• Last modified 1058 days ago (Nov. 5, 2020)



© Another Day in the Country

OK, my television is trying to get me to talk to Alexis — whoever she is.

“Ask Alexis, ‘How do you frost a cake’, ” comes up on the bottom of the screen.

I have a new “clicker” that evidently encourages non-activity, right down to fingers touching buttons. All you have to do is talk!

Now let me tell you right off the bat, I DO NOT LIKE THOSE BANNER THINGIES that come across the bottom of the television screen.

Does anyone know how to get rid of them?

I’ve had to train my brain to ignore them. I don’t want them! In fact, I resent having to train my eyes not to read them so that I can concentrate on what I WANT TO WATCH. 

Here comes another one, “Ask Alexis, ‘What is the temperature of the sun?’ ”

Is that really relevant right now? Maybe I should ask Alexis why people don’t take climate change seriously? But I think I already know the answer to that question.

It’s because we are bombarded with so much semi-informative questionable information, everything and everyone seemingly wanting our attention — like banners advertising the next big TV show while you are trying to watch the one you want and purposefully tuned in to see — so, we just tune most things out like annoying static.

“Ask Alexis…,” as if Alexis is the end all, be all, fountain of information.

I say, “Don’t you have any friends to whom you speak to? Can’t you ask them questions?” 

I mean, just asking. 

I only have a few friends that I could really ask serious questions, but there are lots of people I could ask about frosting a cake. To be magnanimous (my mother’s favorite word), I’m sure there are folks just learning to bake — perhaps after watching The Great British Baking Show — that get interested in baking and perhaps don’t actually know how to frost a cake.

If I were in that predicament, you can bet your bottom dollar I wouldn’t ask Alexis. I’d call my sister, the best baker I know, or in a pinch I’d go on YouTube (how modern of me) and find a demo video.

So, “Get lost, Alexis. I don’t need you.”

There’s a shelf full of cookbooks in my kitchen — all the way from my Grandmother Schubert’s cookbook with her notations in the margins, my mother’s favorite cookbook, and my favorite, to a couple I put together myself, so I have lots of reference material.

However, recently, I’ve had fun going to the Internet to find recipes that are specifically tailored to my newer, more educated, healthier mode of cooking.

“Furthermore, Alexis, frosting isn’t considered a food group, is it?”

Oh, oops, here I am talking to this non-entity.

“Try asking Alexis, ‘What can I say’?”

Really? How insulting! This machine assumes I’m shy and that my ignorance is so all-encompassing that I have to not only have conversations with a machine but ask the machine what I should be asking. CLICK! I’ve shut off the machine.

That felt pretty powerful. What was I doing anyhow, sitting in an easy chair at 11:20 in the morning? There are a million things I should or could be doing — like straightening up the art room (where I threw all the paint supplies on the table when the cousins were visiting) or clearing off the deck in my bathroom (that accumulates more cosmetics than a woman my age needs).

I confess, “Samples, I’m a sucker for freebies and trial-size anythings.”

There are plenty of things for me to do besides converse with Alexis.

As I write, it’s Saturday — the weekend. Even though I’ve been mostly retired for years, working at a job only a day or two a week, I still have that 9-to-5 mindset running Monday through Friday, looking forward to “the weekend” as if it were a holiday from something rather than a fairly normal 24 hours (times two) of life.

Exciting things are supposed to happen on the weekend. It’s the weekend when you plan trips, go visit friends, take in a movie, go out to eat, or go to a ticketed event. What? Where do you find a ticketed event, these days? 

Before we were socially isolating, by necessity, any mostly-retired person probably will tell you that in one way or another they already were more socially isolated than they were in their earlier life.

When I was in my 30s I was gasping for breath, searching for 10 minutes to call my own, and way too busy. Fifty years later, I still gasp for breath on occasion but I’m constantly on the alert for an interesting, time-consuming activity beyond cleaning — especially as winter threatens and the lawn doesn’t need mowing, and outside becomes inhospitable.

CLICK “Hey, Alexis! It’s the weekend. What would be fun to do on another day in the country?”

Last modified Nov. 5, 2020