All groan up
Red Card Roberts
Park Record columnist
There’s a set of commercials I frequently see that make me chuckle. In one spot, a married couple has just moved into their new home and the husband is constantly sweeping imaginary dirt off the floor, touching his wife’s forehead to see if she feels too warm, and saying things like, “Well if a lot of people jumped off a bridge, would you?”
In the second commercial, a woman turns off a light while her husband is in the room and says, “Do you think we own stock in the electric company?” In another scene she bops him on the head and is later seen snoring in a recliner.
At the end of both of these commercials, a voice tells you about an insurance company that can protect your home and automobile, but it cannot protect you from becoming your parents.
I’ve seen both of these advertisements a few times, and find myself amused by them. Mostly because turning into my parents has always seemed so farfetched to me. I have found no shortage of comfort by repeating, “I’m nothing like them” over and over again in my head.
For one thing, my father hates progress or technology of any kind. If it were up to him nothing would have changed since the early ‘70s. We’d all still have a 13-inch black and white TVs with three channels and use payphones. He simply refuses to evolve. If he needs to call a business, he looks for the number in a phonebook. And for a long time he resisted getting a cell phone, but he eventually had to because my mom is so accident-prone (see next paragraph). But he can only answer an incoming call. Despite endless training and explanations, the man cannot figure out how to dial out. He’s more likely to teach his dog to speak Japanese than he is to learn how to text. On the rare occasion he needs help with the internet, he’ll call me and ask me to “punch in” a website, always starting with, “It’s WWW. Got that? Three Ws. Then a period…”
Then there’s my mom, who has the bone structure of a baby bird and the coordination of a one-legged giraffe. In the last few years she has managed to shatter her hip while throwing away expired popsicles, break her wrist falling out of a model home she was touring, tear her ACL while standing still, and fracture her ankle by falling off a sidewalk. There is simply no end, or logic, to her injuries. I half expect her to dislocate her shoulder while making coffee. Her idea of exercise or physical activity is walking to the mailbox. She once had a personal trainer come to her house a few times each week. And her rule was, “Don’t make me sweat.”
I am certainly not being recruited by Silicon Valley, nor do I appear on any rosters of elite athletes. But generally speaking, I can use a TV remote and walk around the block without incident. So the idea of becoming my parents has never really been of great concern to me.
Until this weekend.
My mom and dad were here for a few days visiting. And while I like to think I’m nowhere near as bad as they are, I’m pretty sure the metamorphosis has started.
We went to dinner one night and my dogs decided to TP the house while we were out. I came home and shook my head at both of them. “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed,” I told them as I cleaned up five rolls of toilet paper, which I somehow sprained my wrist doing. My mom was quick to offer me an icepack, aspirin and an ACE bandage from her purse.
After getting patched up, I searched my house for a notepad and pen and made a list. “Buy more toilet paper” was at the top.
My boyfriend looked at me in disgust. “Tell Alexa to add it to your list, or order it for you. Or at least use the memo app on your phone! No one writes things down anymore!”
“I do!” my dad and I said simultaneously.
If I twist my ankle while getting up to fiddle with the antennas on the TV, I’ll know I have real issues.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.
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