Flashdance 1983Somewhere on the way to my 40th birthday*, I must have stopped to tie my shoe or been delayed by traffic, figuratively speaking of course. The world seems to have skipped ahead leaving me way behind the times on everything from fashion to technology. When I see women wearing clothes with cut outs, I can only relate to them with memories of what I wore to my 8th grade dance. When I hear about some uproar on Instagram, I can’t remember if that’s the one with the likes, the tags or the filters. Or maybe, it’s all three.

I’ve heard of people exploring their inner child. But right now, I’m most in touch with my inner senior citizen.

Recently, there was a girl at work who was acting peculiar. She was jumpy. She would disappear frequently. She had disengaged from co-workers. In hindsight, there are so many reasons she could have been acting this way. She could have been going through a rough personal time. Perhaps she was battling depression. Maybe it was some sort of irritable bowel thing. But my inner little old lady just scratched and squawked out loud, “I wonder if she’s on drugs.” In a time when so many people are on a myriad of drugs, being on drugs isn’t even a thing anymore. But my Nancy Reagan was firing on all silver cylinders ready to solve the mystery.

The girl ended up finding a new job and leaving. There were no mysterious drugs found and no peculiar behavior that followed her to her next job. Later I found out- she had just been bored.

My old timeyness does not stop here. Remember when Google was just a search? And then how they seemed so generous for offering free email? And then when they made all those cute holiday animations and we were so busy watching bunnies hop into the shape of the logo, they took over the world? And then suddenly you were expected to know the Google suite of tools?

Maybe it’s all easy. For you. But for me, it harkens back to my memories of trying to teach my mom how to use her first personal computer.

“When I click this, it doesn’t do anything”

“I keep pushing the power button but nothing happens.

“Where does it save?”

“That’s the clock.” “It’s unplugged.” “It’s right there on the desktop.”

So it’s only fitting that now I’m the geezer with the questions, “How do you make an excel sheet a Google sheet?” “How can you let people see it?” “Where does it save?” I am hoping no one can see my Google history of questions on these matters. In fact, everyone should get to take their history of questions to the grave. It’s only dignified.

I put on my reading glasses and slowly learned about life beyond “Googling” and Gmail. I invited people to my new document. I watched them add to this document. I hoped it saved.

But my worst old person offense was a recent phone call. On my office phone, the caller ID read “Harris.” I don’t know why a bank would call my work number. No one knows my work number. I don’t even know my work number. It must have been a mistake.

But then I saw “Harris” on my cell phone. I have a bank account with Harris and have recently had a beef about a fee they charged me. But I don’t know why they would call me- they’re the ones with the money, not the beef. I decided to pick it up.

They explained they were calling about a collection. I was mad- was Harris Bank so awful they would charge me fees and then put me into collection? THE NERVE. But it wasn’t that. Different Harris. It’s a debt collector for my last gas bill from my old condo. Oh, that makes sense. I never received a final bill. When they verified my addresses and told me the outstanding balance, they said I could pay with a credit card over the phone. THAT IS SO CONVENIENT. So I gave them my information. They then told me, “There is a $9.95 convenience charge for paying with a credit card.” Not so convenient after all. I told them I would send a check instead. Immediately the woman said, “Let me see if I can get that fee lowered to $4.95.” She was gone for half a second, came back and said, “My manager is allowing me to waive the fee. Great! Though that “Let me check with my manager” line was the oldest trick in the book.

And now I worried this whole call might be a trick too.

I had visions of logging into my bank account to see “0”. I would wonder how I had let this happen. Of course, they had my credit card, not my bank account but still, I felt violated. I realized, “OH NO. This is what happens to OLD PEOPLE.” You hear it all the time- an old person who’s just sitting on their stoop sipping lemonade or in a rocking chair listening to an old timey radio gets a call from a “nice young man” selling one thing or another. Just like that, a poor sweet old person is swindled. Well, today, that was me.

Of course, I do have a shred of life left in me so I called my credit card company right away, disputed the charge and cancelled the card. And maybe it was also super “old person” to get paranoid like this but I’d rather not take my chances, sonny.

*Note: I’m not saying 40 is old. I’m just saying I AM. Also, happy birthday Mom!