16 Oct / Fading memories
I remember the first time that one of my parents wasn’t equipped to handle modern technology. The good old copy/paste was something that eluded poor old Dad and stayed forever out in that exorable wilderness that consisted of everything he would never know.
It didn’t matter about writing down the instructions. For some reason, the part of his brain that would once have interpreted it and memorized the process within seconds was full up. No doubt the bulging wisdom contained therein had a lot of facts not useful after the fifties, sixties, or seventies. But brains are odd constructions and just because you’re not using something at the moment (or the past few decades) doesn’t mean you won’t need it again.
I accept that this is a part of aging. Annoying as it was to explain the same process over and over, it came with a bittersweet realization that I’d spent many years on the other side of that equation as I grew up and learned to deal with things in the world for the first time.
It’s just something that happens as you grow older. Nothing to worry about.
This morning, I turned on the oven that we’ve owned for well past ten years but not quite twenty. It’s a solid, dependable oven, just the thing you want when food needs heating up. I went to check on said food twenty minutes later and discovered that the oven wasn’t actually turned on. I’d selected a temperature, sure, 180 degrees Celsius, which is a bit of a favorite. However, the oven doesn’t operate without being told what mode to perform in, and I’d forgotten to turn that dial to the requirement Thermowave setting.
This is an easy thing to fix. I should know because I’ve been fixing precisely the same problem for the last at least ten but not quite twenty years. The part of my brain that is required to remember that the oven has TWO dials is obviously full up already with vital pieces of information like the name of the lead singer of A-ha or how to code the DOS string to produce an airline ticket on a dot-matrix printer issued by Air New Zealand.
Before this oven, you see, I’d been used to operating one that had a temperature dial, and if you wanted Thermowave, you pressed in a button. Or maybe it was flicked a switch. Either way, if you forgot to do that, the result was still cooked food just not cooked quite as evenly or as quickly. Without a strict penalty in place for a blunder, my brain decided that it didn’t need to learn. And now I’ve left it so late that it can’t.
Not to worry. It’s just old age setting in. Just another sign that I’ll grow increasingly inept at coping with the fast-changing world we live in, and then die. Excuse me while I go off to hyperventilate (and perhaps check on the oven again!)