I have a confession.
The birth of my blog was founded on frustrations with one particular mother-in-law.
To state my case, I was exhausted, sleep-deprived and had just overcome a 2 month bout of nipple thrush. Tandem breastfeeding is as close to an Olympic marathon as a mother of twins can get. And I had been on my race for approximately 8 months.
All the while, my husband’s mother was around to see the entire ordeal. Lactating (yet extremely sore) breasts and all.
Instead of stabbing someone from the sheer frustration of limited access to the world and dealing with MIL overdose, Mr Surfer suggested I vent through writing. He dared me to submit a contribution to the Sydney Morning Herald’s daily column for gripes and blood boiling issues, “The Heckler”
Knowing my MIL religiously read the column, I used a pen name “Georgina Trinkett” (Genius, yes?) and by week’s end, it was published.
For the record, my husband was absolutely fine with the story. I had lost my blog over a year ago and despite all the lost content, his only concern was that this article was safe and retrievable.
And that my friends, is how you get addicted to writing.
For the Mother Tongue session at DPCON13, I had the cathartic pleasure of reading out my little prized piece of work.
THE world has been taken over by the rapid development of technology – and we have a generation of senior citizens who are determined not to be left behind in this revolution.
Initially, I thought it was commendable that this age group could truly embrace new mediums such as email, social networking sites and even video conferencing. But actually, these are just the new lethal weapons that the older folk use to annoy relatives, friends and any other innocent end users.
Take, for example, my friend’s mother – a lovely, hospitable lady who let me stay at her place in Canada when I was visiting her daughter one Christmas … more than 10 years ago. These days, her daughter and I rarely keep in touch. So why did my friend’s mother feel she needed to send me a Facebook friend request – placing me in the exclusive company of 33 other people?
Obliged to accept, I am now exposed to her status updates that include complaints about how her arthritis is playing up and making it hard to walk, but her eyes are still good enough for her to drive. The personal caption on her profile reads: ”I come in here (Facebook) to chek (sic) up on relatives but no updates since 2009 – what’s happened (sic) – no users anymore (sic).” Ah, no – we have all deactivated our accounts and use new ones.
Then there is my mother-in-law. As an all-embracing-gadgets grandmother, during her visits she is constantly armed with two crucial technical devices: a digital camera and her indispensable memory stick. The digital camera is there for the obvious reasons. But why the memory stick, you ask?
Dissatisfied with her own candid shots, she insists that each visit ends with a complete download of ALL my photos and does not leave until that memory stick is at FULL capacity with captured baby moments. Grandchildren have turned this sweet elderly lady into a complete digital photo hog.
Grandma has also discovered Skype. When suffering from grandchildren withdrawal symptoms, this tech-savvy pensioner will persistently click on that green ”call” button. Returning to the computer, I find the Skype icon bobbing frantically, telling me that there are missed calls from a desperate grandma. Depending on how much she’s missing her granddaughter that day, there may be three, or 10.
To all senior citizens out there who are discovering the ”limitless” joys of staying in touch through technology: for the recipient, there is always a limit.