This was a high-tech holiday season at our house. And since I am known in our family as the old-fashioned, backward one - the one who resists new cell phones and texting and anything electronic - and is always threatening to leave civilization entirely with just her horse and go up in the mountains to live - no one really knew what I would say when asked if I wanted an iPod for Christmas.
I mean, everybody has an iPod these days, don't they? Well, not me.
Although I loved the idea of buying the music you really want instead of an entire album, and loved the idea of being able to individualize your music selection to your exact taste - the whole concept of learning a new device caused me to break out in a cold sweat.
But my daughter offered to help. "I'll set it up for you, Mom. I'll show you how."
So with that offer, I agreed. My first challenge was getting the iPod out of the package. Understand now, I have a hard time opening CD cases. This thing came in a premolded plastic carrier with no obvious way of unleashing the object inside. And were there instructions? No, never.
But wait, is that a diagram in very tiny print underneath on the plastic? Yes. You bend the plastic! Who knew?
So imagine how proud I was when (with my daughter's encouragement) I figured out how to plug the iPod into my computer and charge it. Wow. Now what? But by next morning, I was loading CDs and copying them. I had songs on the iPod. Now how do I play the darn thing?
I did not want to jog with headphones in my ears. I wanted to play my iPod through the giant speakers of our ancient stereo system. No problem, right? Just need a cord for that. Now this may sound easy to you, but it turned out to be a major obstacle. After a trip to Radio Shack, Best Buy, and asking all kinds of stupid questions to twenty-something would-be electronic gurus, I still could not get good sound from the iPod out through the speakers. (And my daughter had gone home by now).
So (and I really hate when this happens) I had to ask my husband for help. I felt like we were in some bad reality TV show called "How many old fogies does it take to make an iPod work?" I mean, this thing is not much bigger than a stick of chewing gum. How could it possibly play music? But between the two of us, we finally figured out you have to push the cord into the iPod all the way and that you turn the dial on the iPod to adjust the sound. (Hey - if you are under twenty-five years old, stop laughing now!!)
Anyway, at long last - MUSIC!!
"Dance with me," I said. "Like we used to." And so we did - to Alan Jackson (Big Smile).
Last night I downloaded iTunes. I have two iTunes gift cards to use - Oh Happy Day!! Husband goes to bed last night, and wakes up this morning finding me still downloading music. He rolls his eyes. "I've created a monster," he says.
"Shh," I say. "I'm in the middle of deciding between the entire Eagles Greatest Hits album or more Brad Paisley."
I Love my iPod. I have the old stereo cranked up so loud, I feel like a teenager.
And I'm becoming so brave about all this new stuff. Tomorrow I might even tackle my new wireless mouse.