Not really. My greatest wishes would be
for world peace, a year of pain-free good health for all my family,
friends, and neighbors, and a brand-new president and Senate Majority
It would, however, be nice if I could
figure out how to make my left wireless earbud work consistently.
They were free and all, so I know I can’t expect perfection. A
little technical expertise on my part would go a long way to making
the new year bright, as they say in the songs. Songs I can only
listen to with my right ear.
Speaking of technical prowess, I have a
hint for those buying grandma or an older friend a special gift this,
or any, season. Whatever you do, do NOT give someone you love a
cordless water flosser, no matter how excited you are about yours. Of
course, if you get excited about items like water flossers, you’ve
probably already given tutorials to any friend or relation who’d
I had lunch the other day with my
friend the Handydyke, who is in her mid-eighties. I’m a dozen years
younger, but we experience life in many similar ways. We were at a
Japanese restaurant avoiding all things sushi, which may be another
characteristic of aging Americans: stir-fry yes, raw fish and
seaweed, emphatically no. Nor is wasabi, however delicious,
compatible with elder guts. It’s so spicy it reminds me how getting
high used to feel.
We were well into slurping up our safe
bowls of yakisoba when the Handydyke mentioned her acquisition of a
cordless water flosser. “Water ends up everywhere!” she said. “It
makes a mess of the whole bathroom!”
“Me too!” I agreed. “I can’t
control mine. Last night I sprayed the ceiling.”
This is true. The cat’s afraid to be
in the room with me. Where are the industrial designers when we need
them? The power buttons on these things are impossible to find by
feel, and my glasses are so quickly coated with a mix of water and
mouthwash I can’t see the controls that were conveniently placed on
the side facing away from the user. I don’t want to spew the foamy
stuff all over myself, so I avoid swallowing while I fumble for the
kill switch, certain I’m going to drown. The Handydyke and I choked
on our noodles we laughed so hard at our ineptitude.
But getting back to the earbud, I
should mention that the set didn’t come with a manual. I shouted
into the void of the internet for help with this. A few kind people
responded that their earbuds had come with manuals. I feel kinda bad
that I didn’t thank them or congratulate them or ask them if they
were the reason Trump is president.
In the great scheme of things, I know
my left earbud isn’t essential or important to some people. There
are things even I want more. Like, I want our democracy back. I want
to spend an enormous chunk of defense funds to halt global warming
and make decent paying jobs available to all Americans, young to old.
I want guns restricted at least at a slightly higher level than water
flossers. I want to possess the loving graciousness to say yes when
my sweetheart invites me to accompany her to the Tom Hanks movie “Mr.
Rogers.” Without gagging.
But I just listened to my first
podcasts and it would be terrific to enjoy them in stereo. Podcasts
were scary for me. My first problem was: why podcasts? My second was,
if you ever figure out their use, how do you listen to them? There
was some sort of electronic trickery involved, obviously, and if I
can’t operate a water flosser, what hope was there for me to
Then my sweetheart presented me with
wireless earbuds. I was relieved she didn’t hold my dislike of Tom
Hanks and disinterest in Mr. Rogers against me, but it took quite a
while for me to tackle the cute little gadgets. Once I did, though,
it was full speed ahead. I now have all sorts of knowledge about the
former mob in Providence, Rhode Island. About the theft of a rare
water lily from an exhibit in the U.K. Why fruit flies aren’t
always fruit flies. How senators are able to cite laws and such as if
they actually know them.
I can’t wait to go for a long walk so
I can learn how nail polishes are named and whether or not I’m
living with a psychopath. Someday, I think I’ll be able to listen
to the “Women and Words” podcasts by lesbian writers and readers,
but right now, I’m sticking with what Google has on offer because I
learned by trial and error how to use it.
In my right ear. And never when I’m
gagging while immersed in a fracas with my unruly water flosser.
[Editor's Note: Lee Lynch is the author
of over 13 books. Her latest, Rainbow Gap, is available at
Strokes Books. You can reach Lynch at LeeLynch@ontopmag.com]
Copyright 2019 Lee Lynch.