Friday, September 13, 2013

Strange dreams of Mom and technology

Strangest family dream I've had in awhile.

I am living with my mother in Richmond Court, the condo where I grew up as a child. Our relationship is the current one - I'm taking care of her as an adult; she has had a stroke and aphasia and such - but the setting is a very old one indeed (my parents sold that condo in the 1980's!). As I've noted before, a striking number of my dreams are set in this childhood home, rather than any location where I presently live.

I come home from being away for a day, go to bed, and wake up to come downstairs. Mom is sitting in her chair, but I notice something strange: she's completely reconfigured the furniture, reorganized the room so the TV is in front of the window, and the easy chairs are no longer both set up in front of it, facing the TV screen, as easy chairs usually do...

I am, as is our (actual, real-life, present-day) habit, going to play her a movie. I offer her a choice of an action movie or a crime drama, and she picks crime. I decide that I'm going to show her a film called Determination, starring Andy Garcia. I find the disc, and then somehow misplace it.

Scattered about the floor are hundreds of DVDs and VHS tapes, including many that I haven't owned in years, or have never owned, or that never existed. There are also two boxes of pirated DVDs. I look through all of it - where did I last see Determination? Finally I find it, and go to put it in the DVD player, when I realize - hey, wait a minute, the TV is different, too.

Mom, while I was away... did you change the TV?

She smiles and admits she did. But instead of having upgraded to a flat-panel LCD or such, she's bought a gigantic brown box of a TV, an old school TV with a square screen; if anything, it looks like the actual TV we used to have at Richmond Court, back in the 1970's. I establish that Glen, the (actual) former manager of the building where my Mom (presently) lives, helped her buy the TV from Haney Sewing and Sound.

I go on my rant about how she should have consulted me about technological purchases! (I used to go on that rant now and then with my parents - about a printer my Dad bought and about, indeed, their last TV, and other bits of technology I would come home to). I know more about these things than you do! I can help! Let me KNOW if you're planning to buy something!

There's a bizarre amount of detail involving me explaining to her how a widescreen TV wouldn't have black bars at the top and bottom of the picture when we watched a movie.

I look around the apartment for something to help me explain and am briefly distracted by an old tube-amplified console TV and record player similar to one we used to have as a kid - it's turned up in Mom's reconfiguration of our furniture. It was the original TV our family had, which I barely even remember as a TV; by the time I inherited it, in the 1970's, the TV guts were all scooped out and it was just a record player.

I look inside it and see that it still has analogue tube amps. That's interesting. The needle cartridge on the record player needs replacing, though. Well, I'll think about this later - I turn back to the living room, where Mom is sitting.

I ask her how much she paid for the new TV - a few hundred dollars? And she says "$2100." Smiling a little, either because she's proud of her purchase or amused by my dismay, or a bit of both.

I decide she's been ripped off. We have to return the TV! Quick, take these glass bowls off the top of it and wipe it down, it can't be marked up... it needs to be in perfect shape, then maybe they'll take it back. Mom, where's the phone - I'll call Glen to find out what the return policy is!

She hands me the phone - I'm in a panic - and I realize she's upgraded the phone, too. It has handwritten keys in a bizarre jumble, in no way approximating the usual display of keys on a phone. There are keys in roman numerals, keys in strange configurations, and a bizarre cluttering of text that has no apparent function. There is a list of people with "Leonard" in their names handwritten onto the face of the phone - I notice Elmore Leonard's name, for one. Another list on the dialing surface mentions the Big Lebowski. What the hell??? The phone makes no sense. I find the six, then the zero, but struggle to find the number "4" - I can't even get the first three numbers entered! How is Mom, with her confusion with numbers, ever going to operate the phone when I can't?

I finally get Glen's number typed in, but it's an answering machine with a rude message, involving the washing of his balls. What? Sometime after that, I wake up baffled.

I do not understand this dream at all.

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