June/December Romance

The other day Ken was about to leave for his new job. Another job? I hear you ask. Wasn’t he spending all kinds of time in hot air balloons? What on earth is he doing now? And these are all good questions, the answers to which are a) yes, another job b) the balloon gig is only from May to October and c) he’s picking up and delivering parts, snowblowers, and lawnmowers for a local mechanic. And one of the parts pickups happened to be about 2 hours away by highway. I had to go to work myself that morning, so we agreed that I would call him when I was on the road, so we could chat while we were driving.

Me: How far away are you?
Ken: Not sure. It might be tricky. The map only showed the general area. I think I know what street to take when I get off the highway.
Me: What map?
Ken: I looked it up on one of the maps I keep in my office.
Me: You aren’t using your GPS?
Ken: No need. I had a map.

I used to tell Ken that he was like a 65-year-old man when he did things like write cheques to pay for everything because he “doesn’t trust online banking” or carried a Blackberry around for ten years even though it was virtually useless:

Me: What’s taking so long? I thought you were posting a picture.
Ken: I am. I just have to—hmmm. Or maybe…
Me: Use the image icon.
Ken: I will, after I write the post.
Me: You’re not done yet?
Ken: No, I’m trying to find Facebook.
Me: Maybe the problem is that you have a Blackberry. You know how the “interwebs” works, right? (*old man voice*) “I just can’t keep up with you kids and your newfangled gadgets and the Twitters. What ever happened to the good old days when people used typewriters?!” Oh wait, you ARE using a typewriter. Look at the keyboard on your phone.
Ken: Blackberries are great phones.
Me: Yeah, if you’re 65 years old. (*old man voice*) “I like to feel the keys go down when I press them, just like they did in the 1950s.” Also, could your screen be any smaller? No wonder you can’t find “the Facebook”.
Ken: Ha. Posted. So there. Oh wait, not yet—it’s a little laggy…I wish I had a flip phone with an antennae.

But now that Ken is less than a decade away from actually BEING 65, I have to call him a 90-year-old man, because even 65-year-olds will use a GPS when they’re going somewhere unfamiliar.

Me: But you don’t know where you’re going!
Ken: It’s fine. I memorized the map.
Me: What are you, a f*cking cartographer? (*old man voice*) “Ah yes, I studied the mysterious art of latitude and longitude at the academy.”
Ken (laughs): If it was still dark, I could navigate by the stars.
Me: I can just see you now, driving around in circles until you have to ask for directions. (*old man voice*) “Excuse me, my good sir, would you be so kind as to direct me to the horse and buggy repair shop?”
Ken: It’s fine. I have an internal compass.
Me: Is that a sextant in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Ken: You have 37 pairs of reading glasses, and you can never find ANY of them.

He did get to the place eventually without having to use his GPS. Fortunately for Ken, I have a thing for older men with a strong sense of direction. And now you’ll have to excuse me while I tuck him in for his nap.

And in other news, I found out last week that I was nominated for Spillwords Press Publication of the Year (non-poetic). I know the site is a pain I had to contact them directly because it kept locking me out), but if you’re able to, you can vote for me here before the end of day Sunday (and as always, if you do, I’ll name a character in a story after you): https://spillwords.com/vote/

61 thoughts on “June/December Romance

  1. I’m still a few years away from 50, and I’ve never used a GPS in my life. I even managed to find my Mom’s new doctor’s office a few towns over the other day when I took her for an appointment with nothing more than a cursory look at the Google map at home before I left. I also get by without a cellphone at all! If it weren’t for my home computer (which I AM addicted to) I could apply to be an official Luddite!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As much as I like Ken he needs to get rid of the Blackberry. I do have a personal dislike of Blackberries because the library where I work used to have a director who’d wave his around (“waving your Blackberry” sounds like a terrible euphemism too) and tell us all we’d soon shut down the building because the future of libraries was handheld devices. But I also admire his strong sense of direction and if he’s that devoted to his Blackberry he must be really attached to you.
    Also I voted, finally. I’m not going to complain about their terrible site, though. This technology stuff can be hard for all of us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I finally convinced Ken to get an iPhone but he still complains about the keyboard and takes forever to post anything except for TikToks which, shockingly, he’s very good at! And thanks for voting–even Ken got locked out. There’s a character named Christopher in my future!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember cell phones with antennae! Oh my, that’s ancient history. I’m glad Ken made it, and congrats on the Spillwords nomination. I’d vote, Suzanne, but that site is a total pain. Ugh. I can’t seem to get there… ever. I think I have a lot in common with the Ken.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I use google maps street-view before I go someplace new. I actually “drive” it and then remember what it’s supposed to look like.
    Wife like directions. I like maps. My excuse is that, if I miss a direction — I’m lost. If I “know” the map then I can make corrections and get back on track.
    “Wasn’t that the street?” — whoosh — “Uh, oh, now I’m lost.” “No worries I have a map, in my mind, take the next right and I’ll direct you from there…”

    Liked by 2 people

      • “You doffer. You’ve overrun your mark. No doubt redirecting you would result in such a circuitous route (root) that you would become hopelessly confused and resort to drastic measures such as heading overland as you Colonialists are so wont to do.”
        “Recalculating… Taking into account your limited capabilities as director of your own destiny.”
        “Alright. Now, listen up. Stop your automobile. Complete an exact reversal of your direction. When the time comes—I’m preparing you as you’ve proven you cannot seem to concentrate for longer than a cat’s whisker—you’ll turn left, not right as we’d previously intended. Go ahead now, carry on. And try not to cock it up again, will you?”

        Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s obviously a curmudgeonly old man thing… I think I am a similar age to Ken. And obviously curmudgeonly, just as previously described by your good self I believe…
    Douglas Adams described the approach to tech like GPS, and phones without keyboards, we have;

    “I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
    1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
    2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
    3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh dear….too funny. Then I have my mom (79 years old) over here trying to use a smart phone and calling me because she can’t find “the Googles”…..or calling me to look for a phone number because Googles doesn’t give her just “the” number she wants. It’s infuriating that now when she calls I answer with “ If this is for me to explain how to use your smartphone I’m hanging up.” So I feel your pain but in reverse…😠.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Count me in the 65-year-old man category. I pay all bills with checks, have never used GPS but have gotten some strange looks when I dared to stop and ask directions, and most recently I caused an uproar at our community office when I requested a paper copy of our lease be sent rather than using docu-sign. How dare I actually read the disclosure that said I could receive a paper copy!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Kudos to Ken for finding his way! I have to admit, I started panicking slightly at “I have a map”. I’m young enough to have only ever used a sat nav since I started to drive but old enough to remember trying to read a map for my Mum whenever we went on holiday to the coast.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I definitely think the generation raised on GPS is less adept at knowing where they are in relation to other places. They just go where the GPS tells them! Using maps/directions and intuition teaches you not only how to get somewhere, but where it is. I tend to use GPS not for how to get there, but rather the best way to go, because the real-time traffic updates are something no amount of intuition can help with!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Congrats on the Spillwords nomination!

    As for Blackberries, my poor mother had to finally relinquish hers because it would no longer be operational after January 31. She loved that thing (it was about 75 years old), and was adamant she could not learn a new phone operating system. Well, she’s had her new phone about 2 weeks now, and she’s all “Blackberry? What’s that?”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m kind of with Ken on this, but also kind of with you. I basically love maps and am very happy to review a map, figure out where I’m going & if it’s pretty simple I don’t bother with SatNav – it’s all logged upstairs in me noggin. But, I use online maps & Google Streetview to know where I’m going. I am not gonna fart about with a paper map! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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