Through both necessary replacement and holiday gifts, our household was swamped with new technology last year. Over the course of a few weeks we amassed: a washer and dryer, a printer/copier/scanner, Wii system, HD television, and for the first time ever: cell phones.
Each of these items came with an encyclopedic manual I had no time to read, resulting in more than one instance of my yelling,"Hello! Hello?" into a cell phone in response to the dryer signaling the clothes were done. Of course my children, who, like most today instantly grasp new technology immediately either through condensation or perhaps as a byproduct of the additives in our foods, found this absolutely hilarious.
It made me much more understanding towards my eighty-two year old grandmother and her answering machine issue. Grandma has had an answering machine for about four years, but there's still less than a fifty percent chance it will pick up if she's not able get to the phone in time. The problem lies in the fact that she keeps pushing the power button after listening to a message. This makes some sense, because she's done and wants the taped voice off and no amount of explaining (or even circling the On/Off button with a permanent marker as a reminder) seems to help her understand the difference between the stop button and the power switch.
Judging from the eye rolling from the children explaining to their befuddled mother for the hundredth time how to just watch a show on the fancy TV, Grandma and I have a lot in common. Apparently all that is required is to change the input level and component setting, unless you want to watch a DVD, in which case you switch OVER to PlayStation mode, turn it on and use the other remote. If you want to play the Wii, press the button on the machine, hit mode and input AND CAN YOU PLEASE QUIT CALLING ME WHEN I'M AT A SLUMBER PARTY?! THIS ISN'T ROCKET SCIENCE MOM!
If they were so smart, you'd think they'd have written out the directions with permanent marker by now, though.