Time for another sneak peek!
I’m getting closer to publishing “Fat, Fifty, and Menopausal” and I wanted to share another look at the cover, as well as a sneak peek at one of the inside chapters.
Didn’t Martha do a fabulous job?
Just to get you up to speed on the new book, it’s a collection of thoughts and stories about hitting middle age and learning to be okay with the realization that life is never going to be perfect. It’s about commiserating with other women at this stage in life, finding humor in things like hot flashes and weight gain, and wondering if there is sex after the age of fifty. (Spoiler alert: there is!)
Fat, Fifty, and Menopausal is nothing at all like my romance novels. It’s a bit like Have a Goode One, but with a bit more focus. And while Have a Goode One was a collection of posts that had already appeared on my blog, the new book is all new material that I’ve never shared.
The chapter I’m sharing today is all about my issues with modern technology. About feeling old because I struggle with something that seems so easy for everyone else. Specifically, I’m whining about some of my experiences with text messaging on my ancient, embarrassing flip phone.
The text messages started about a week ago, coming from a number I didn’t recognize. I need a plot for Phillip. How much do you charge for burial? the text message said.
I think you sent this to the wrong person, I replied.
I want to bury Phillip beside John.
I am sorry for your loss, I typed in. But I think you have the wrong number.
I have the measurements.
Wrong number, I repeated.
You don’t work for the cemetery?
I assumed that was the end of that particular odd conversation. I hoped so, anyway, since I hate texting.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. I have no problem with text messaging under some circumstances, such as telling my kids to do their chores or getting school closing updates in bad weather. I am not completely incapable of working with modern technology.
Texting is not the problem. My phone is the problem.
I hate texting on the phone I have now. I used to have a smartphone with a QWERTY keypad and all the bells and whistles. But when my income went down, so did my budget for that sort of thing. I now use a cheap, prepaid, bottom-of-the-barrel flip phone that is just that: a phone. I can’t use it to check my email or visit Facebook because it’s just a phone. What can I use it for? To call or text people because it’s just a phone.
My phone does slightly more than two Solo cups and a piece of string. The cups and string would probably have better sound quality; besides, I have so few minutes of talk-time that I can pretty much say “Hello, this is–” before I run out of minutes. Texting is unlimited, though, and seems to work pretty well as long as I face true north on a windless day without a cloud in the sky.
But it’s a tiny flip phone. With itty-bitty keys that seem microscopic to my giant sausage-like fingers. And it’s got one of those old-fashioned numeric keypads, which means that even sending the simplest text message requires a level of fingertip gymnastics and concentration that I can’t always manage. For example, I have to type in *-4-6-6-6 wait-6-6-6-3-#-6 wait-6-6-6-7-7-7-6-6-4-4-4-6-6-4-4-4-6-6-4-menu-symbols-4-send just to say Good morning!
My kids say it’s because I’m too old to learn how to text. I am here to tell you that it has nothing to do with my age. This is not operator error. It is equipment malfunction, and I don’t think I am out of line to expect people in my life to understand that my text messages are going to be wonky from time to time as long as I have this particular phone.
Case in point: Mother’s Day, 2014, when I tore my hand apart with the food processor. I knew immediately that I needed to get to the emergency room ASAP, and I also knew that I needed my daughter to drive me there. She was sunbathing in the back yard, so I tried to text her instead of frightening her brothers by shouting for help. I wrapped my bloody hand in a dishtowel, propped the phone against the cookie jar, and tried to text with my good hand.
???? she responded.
I wrapped a second towel around my bleeding hand and tried again. gekp
Are you having a stroke, Mother? Lol
Ignoring the fact that my offspring seemed to find the possibility of my having a stroke to be somewhat lol-worthy, I went into my phone’s menu and programmed it to let me text numbers instead of letters.
Mom, your texting isn’t making any sense at all. What are you trying to say?
“Get your ass in the kitchen!” I bellowed.
I headed for the car, grabbing my car keys in my teeth on the way out the door. The Princess met me on the way in. “Why didn’t you just text me that you were hurt?” she demanded.
“I couldn’t manage ‘help’ or ‘9-1-1’ and you think I could have managed ‘Please help me, I am hurt’?”
Now, nearly two years later, I still haven’t gotten much better at texting on my flip phone. So when I started getting even more text messages about burying poor Phillip, there was no reason to expect the conversation to go well.
Look this isn’t funny. Just do your job.
I am going to report you to the better business bureau.
I am serious. I just want you to bury Phillip.
I really wanted to be sensitive to this poor person’s situation, but I just wasn’t up to trying to explain more via text. After all, my text a few days earlier saying I am sorry for your loss but I think you have the wrong number had required two pee breaks, an energy drink, and a short nap.
I tried calling so I could explain that he or she had the wrong number, but no one answered. I got a recorded voice telling me that the person had no voice mailbox set up, so I couldn’t leave a message. I had to text her again. So now I was invested in this conversation with a complete stranger about burying Phillip, and frankly, I was starting to have some concerns over whether or not he’s actually dead yet.
What cemetery are you trying to reach? I asked, thinking that perhaps I could find the correct number and pass it along.
You know damn well who you work for you asshole.
I’m going to take a wild guess here and assume that this person has a nicer phone than I have, although his or her grasp of proper comma usage is a bit weak.
i tryin to b nicd hete
Can’t you spell, you idiot?
Enough was enough. bite me, I typed in. Unfortunately, I sent the message to the wrong person.
Whoops. Apparently, that last one had gone out to my daughter. My bad, I told her, after taking a quick break for some water and a protein snack.
Mom, why don’t you just call people instead of texting? At your age, I’m sure people will understand.
you can bite me too
What did I do?
Mom, is supper almost ready? Now my oldest son was going to enter the conversation.
bruttle pouts an rroganofe
What are you trying to say? Mom, did you stick your hand in the food processor again?
jesus h christ i hate this phone
Are you going to answer me about burying Phillip or not? I am still waiting for an answer!
stop texting me you crazy person!!!! I could feel a migraine starting after that exclamation-point sprint. I stopped for some ibuprofen and another energy drink, but my phone was alerting me again.
I find that a little offensive, Mother.
goddamn fucking phone
Amy, I really don’t think think that last message was meant for me.
i am so sorry reverend
Thankfully, the battery on my phone died at that point, and I have no intention of plugging it back in any time soon. If anyone wants to reach me, I’m rigging up two Solo cups and a piece of string.
Thanks for reading! “Fat, Fifty, and Menopausal” is now available for pre-order on Amazon for only .99 cents. It will be released on May 1, 2016, after which the price will go up to $2.99. To reserve your copy at the lower price now, click here.