Our VCR broke last spring and we've spent the summer watching only DVDs. However, we still have about fifty really good movies on VHS, so we decided to buy one of those VCR-DVD player combos. Of course we were smart enough to have our son hook it up. As he was unpacking it he started laughing.
"What?" I asked.
He held up the new remote- it must have about thirty tiny white buttons!
"I can just see you two figuring out this one!" he said as he laughed again.
It's a running joke in our house-Gary and I can barely use three or four buttons on each of our remotes. We're both intelligent, educated people. But I think our generation is afraid to break something we can't afford to replace. We're more cautious about doing everything "right"-I even have to look carefully before using the remote for the air conditioner. Robert, on the other hand, has an instant raport with any piece of equipment that comes into the house. He can push buttons and show me things that I didn't even know the darn machines would do. And he doesn't read the instruction booklet! I don't understand it. I guess it has to do with the caution of old age. I want to know everything and understand everything before I start pushing buttons. That's why I read the instructions...but then of course I become confused and give up and end up using only the most basic features. Robert just has that "wonder what this does?" attitude and pushes buttons at random until he figures out everything the machine does. I've told him all of his life that his fearlessness will get him into trouble...it hasn't.
You'd think that I'd adopt some of Robert's ways and start pushing buttons. I just can't seem to do it. Maybe if he wasn't around to help me I would be more daring. But he is here, and as long as he is I will take advantage of his skills.
This afternoon he's going to show me how to watch a movie! I may have to write it down.