Help is something we all need. Sometimes. But accepting help is kind of difficult for most of us. We really do like to picture ourselves as fairly self reliant – the one who is there when friends need us even if they don’t have the good sense to ask.
Bad health is inclined to interrupt our pictures of our own independence and frequently reduce us to having to accept help. I have always tried to give help gracefully and now try to take it gratefully.
It isn’t easy.
However…with age is supposed to come wisdom, and I have had to learn about asking. Actually, I’m getting rather better at it than I ever expected.
The center of a lot of my pleas for aid is, surprisingly, not my health, but my cell phone. Actually I have a real love/hate relationship with my cell phone. Mostly hate, because it does all kinds of things I don’t believe I’ve ask of it…although most of the people I invite to race to my aid suggest that I have somehow, someway, managed to hit every wrong button in the damn book.
At 93, my interaction with millennials outside my family, is limited. I can listen to a whole conversation between two of them and never understand a word. Almost everything they do is noisy and, with the obvious exception of Hamilton, the joy of RAP escapes me.
BUT…when I am standing in front of Target, trying to summon an UBER or a LYFT and nothing I do seems to work, millennials are my new best friends.
I’m inclined to panic when I can’t get the freaking phone to do anything sensible. But I noticed, very quickly, that every young person on the street is cell phone efficient. A young, tech-savvy person would certainly be A…if not THEreasonable solution to my cell phone dilemmas.
I target my millennials with care. I noticed that this group seems to include both men and women pushing babies in prams. Asking one of them for help might be too much to handle, so I don’t ask.
The first time I realized that I needed help, I studied the passing throngs, search for one solitary young person who looked friendly. It took a while. Not that they looked UN-friendly, it’s just that they were already on their own cell phones, having a perfectly happy time chatting.
I decided that I would ask a young male person, based on my own experience that secretly, most men enjoy the role of super hero. It took a while. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was looking for in this unknown savior, but I felt sure I would know him when I saw him.
I would have missed him except that he was singing as he walked by. I didn’t know the song but it was music to my ears. I called out to him. He stopped and I held out my phone and said, “Can you help me?”
And smiling, he said “Yes Ma’am. What do you need?”
It was that easy.
I handed him the phone and told him I needed to call LYFT. He held out the phone so I could enter my password. I started to tell him what it was and he stopped me, giving me a very grave lecture on the need to NOT tell people my password.
I’m not a whole lot better with the phone than I used to be, but I am getting to know a whole bunch of VERY nice millennials.