My Blog

October 26, 2015

Elderly Mothers and the Powers of the Remote

Rugby? What the heck? How did she find Rugby?


Left alone on Sunday, Mom watched what she could find with the remote. NBC, perhaps because they had been stripped of their Sunday football, offered Rugby as an alternative.  It got Mom hooked on Rugby. Not sure if it was all that magnificent male muscle (thank you, Jack Reacher and J.J. Watt), or the non-stop action, but Monday morning, bright and early she wanted to watch Rugby. I was a trifle put off by the bleeding faces. She agreed that seeing all those “beautiful young faces” all bloody was sad, but she still insisted on watching Rugby. Rugby InjuriesOkay, we’ll find the Rugby matches.

By good fortune, Flatbottom, my technological whiz of a husband, had taught me how to use the Search program on the Remote. After a little fumbling (I am just barely technologically competent) I found the Rugby International Competition on channel 625.  Mom settled in to watch the mayhem while I went off with the dogs for our walk.

Out on the road, my phone buzzed with a warning text message. My lovely, petite, kind-hearted sister-in-law had just read my blog on Mom’s Remote. For six months last summer, my sister-in-law suffered through having Mom and Al and all their cockroaches in her guest room. She kept the pest control guy on Speed Dial and did her best to keep the room clean. Mom, I guess feeling guilty at her daughter-in-law’s Herculean efforts, felt most aggrieved at the cleanliness and godliness.

Mom and Al strolling at sister-n-law's house.

Mom and Al at sister-n-law’s house.

My beautiful sister-in-law is a gracious and kind hostess, full of Christian charity. Her ‘servant’s heart,’ however, suffered a jolt when she learned that someone had ordered the MLB Extra Innings program for $150 on the remote. Not sure if it was Al before he departed for parts north, or Mom not realizing what she was poking on the remote. It’s taken my sister-in-law another six months to finally halt the financial bleeding.

Her warning: Do NOT let Mom use the remote to order anything on-line. If we are truly fortunate, Mom isn’t aware that you CAN order things on-line. This is a new, new world, after all. That said, the powers of Madison Avenue are many and legion. They may teach her how easy it is to order this or that wonderful convenience.

Wait! Didn’t I say she is divesting herself of things, not buying more stuff? My birthday gift comes to mind. So, I think we are safe. There is, however, an additional danger. I have just gotten Mom her first Debit Card. It still amazes her that she doesn’t need to carry cash anymore—just that convenient little card.

Fortunately, she doesn’t have a computer and doesn’t understand the Internet and doesn’t realize that she can use the Debit card on-line. Hubby Flatbottom, on the other hand, has become bff’s with Amazon and Walmart On-Line. He has THEM on Speed-Dial. Maybe she won’t learn the how-to’s of on-line shopping from him.

This morning, Mom needed some groceries and I offered to take the card and do the shopping for her. But, oh, no, no! She insisted on going with me. Heaven forefend that I should “overbuy” using HER new card.

Out shopping, slowly.

Out shopping, slowly.


We went. We saw. She bought. I kept my mouth shut.

Well, at least she got her exercise.

About Caroline Castillo Crimm
Retired Professor Emeritus from Sam Houston State University, interested in writing novels and speaking about topics such as the history of Latin American. Would like to share the AMAZING world of the 18th century in Northern New Spain, that's Spanish Texas and Mexico!
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