Sunday, April 6, 2008

Video Killed The Radio Star

My grandparents are a hoot. At 95, they've been married 70 years. They live on their own in a beautiful condo and are pretty much self-sufficient, just needing a little help here and there with shopping and driving to doctor’s visits..things like that.

They are also two of the most stubborn, not willing to change at all, people I have ever encountered in my life.

Everyone always reminds me to be patient, that when a person is that age, they’re entitled to be stubborn. I would totally agree with that, but they’ve been that way at least since 1966, when I first met them. That would have made them in their mid-50’s at the time I was born. Not old enough to be that stubborn, sorry.

Every time my grandparents come to my house, my grandfather is in awe of my big screen high-definition TV. Grandpa raves about it all the time and loves the picture.

So, on Friday, when their 20+ year old dinosaur of a TV went on the fritz, I did what any loving grandchild would do, I ran out and got them a 32” widescreen HDTV. Oh, yeah. If I could grunt like Tim The Toolman Taylor, I would.

My son and I carried it in, hooked it all up and holy smokes, it looked beautiful! I was so excited!

Grandma and Grandpa? Yeah, not so much.

I don’t like it,” grumbled Grandpa, “our other TV was better.

Better? It only received 4 channels and all the shows looked like they were set in a blizzard!

I reminded him that he likes my big screen TV. He reminded me that my big screen is silver and this one is black.

Would you like it better if I took this one back and got a silver TV?” I asked.

No, we should just fix the old one. That was a good TV.”

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....It was a good TV in 1985. Maybe.

No, we are not fixing that TV. It’s crap. This is nice.” I said sternly and looked at my Grandmother for help, but she wasn’t having any part of the new technology, either.

We’re too old for high definition.” she said.

That’s not a new excuse from my grandmother. One of my earliest memories of my grandparents takes place at O’Hare airport. My grandfather was in a suit and hat and my grandmother was wearing her dressy fur stole and they were on their way to Las Vegas.

My grandmother leaned over to kiss me good-bye and told me that they were going to bet the number 64 on Keno because they doubted they’d live that long. Once they passed 64, they’ve been considering themselves old.

Relatively speaking, though, they are in great shape and health. My grandmother looks like she’s in her 70’s and gets irritated when old ladies, (who I’m sure are far younger than she is), don’t move out of her way fast enough in the grocery store. She runs them down with her shopping cart.

I’ve heard the “too old” excuse for color TVs, remote controls, VCR’s, CD players, dishwashers, microwave ovens, drip coffee makers, seat belts, checking accounts and Cable TV.
All of which, with more than a little coaxing, I have successfully gotten them to use and accept.

It wasn’t easy, but they actually like those things now. I’m not having any luck with debit cards or DVD players, but darn it, they are going to like this high def TV. If I have to lug that T-Rex of a TV from their 5th floor condo, it will be going in the dumpster, not to a repair shop.

I turned on a White Sox game. The picture was so clear you could distinguish every blade of grass.

Look at that picture, Grandpa! See, it looks like baseball in the spring, not in the middle of a winter snowstorm!

He didn’t say anything and my grandmother asked if I could still buy a TV like the one they had.

I imagine I could at someone’s estate sale or maybe in the antiques section of ebay, but why? Why would you want that when you can have this?

Life was so much easier when we just listened to our stories on the radio.” Grandma said.

It probably was, but sorry, video killed the radio star a long time ago.

“This is what all the cool kids have? “ my grandmother asked.

It is, Grandma. This is it. Watch this and you guys will be the most technologically advanced almost 96 year old people on the planet. Give it a try, please!” I pleaded.

Two days later, I think they are becoming used to the TV. I’ve heard they’ve invited some of their neighbors in to look at it. With all of the compliments they are getting, I think we may just have a keeper!

Now, if I could just figure out a way to sneak in that DVD player......


The Freelance Guru said...

Too old for seatbelts? I wonder if that's my fathers excuse.

Dustin said...

Shoulda got 'em one of them new-fangled HD LCD TV's that has a DVD player built in. You could have not said anything until they loved the TV and then just slipped a DVD in and said, "yeah, well check THIS out!"

I am so cunning...

Sassy Mama Bear said...

You know technology has its places and limits for the aged. My 60yo FIL manages to break every high tech item HE insists on buying and then calls Allen and expects him to fix it.
You wrote this with such style it was very funny to read.

Kendra said...

your grandparents sound so cute! what a nice granddaughter you are spoiling them like that! if only they understood!! :)

Crystal said...

That's pretty funny. :)

I'm afraid to see what kind of technology might be around if I reach 95.

JAM said...

Old folks jest LOVE to be set in their ways.

I always loved the song and the video for Video Killed the Radio Star.