More Banana Than You Can Handle

More Banana Than You Can Handle

It was my husband Andy’s birthday yesterday and we fought for ten minutes over a banana. I am desperate not to be the bad guy here, but I think I might be.

I was eating the last banana and asked, just like this:

Hey Hon, do want some of this banana?

He says, I don’t want banana right now, but you can leave me half of it.

But do you want banana?

I’m eating toast.

Ok. But do you want some banana?

I wasn’t going to have any banana, but I can have some if you want.

No. I don’t need you have any banana. Do you want some? I am happy to give you some if you want it, but I can also eat all of this.

I bought the bananas because I like them. I thought you didn’t eat bananas.

I’m eating them this week. Were they supposed to be for you? Did I eat all your bananas?

It’s fine. I don’t care. I might eat it later. I just thought you didn’t eat bananas.

Yes or no, do you want some of this banana?

Andy replies with words that are neither yes nor no. And that unfortunately is an issue for me. I should let it go. I should learn to interpret what he means. But I have this overwhelming need to be able to communicate on my own terms, so I persist. I follow him into the bedroom and keep going. I say:

Is this a southern thing? Are you not answering me because both answers show a lack of care for me and you are only interested in showing care? Like if you say yes, that means you might be depriving me of a whole banana and saying no means you might be rejecting my generous offer?

He nods while making the bed and replies, that could be. I thought maybe you were offering it because it’s like eggs and was more banana than you can handle.

He is so considerate of me he can’t answer the question. He’s only thinking of me and how much banana I can handle. The yes or no makes it only about him. What a man. I was actually asking him if he wanted some banana because I love him.

A little later I came into his office and said. Yes or no only! I just poured myself the last cup of coffee. Do you want half? He said yes. And he got half.

The Technology Isn’t Working, Can You Help?

The Technology Isn’t Working, Can You Help?

I have a couple of mottos I live by. One is:

It doesn’t matter how you feel, it matters how you act.

Saturday, I had an Olympic level challenge for this particular virtue. I didn’t medal. Ugh!

So, I had carved out some time to make art. I was doing it; I was listening to music and drawing. You might associate that activity with me but it’s actually really hard for me to draw before 5pm because of responsibilities. And here it was not even afternoon teatime and the markers were out and it was happening! A very pleasant half hour ensued.

Then my cell phone rings. It’s mom. She’d texted earlier that she couldn’t log into Facebook. Though I’d called her right back she is only now returning my call to help. Two and a half hours later I abandon my drawing and hustle to the kitchen. I am late starting dinner. As I chop onions, I review what just happened. I suck! Was I really just that mean to mom? Did I really use that tone of voice? What is wrong with me?

I’m not gonna belabor the plot synopsis of this play because it’s one we’ve all seen. It’s a play we’ve all performed. We’ve all been cast in both roles, the technological idiot and the person trying to help the idiot. The play sucks and everyone hates it. And yet the play has run nonstop for decades. It’s called The Technology isn’t Working, can you help? I know I’ve never felt so helpless as when I am in the idiot role. I mostly only know what I know now because of the number of times I’ve had to play the idiot. Part of the frustration of that role is you don’t know what you don’t know. Hard to be specific about ignorance.

On that note, the reason it’s so difficult to help my mom is because she doesn’t know the simplest terms. She doesn’t know if she is accessing Facebook through a browser or an app. I tried to zoom with her so I could see what she was seeing but she only had her phone so she couldn’t screen share. I tried to transfer her to her laptop, but she doesn’t know her log in password. I have it. She’s in. But it’s useless because she doesn’t know the Wi-Fi password. Cascading problems. I am feeling so much anxiety. Let’s just try to deal with one at a time. Let me ask some questions to get the information I need to understand the problem.

Do you know what a browser is, yes or no?

The screen says…

No mom, just yes or no, do you know what a browser is? Do you know what that term means?

When I click on the…

Mom! Mom! Stop! Please just answer me with a yes or no.

She can’t. I don’t know why. But I have to listen to reams of gobbledygook to try and parse the information I need. It makes me physically upset and my tone of voice stops being the way I want it to be.

Somehow, I do get her back into Facebook. I feel like I just got a Nobel prize. I am so proud of myself. I gave her a stern lecture about passwords and we hang up.

While still taking an arrogant bow at the end of the play for being the person who solved the riddle, the curtains immediately raise on a new play called You are a Terrible Daughter! What’s Wrong with You?

My mother has done so much for me. How many times has she stopped what she was doing to help me? Too many to count. I could never repay her with my time. I have to see helping her as a privilege, not as a roadblock. I call her back, apologize for being not so nice. She doesn’t care, she loves me, and she got her Facebook back. If I am going to medal in the next round, I need to improve my workout. I need to remember to be grateful in the moment of difficulty. I need to tattoo that motto on my arm.