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The only constant continues to be change

The only constant is change

Men don’t like change. I think I’m turning into an old man.

In my early married life, when I wanted to change something in the house, my late husband, Tom, would say, “What do you mean, change? Paint the living room? We just painted it a couple of years ago.”

Actually, it had been 19 years, but he always settled in slowly. “What’s wrong with it? It’s perfectly good,” and then, thinking he might not sound convincing, he tossed out, “You chose the perfect color and I really like it.” Nice try. Fuggedaboudit.

He liked it the way most men like their surroundings – comfortable, predictable, and unchanging. Oh, and there is one other little thing – they don’t want to be “torn up,” because that could lead to a mess, which could lead to work, and that would take all the comfort away.

That’s one type of man. Actually, I have learned that is most men. I do, however, have a few friends whose husbands think freshening up the house is a good idea, and will even climb on a ladder in paint-splotched jeans to prove it. My theory is that they are either engineers who always need to be changing something, or they truly understand the phrase, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Those guys are both smart and willing. A nice combination.

Women like fresh and new. Even women who love antiques, but especially women who are married to one. A room filled with perfect furnishings can always use some new draperies, carpet or wall color.

Changing dÈcor is fun, but the ongoing technical changes in all my electronic gizmos are driving me around the bend.

I don’t come naturally to hi-tech. I like to turn the key and put the car in drive. Same with the computer. Just boot and go.

I’ve been moderately self-satisfied with my ability to learn the ABCs — just enough to use the computer every day. I am writing this on my new laptop and can manage the saving, attaching, emailing and replying just fine. I got really cocky recently when I successfully added a photo to my text. But I may not be able to do it a second time – we’ll see.

I thought for a while that if I could master another little computer trick every few days, I could be truly computer literate in a couple years. Then it hit me. It won’t matter. Because by the time I truly get used to this machine, THEY will change everything. Again.

The last time this happened, I was still working. One morning I opened my computer to the announcement that Microsoft had installed Windows 10 over the weekend. “You’ll love the ease of our new system…” It went on to blab about how much better it was than the pathetic Windows 7 that I was still using … which I loved for one reason … we had become friends. Then this perfect stranger wanted to move in and break up my comfortable everyday romance. My office manager somehow overrode the “upgrade,” and I was good for a number of months – until I wasn’t. Eventually, I had to learn the new system. It was painful.

One of the reasons I have a new computer is that the systems that ran the old one were outdated. YET AGAIN. I know there are techies whose jobs exist just to make things better. But has it ever occurred to the computer honchos that there are those of us who really don’t want better? We are sufficiently happy, thank you very much. Support what we have and leave us alone. We don’t need any more.

Oh, I suppose I could learn another system if my life depended on it, but something in my personal memory bank would have to be erased to make room for it. My own storage capacity is losing gigabytes at warp speed. I want those inventive geniuses to offer a program for those of us who just want the basics…and DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING. (Does that sound stern enough?)

I swear that Microsoft and all supermarkets are in cahoots making change for change’s sake. Stop “optimizing” my shopping experiences. Just as I have learned where a store stashes the toothpicks, they are moved to another category. You know the drill. We learn where it is, they move it. Again.

I think these companies must be researching together just how much change senior citizens can take. They probably reason that we have nothing but time on our hands. They should use one of their endless surveys to determine just how satisfied we can be – when they don’t change anything.

I do, however, want to make one important change: “If Grandma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

Marcy O’Brien lives in Warren, Pennsylvania with Dear Richard, and Finian, their bashful Maine Coon cat. Marcy can be reached at Moby.32@hotmail.com.

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