A-O-Hell

Between papers, blogging, journaling, posting, and email, I write a lot. To read me, I think, is to know me, and it struck me today that I’d put money on the fact that my professors, after 2 years of reading my papers, know me better than my parents do, who have never read anything I’ve ever written (that I know of. There’s a questionable incident when I was a kid with my diary, but it was never confirmed.)

That kind of made me sad.

Today, though, full of spunk and half-way clear lungs and nose, I spent a couple of hours showing my dad how to use the internet.

It’s an exercise in futility, since I’ve done it several times before, and I will most likely do it several times in the future.

Today, though, was rather enjoyable, despite the crossed arms and the curse words which were, unbelievably, not my own.

His first problem is that he has AOL. Bless his little heart. I’ve been trying to convince my folks to upgrade to cable, but they “don’t use it that often.” I try to tell them that if they knew some of the things they could do on the ‘net, they would, but so far it’s been fruitless. His second problem is that he lacks a modicum of patience. As any survivor of dial up knows, AOL and impatience is a deadly combination.

So we’re dealing with phone lines strewn across two rooms, a man who doesn’t even recognize the AOL icon, a burning desire to order fishing gear online, and me.

Oy, vey.

So I introduced him to searching outside of AOL, and he was amazed at the power of Google. We successfully found the stuff he was looking for, and he decided that he’d go to the stores in person, despite its being over 75 miles away.

Before we closed out the internet, though, on a lark, I showed him the blog, and the picture of his friend Mark. This in turn lead to the entries about my grandfather’s funeral and dealing with the visitation. We hadn’t really talked about my grandfather much since he died…we see him everywhere, and make little comments now and then about how he would have liked this, or how he would have loved to see the dog do that.

But today, for a short time, anyway, we really talked about my grandfather, and I realized that I’m not the only one who isn’t done grieving.

And it was nice. For a family who doesn’t talk much, and two members in particular who don’t talk to each other much, it really was very, very nice. I’m kind of seen as the fuck-off kid. Despite my being buried to my neck in papers, etc., I’m seen as the one who screws around because I only work 2 days a week, the writing center not included. And I saw him as the emotionless hardass.

But then I read some of my blog to him, about papers and being disconnected. I read about Mark and my grandfather. And we talked.

It was kind of nice to walk away with a little different perspective, even if we have to go through it all again later.

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4 thoughts on “A-O-Hell”

  1. This reminds me of the time I wrote about my dad at a writing workshop and everyone said I should send it to him for Fathers Day. I did not. I wouldn’t dare. Even though it felt ONLY 1 -2% critical and I would not be able to have him read it. Anyway… I’m glad you and your father made a connection today. My dad hates the computer, too. I think he plays games but he won’t do email. My mom knows more about PCs than I do.

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  2. Enjoyed reading this post Fool. A O Hell is a wicked clever title too!

    When I upgraded my dad’s computer last year, he was mad for like 2 weeks because the Freecell game wasn’t the same. And Freecell is how the computer is used for probably 80% of its uptime.

    Actually it was EXACTLY the same game, but a different looking deck. He could not tolerate the surface differences even though it was the very same card game. So I copied freecell.exe from his old Windows 98 computer onto his new Vista Home Basic computer and he was happy. One wonders what would happen if he played with real cards.

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  3. @ CuriousC: I know that feeling of not wanting anything even possibly critical to be read. *hugs* It really is the strangest things that make lasting memories. I’ll remember my dad and AOL for a really, really long time, because he was able to see a side of me that I’m not sure he had, and I was able to see his reaction and knew that he “got it.”

    @ David: First of all, thanks for stopping by and posting a note! I “get” that Freecell thing–I can see it with my dad, but this season I bought some lotion for my grandmother. It’s Keri–a brand she’s been using for years, won’t use any other kind. It changed to a black bottle instead of a white one, and despite the fact that it has a sticker that actually has an arrow connecting a picture of the old white bottle and the new black bottle, showing them to be the same, I worry that she won’t use it.

    Copying the freecell.exe was the sign of a brilliant son. Their computer is old enough that they don’t have to worry about Vista, but when they do, they’ll be SOL. My brother’s a fisherman (read: I have to show him the same thing I show my dad). As for me, I’ve recently graduated beyond the “if it doesn’t come on when the button hits, I’m screwed” when I remember to check the power connection.

    He’s kind of SOL there, too.

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