Twice a week I get calls from her asking for someone's updated number, address, or messenger pigeon route. I don't think she's caught on that most people no longer have home numbers nor do they use their home address for anything in particular. Handing out your address these days can only result in an annoying relative coming to visit, a rotting array of acorn squash in your mailbox placed there by a fantasy football rival, or a Spanish speaking nine-year old showing up on your doorstep - a result of an inebriated, two-dollar-you-call it one night stand during a road trip to Tijuana back in college.
With PayPal, Cards, Evite, MySpace and unlimited online porn sites there should be no reason for any sort of card, invitation, old unwanted VHS tapes, or check arriving at my door.
My Mom also still balances her checkbook which is a concept I've never fully understood. In my opinion if someone wants to embezzle $40 a month from my account, I'm completely fine with that if that means I don't have to go through each miniscule transaction, carry the one, add the six and calculate where every penny is going.
Last week my Mom somehow compared the online business networking site LinkedIn with AIDS. (Yes the Auto Immune Deficiency one). The same disease that has killed thousands world wide all of a sudden is no different than logging onto your LinkedIn account to find other investment bankers in your area...
At first I tried to explain the concept - such as you create an account and then connect with other people who have similar jobs or maybe for looking for a new job and then you gain access so you can search their connections and so on and so forth. First she was confused because I had a connection with my cousin Debbie. "Debbie isn't looking for a job," my Mom interrogated. Once we got past the fact that you can just have an account and don't have to be job seeking I explained the networking part of the site, where you connect to others and then gain access to their connections.
"That sounds a lot like AIDs", she responded.
"No Mom, that actually is nothing like AIDs!" I responded shell-shocked.
"Well you sleep with one person, and then they sleep with another, and it's like you are sleeping with everyone," she responded.
"Mom I just don't think you are getting it."
"You should add your friend Joey, he has a good job," she suggested, starting to grasp the concept.
"Mom, I'm sorry Joey doesn't have AIDs, so I don't think I'll be adding him, sorry..." All these sites serve one general purpose and that is keeping in touch with people that you normally wouldn't have. And there is a reason you normally wouldn't keep in touch with them and that is because you don't want to! MySpace is probably the most dangerous for any sort of relationship because it allows any girl from your friend's list, most of whom you have never met to leave whatever seductive, outlandish, and suggestive comment on your page for the whole world to see before you even you. There is no judge and jury of your peers to determine the validity of the message left, just the interpretation of every visitor of your page to decipher the message to their discretion.
Maybe my Mom has it figured out actually. To this day I haven't heard of one incriminating message resulting from the retro-60's Rolodex...Hmm...I might have to cancel my MySpace account and pick up a fancy dex from my local antique store after all.