Well, while the rest of you wait to see who will be the next President, I am standing in line at Verizon. A tiny, white-haired woman in front of me is barking commands to the young man at the service desk. “No, I want the 4 “S” she hisses. “I’m upgrading from my iPhone. I want the Siri!” She bangs her old iPhone down on the counter and he hustles away to find one.
She is flanked by two women, clearly her daughters. I eavesdrop. The younger one worries about the cost. The older one says, “Mom. You’re 82! Why do you need such a high-tech phone? She barely acknowledges their concerns. Instead she says, “You both need to get with it.”
The young man returns, shows her the box and asks if this is what she wants. Now he is about six-foot three. Her head barely reaches the counter top. “How do you expect me to see that from here?” she barks. “Open it up and hand it over. I’ll let you know.” He hands her the shiny, white phone. A big smile slowly comes over her gruff, wrinkled face. “Yup. Now set it up and I’ll tell you what I want.” Over the next several minutes she will have him activate the phone, download apps and even set up her personal mailbox account.
“Don’t you have trouble typing into those touch screens?” I ask.
“Nope,” she huffs.
“Surely you remember the days of ‘party lines?’ I continue.
“Of course. I still remember my old number.” She rattles it off.
“Wow,” I say impressed. “But don’t you kinda miss the good old days when you had to wait weeks just to get a letter from your boyfriend?”
“Nope. I liked Larry. He was the bus driver. I got on his bus every, single day and drove the whole route with him.”
“How romantic!” I enthuse. “Did you marry him?”
“Heavens NO!” she exclaimed. “He was already married.”
Clearly there are some seniors for whom Alzheimer’s will never be an issue.
Helen Hudson is the author of, “Kissing Tomatoes,” a non-fiction memoir of Alzheimer’s.