and she claims she has NO IDEA how they got on her page. I have explained to her that when you touch someone’s name on the iPad and then click “Like” that you are now “following them.” She nods her head and then calls me two weeks later with the same problem. Do you see how this could be written as a great circular tale?
One morning Grandma called and told me she’d hardly slept the night before because of Tony. “Who’s Tony?” I asked. “I don’t know,” she frantically said, “but he’s hardly wearing anything in his picture and what if someone thinks I really like him?!” So I logged on to Grandma’s account and found the scantily clad Tony… from West Seneca, New York, where we know no one… and clicked, “Unlike.” All was right with the world again.
Except maybe for Tony in West Seneca.
And I won’t even go into the perils of Grandma leaving comments on Facebook other than to say that I’ve gotten some phone calls for assistance once or twice. Or thirty-eight times.
Ahh yes, having Grandma on Facebook has been entertaining. But do you want to know what’s even better? Having Grandma on Facetime.
Facetime is pretty amazing. The fact that you can call someone and see them live on your screen as you talk to them is really fun. Especially if the person on the other end doesn’t know you can actually see and hear them.
Now before you think I’m cruel, and that I called Grandma on Facetime and tried to trick her, let me tell me what really happened.
She called me.
Kraig and I were sitting at home one evening, when all of the sudden, we get a Facetime request from Grandma. “Look here,” said Kraig. “This should be interesting.”
We accepted Grandma’s call and proceeded to see the bottom of her chin and the ceiling. She apparently had the iPad on her lap and had no idea that she’d called us on Facetime or that we could actually see and hear her.
It was epic.
We said things like “Grandma!!” “Hey Grandma! Look down here! Look at the iPad!” “Hey there! Yes, it’s us.” “ Can you see me Grandma? I can see you!”
I was almost in tears from laughter by the time she picked the iPad up and realized that we could, in fact, hear her and see her. She wasn’t pleased with us for apparently spying on her, and wouldn’t believe us that she’d been the one who actually called us. How dare we look at her when she’s wearing her housecoat and doesn’t have her hair done.
For the love of Steve Jobs.
I’m not holding my breath while waiting for Grandma to catch on to this modern world of technology. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s more likely that a mouse wearing bib overalls will show up in my kitchen. But I admit, I’m a little honored to be Grandma’s tech support. I think she really trusts me.
In fact, I realized recently just how much she trusts me when she approached me after church one Sunday with an urgent message. “Christy, when I die I want you to get rid of my Facebook.”
“Oh Grandma,” I said with a smile, “that’s when the fun really begins.”