I've never claimed to be on the cutting edge of technology. Like many people, when I hear the language that includes the words gigabytes, tom-toms, and l8er (later in texting land), I am quickly lost due to a lack of understanding.
But even though I knew I was no where close to comprehending the possibilities of the latest and greatest gadgets, I thought I was dragging along at the tail end of understanding fast enough to pass as an impostor who knew what she was doing. That was until my sister's latest visit to town.
As we were cruising along to meet some friends for lunch, we were listening to her IPod through the car radio, driving along and chatting when she asked me to send a text message to one of her friends saying we were on our way.
Now, I don't have texting, and I can count the number of times I've sent a text message on my fingers and toes, so I knew her request would take me a solid five minutes, realizing that 99.9 percent of people my age could whip out the message in less than 11 seconds.
I grabbed her phone that flipped open to reveal a full keyboard and began my typing when her phone rang...I panicked.
I reached for the IPod to turn down the blasting music and struggled to "unlock" the device, which was only supposed to require an easy swish of my finger.
I then realized I didn't know how to answer the phone call. If I pushed the button and closed the phone to talk, would it hang up the phone? Should I close it then answer, or will that leave the line dead as well? I panicked, pushed the answer button, and held the open phone up to my ear, sending my sister into a rage of laughter and leaving me with a flapping phone pressed to my head, admitting that I didn't even have the skills to pull off my knowledgeable impostor plan.
That day, I had to accept my technological defeat.
But what had I lost?
My cell phone, the most basic-of-basics flip phone, with a black leather cover and "Whistling Wizard" ring-tone, is anything but the latest and greatest, but it sends and receives calls like a champ, all that I need a phone to do.
Another sign that I'm behind with the times is the fact that I do not own an IPod, only a dinosaur of an MP3 player, capable of carrying approximately 100 songs, which of course, I don't know how to change. But it works, providing me 'golden oldies' to motivate me during my slow and arduous attempts at running.
My car is perhaps the best example of my present appreciation for items that found their prime in the past. My current college car is my grandma's 1978 Buick Electra, a butterscotch boat built long before the days of CDs and cassette tapes.
Although I often grumble about my wheels, voicing the plea with my parents that I would love to drive a vehicle that isn't 12 years older than myself, I have to admit that I like driving the car that has affectionately gained the name "The Beast."
Complete with hand-dial radio and a trunk the size of Rhode Island, I love talking with the older gentlemen that come up to me at gas stations wondering how I acquired such a car, and I especially enjoy the reactions of my friends when they first spy my ride.
So for those of us who aren't quite keeping up with the technological times, take a small sigh of relief and acceptance. We don't always have to admit a defeat. Whatever I've lost by lagging in the back of the pack, I feel I've gained in the great stories that can only come from being technologically behind.
So the next time you see a large, butterscotch car cruising your way, know that you're looking at someone who has accepted and grown to appreciate her place at the tail end of technology. And feel free to wave, assured that it's me behind the wheel, because I can almost guarantee that I'm the only one around driving a bright, butterscotch, Buick Electra.