A few months ago, around Christmas time, I bought Oma a new blender. A few days before, the poor old blender broke. Well, I think, it’s about time she gets a new one. The old one is over 25 years old! It looks something like this, but slightly more hipster, cos it’s got a retro 80s tinted glass jar! Dude, I’m telling you it’s f*king hideous!
Sooo, anyway I bought her a new one, a brand spanking new, bad ass, 5-in-1 wet and dry mill Miyako blender. LOL yay go me!
“Here Oma, Birthday/Christmas present for you.”
“Thanks, but I already got so many of these.” (GAH!)
“Well, but aren’t that one broken? This is a new one, good model. I’ll read the daunting manual and I’ll teach you!”
So for a few weeks, the new blender sat in the kitchen counter, and I occasionally try to make juices and smoothies with it, but I never actually saw Oma using it. I didn’t even realize it was gone until I saw it sitting in the storage, in box, wrapped in plastic, just like new.
Oma likes to take good care of her stuff, I thought, with a smile and a nod.
I woke up this morning to a familiar whirring noise… It was Oma grinding some potatoes for making perkedel (potato fritters) in the kitchen… using the OLD blender!
I was like… what. the. “Oma, didn’t that old blender already broke?” – excuse my out-of-bed grammar.
Oma was like, “Yes, I cleaned it up a bit and reassembled it, and it’s working again!”
My Oma is a cross between MacGyver and Martha Stewart, just like me.
“Oh, I see. OK, good on you!” I slumped back into my room.
I resisted the temptation to ask why she doesn’t use the NEW blender, the better, faster, harder, stronger one that I’ve bought for her. All sorts of thoughts ran through my head. Maybe she forgot she already got a new one? Maybe she doesn’t like my gift?
Driving to work, BBMing a friend about it, analyzing over what happened, I think I’ve figured out the answer.
This blender is something new.
Oma is 85 years old.
This blender intimidates her.
She has no idea how to operate it.
She’s afraid she cannot learn how to use it properly.
She’s afraid she’ll break it and consequently make me, as the giver, upset.
Oma is comfortable with the old blender, why try to force her to use the new one?
This blender is not for her. It’s for the 20-40 something target audience, the very one who bought it. This is why everything in this house is old school – Radio cassete decks instead of CD/MP3 player, 50 year old manual sewing machine, recipe books and phone numbers stored manually in numbered, handwritten, notebooks, instead of in an iPad. Letters and phone calls instead of email, IM and text messages. It’s how Oma (and Opa) wants it to be. It’s not like we can’t afford them new technology. It’s because of WHO the intended users of these age-old appliances are.
Some things, and some people, will never change, and we’ll have to live with that.
I slapped my forehead upon coming into this silly conclusion. Oh well!
The red light turned green, I put my shifter into first gear, and drove on with a smile.
On a side note: If you’re not of elderly age and you can’t figure out (or don’t wanna learn) how to use a blender, a cellphone, an iPad, a Facebook page, or, God forbid, how to send text messages, I will personally kick your ass for being a lazy ass technophobic (and then I’ll gladly teach you how to use them well and proper!)
Learn as much as you can, for as long as you may live.
Gadget freak signing off.