Teaching My Mom to Operate the TV Remote

On a date night with my husband, we’re about halfway through dinner when my phone rings. “Sweetie?” says my mom. “I’m trying to turn on the TV, and I can’t figure it out.”

Sigh.

The truth is, my mother hasn’t had a TV in forty years, so the whole multiple-remote thing has bypassed her entirely. Using a remote to turn on the TV, the cable box, and then switch modes to change channels on the remote?

Totally beyond her.

And don’t even ask if she can operate the Xbox. Cause she’d be the first to tell you NO.

So what do we do?

I’ll confess, after months of trying to teach her, at first we gave up. In the eighteen months she’s been living with us, she and I both conceded defeat. Instead, we started setting it up so that all she had to do was have my daughter turn on the TV and her shows were right there.

But something changed in the last few months. She started getting it. Now she often turns on the TV to watch the news and “her” shows (Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, but I have to confess my husband and I have begun to really enjoy them too).

I’m not sure when it clicked, but I think it’s something to do with the fact that she’s finally succumbed to the lure of the television. She loves hanging out in the living room with us, and she enjoys the entertainment particularly since she’s been dealing with health issues. I think television is soothing when you’re sick.

Meanwhile: Do you know the question this Jeopardy clue is the answer to? “Peer Gynt, the title character of his 1867 play, is based on a legendary Norwegian folk hero.

Oh, right. It’s ISBEN. Obviously.

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The batteries in the confounding remote are, of course, Energizer (who is sponsoring this campaign). Click here to see more of the discussion.

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