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Make Mine Wry September 7, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Humor, Life Balance, People.

Brian-with-coffee-and-newspaper“My parents are driving me crazy. Every time they need a light bulb changed, they call me.  Every time the power goes out, they call me.”

“They want you to restore the power?”

“No . . . they want to know how long it will be out.”

“How would you know that?”

“C’mon.  Look at me.  Can’t you see that I’m omniscient?”

“And omnipresent?”

“Yes.  That too.  They believe I can be two places at one time.”

Fly“So, you’re their Super Hero.”

“Yup.  Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.  As soon as the power is back on, they need me to reset their cable box.  Now.  Running through the sequence takes no time at all, but driving 50 minutes round-trip is getting old.”

“Why don’t you write down the instructions for them?”

“I have.  More than once.  Each time they lose the list, they call me to ask me where they put it.”

“That’s funny.”

“Sure it is . . . you’re not related to them.  But they’re MY gene pool.”

“That’s a sobering thought.”

“One that keeps me awake at night.”


“Of course.  Goes with the territory.”

Wikipedia ~ Insomnia

“How about your kids?”

“Yes.   They keep me awake at night too.”

“Sorry . . . I meant could your kids help with your parents?”

“Sure.  If I could get them to put down their Smart Phones for 5 minutes to focus on the world around them.”

“What is the appeal of maintaining that constant cyber connection?”

“Beats me.  The more plugged in they are, the more disconnected we become.”

Fred-'n-Barney“How did we manage without Smart Phones and iPods and Facebook when we were growing up?”

“Face time.”

“Right!  How did we get from Point A to Point B without GPS?”

“It’s a mystery.”

“I guess we did a lot of re-calculating and re-positioning.”

“Using the stars to navigate.”

“Well, I don’t need a Smart Phone to tell me that caring for parents in their 80’s and kids in their 20’s is tough.”

Tigger-Bouncing“No wonder we’re called the Sandwich Generation ~ we’re the glue that holds it all together.”

“It pays to have a sense of humor.”

“Sure does.”

“Make mine wry.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Here’s to maintaining a sense of humor whenever you’re caught between a rock and a hard place or just spread “too thin.”


1. shreejacob - September 7, 2013

Hehehe…I’ve been watching the Agatha Christie movies on YouTube…the Miss Marple series..and read that whole thing in an English accent (in my mind of course).

I think we have really become too dependent on technology…I was just thinking how lovely it would have been to live in a country village like St Mary Mead 😀

nrhatch - September 7, 2013

The other nice things about that type of setting is that it tended to be multi-generational:

Grandparents could watch grandkids while parents worked. Grandkids could keep grandparents company.
Grandparents could lead by example.
Grown kids could check on aging parents more easily.

The more mobile we’ve become . . . the more long-distance relationships we have to tend.

Grannymar - September 7, 2013

Nancy, I agree, and the youngsters had a close quarters opportunity to learn about and respect frailty.

nrhatch - September 7, 2013

The shift from living in a village to insular nuclear families has not been “all for the good.”

Communal living with all generations represented makes for a far more balanced life.

Tammy - September 7, 2013

This is one of the things that I would change if I could. The way we live today, my kids don’t have opportunities to interact with the elderly or even with babies.

nrhatch - September 7, 2013

We were so fortunate as kids . . . one set of grandparents lived less than an hour away. The other set, in Vermont, we visited at least a few times a year.

And . . . the next door neighbor adopted two infants which she happily shared with us. Ideal!

2. colonialist - September 7, 2013

Things would be ever so much simpler without parents and kids. More boring, too, I suppose …Maybe one could do a little selected going backward and forward – tell the parents to increase your allowance and the kids to come and change your lightbulbs.

nrhatch - September 7, 2013

That’s an idea! 💡

3. Carl D'Agostino - September 7, 2013

“The more plugged in they are, the more disconnected we become.”

Certainly true of an entire generation as they are the ones disconnected from the world around them. Their world becomes an increasingly smaller microcosm.

nrhatch - September 7, 2013

When my nieces visit, we have “Text Free Zones” when we’re playing games, enjoying meals together, etc.

I got tired of looking at the tops of their heads as they peered into tiny electronic boxes. 😕

4. Eric Tonningsen - September 7, 2013

And sandwich we are. While visiting my mother on the East Coast last week, I spent MANY hours revisiting computer user basics with her, replacing the ink cartridges in her printer (which explained why it was rendered inoperable) and other assorted technical exercises. I know the cable thing, too. 🙂 And people of other generations wonder why we oft wish for “the old days.” Thankfully, the stars are still there to appreciate.

nrhatch - September 7, 2013

I know what you mean. My dad stopped e-mailing a few years ago after daily missives. Every time we asked him to start again, he claimed that his internet connection wasn’t working.

Of course, when we stopped by, the internet worked just fine.

5. joannevalentinesimson - September 7, 2013

Have you seen this YouTube video (“I lost my phone”)?


nrhatch - September 7, 2013

That is horrifying . . . and oh, so, very real! That type of behavior is more and more prevalent.

I wonder if they photograph every thing they do because they do so very little? 😕

Eric Tonningsen - September 7, 2013

As shared in a previous comment, just another tell tale that Nero is warming up his strings. Truly sad.

nrhatch - September 7, 2013

We are a long way from where we need to be.

6. Piglet in Portugal - September 7, 2013

I wonder what would happen if iphones were banned? Would people talk more, or have the yuonger generation lost the art of conversation :

I like the the tag “sandwich generation”

nrhatch - September 7, 2013

Eric shared a great image along those lines ~ a sign in a cafe reading: “No. We don’t have WiFi. Talk to each other!”


7. Pix Under the Oaks - September 8, 2013

We can’t sit down to a family meal, celebration or get together without everyBODY(not CH not me)putting their phones on the table or in their hands. Texting continually going on. Drives me insane. People right there in front of you and the people they are texting are more important. We have almost quit going to family stuff because of all the phone obsession. And we are talking 60 year olds here and a Mom-in-law that is 84 and “kids” in their 30’s.. 😕 I don’t think I have seen my one sis-in-law without her phone in her hand now for 8 years at least.. 😯

nrhatch - September 8, 2013

ACK! That sounds like a celebration NOT worth attending. How RUDE to do that when guests are visiting ~ of course maybe you are better off not hearing what they’re “discussing” in text speak. 😛

8. theonlycin - September 9, 2013

I’m sandwiched into a tight corner by my MIL’s needs. I wouldn’t mind at all if she embraced technology and spared me the occasional trip across town to sort things out for her.

nrhatch - September 9, 2013

Bot of your lives are so different now ~ much easier to sort things out for her when she lived just across the garden from you and could wave at you through the window.

You’re wonderful to still be caring for her, rather than asking Alan to pick up the slack.

9. jannatwrites - September 9, 2013

I was seriously distracted by the Oreos, but I’ll see if I can form a comment here 🙂 Funny conversation about a not-so-funny reality. I’m not looking forward to the dual care that is sure to come up. Looking on the bright side, maybe being on the brink of insanity will make for some entertaining blog posts….many years down the road, I hope.

nrhatch - September 9, 2013

That’s right! And . . .

“They tell me that you’ll lose your mind when you grow older. What they don’t say is that you won’t miss it very much.”
~ Malcom Crowley (1898 – 1989)

10. Booksphotographsandartwork - September 9, 2013

Now that momma is literally dying (waiting on the call any minute or day) I see that I had no where near enough patience for her. All I can think is why? And at one point she told my daughter that she wished she had not spanked us kids when we were little. I don’t remember it. All I can think again is why? Why do all of these regrets show up when it’s too late? Why do none of us have more patience?

I-Pads, Kindles, Smart Phones etc. have been a great help for all of us during this time the past 9 months. Mom used the I-Pad when she couldn’t do anything else. I used the kindle when I had to be quiet and have no light in her room at night sitting up with her. My daughter now keeps me updated through texts which is quicker and quieter than calling while she is in the house. I tiptoed towards her room the last time I was there and discovered my dad sound asleep in the chair next to her with his hands still in playing position on the I-pad.

nrhatch - September 9, 2013

Interesting perspective on the benefits of new technology, Linda. So sorry to hear about your mom. I knew she was sick, but I didn’t realize she was nearing the end of her journey.

I’m glad that you’ve been able to spend so much time with her in recent weeks.

11. bluebee - September 11, 2013

I still use my street directory instead of a GPS, but love my iPad 🙂

nrhatch - September 11, 2013

We don’t have a GPS, but we don’t really need one since we generally know where we’re going. When we don’t, we rely on MapQuest and Maps.

And we don’t have an iPad, Tablet, or smartphone. We are such dinosaurs. :mrgreen:

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