The ins and outs of a young library media specialist's life. Rock, rock on.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Some Family Fun

My father does not call me on the telephone. Nor does he email, text, or in any other way contact me unless there is some malfunction in his otherwise sheltered life. Our conversations are limited to when we actually see each other in person, or his occasional shouts to me in the background while I'm chatting with my mother.

So when I heard his voice on the line as I was navigating rush hour traffic yesterday evening I knew I was in for a long-winded, nerve-wracking saga that would somehow involve a great deal of my time and patience. I choked back my immediate response of "just put Mom on the phone" because although I knew it would likely simplify whatever problem needed to be solved I felt strangely compelled to find out what could be confounding him enough to rouse him out of the daily routine and pick up the telephone. A fatal mistake on my part.

Dad: "So I'm having a little computer problem."
Me: (sighing inwardly) "Ok. What happened?"
Dad: "Oh, no. Nothing happened. You see, I was at work and they want me to go to this training course. In Madison. You know, Wisconsin. So I was talking to the regional manager- he's on vacation right now, but that doesn't really matter- and he said I should talk to the secretary about travel arrangements. So I talked to her, and she said that since the class is on Tuesday at 8 a.m., I'd have to book the flight for Monday. And then she told me to look up flights and see which one I thought I'd want, and I told her I want to be comfortable. So what do I do?"
Me: (inwardly trying to process this diatribe) "Ummm. So you need to book a flight? What's the computer problem?"
Dad: "Well you see, she didn't tell me how to book the flight and your mother refuses to help me." (I hear my mother's blood pressure going up, pulsing over the line)
Me: "So you need a website to go to? Try travelocity. You can look up the dates and different airlines."
Dad: (long pause) "Ok."
Me: "Ok, are you there?"
Dad: "Yes. No. Wait. No. I type slowly."
Me: "Ok, are you there now?"
Dad: "No. I'm not at the computer."
Me: (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) "Dad! Do it now, while I'm on the phone with you!"
Dad: "Why don't you call me back when you get in?"
Me: "Just do it! I'm not calling you back and going through this again. Are you at the website?"
Dad: "No. My manager's on vacation, you know? But he said he doesn't care if the flight is expensive, I just need to get there. For this class. And I want a direct flight. From Manchester."
Me: (clenching my jaw) "Yeah, you said that. Dad, go to travelocity dot com. There won't be direct flights from Manchester to Madison, you'd have to go out of Boston for that."
Dad: "How do you know? You don't know."
Me: "Yes. I do know. Remember when I worked there for a year?"
Dad: "Oh. Yeah. So I have to leave on Monday to get there for Tuesday?"
Me: "Dad!!!!!!! Seriously, you're going to give me a heart atta---"
Mom: (I hear much shoving, scraping, and swearing) "Ok, your father is gone. What do I do?"

Two minutes later my father had the information he needed, printed out, with different airlines, times, and prices. I had a stress fracture in my jaw from grinding my teeth and a throbbing headache. Seriously, it worries me that a 53 year old man is not only incapable of making travel arrangements for himself, but is also unable to follow directions. He's not a stupid man, he just has a severe lack of common sense. I blame either the "simple New Hampshire life" or adult onset ADD. Either way, it made me remember why I was ok with the twice yearly phone calls.


Anonymous megan rocks hardcore!

ha!! when my dad came to visit he gave me the hour and a half long dissertation (his conversations usually max out at 10 minutes before he gets tired reading your lips b/c he's legally deaf but refuses to wear his hearing aids, because, "I hear too many noises when I wear them" excuse. yeah, that's the point of hearing aids) of how he had to take the train from new haven to new york in order to get a direct flight to denver, complete with how early he had to leave his condo in order to get to the train station in time so he wouldn't in turn miss his flight. i think he wanted a purple heart for the whole ordeal.

11:20 AM

Blogger Noelle rocks hardcore!

Your dad would love to get together with my dad. Mine refuses to read anything if it's on the computer, so my mother has to print out all of his emails, websites, and my blog. He also gets really agitated when things don't work the first time. I would never begin to attempt to talk him through a travel booking website. You're a brave woman.

12:46 PM

Blogger Ween rocks hardcore!

Thank GOD my dad just talks about the weather and who died in the last month.

My sister gets all the computer questions, since she's the one who works in IT.

12:50 PM

Blogger Lisa rocks hardcore!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! OK, I'm sorry for your pain but I really was laughing aloud at this! MY dad only calls me when he wants to check on my car, or the oil heater or... practical things!

6:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous rocks hardcore!

Will I ever be awarded the purple heart for bravery above and beyond the marriage deal? I am still not talking to him.....maybe he will get stuck in Madison...he thinks he can make up by giving me a cheese wheel.

5:46 AM

Blogger Aaron rocks hardcore!

Of course, allow me to be the person who points out the painful-but-inescapable fact that you are bred from his genetic material, and therefore no doubt possessed of at least some of his qualities.

9:11 AM

Blogger Kirsten rocks hardcore!

my Dad's home office looks a log cabing mated with the apple store. He has one machine devoted to his streaming radio station, only. All we talk about it computer stuff, and how my car is holding up.

10:19 AM

Blogger Kelli rocks hardcore!

I've been MIA from your blog lately and I know de-lurking week is over and all but here I am to belatedly de-lurk.
I'm still 100% trying to get unpacked and settled into my apartment - it seems to be taking forever! But I'm digging the Boston groove once again.

I had to laugh with you IKEA posts too. I went there last Sunday and while I used to LOVE that place this trip I found it to be kind of a depressing place. Maybe I'd eaten one too many swedish meatballs from the cafeteria or something....

12:08 PM

Blogger NancyPearlWannabe rocks hardcore!

M: At least your Dad made it out there. I'm afraid my Dad is going to forget to get back on the plane after his layover in Cleveland, never to be heard from again.

N: Let's set them up on a Dad date!

W: My sister knows about as much as my father about computers, so she's a wash. It's all on me. She just gets taken out to breakfast and shopping. She always got everything.

L: Yes, cars are a topic of much joy to my father as well. He has a cadre of sayings: "Never let the gas get below a quarter tank! Oil changes every 3000 miles! Don't forget that BRIDGES FREEZE FIRST!"

Anonymous Mother: You certainly deserve the purple heart. I can't handle a 10 minute conversation without getting nervous, let alone 33 years of marriage to the man. Although I think you should let him bring the cheese wheel- I always wanted to roll it on the counter like that Hanker for a Hunka Cheese commercial.

A: Thanks for the reminder. Jerk-face.

Kir: I would be interested to see that cabin. Did he build it? My Dad also likes to talk about building things. Maybe your Dad could triple date with my Dad and Noelle's Dad?

K: Welcome back to Beantown! It seems like only yesterday I was excited to go to Ikea. Now it's just a dreadful feeling in the back of my mind.

1:09 PM

Blogger CarpeDM rocks hardcore!

Oh dear.

This totally makes me laugh and also be kind of glad that my dad is dead. I'm going to hell, aren't I?

3:00 PM

Anonymous Viviane rocks hardcore!

Hi, thank you for your comment!
My dad works with computers so he knows a lot about them, and my mom knows how to do all the stuff she needs to do, and when she doesn't know something she typically asks my dad.

1:02 PM


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