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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Didn't Know I Was a Luddite

This week I had to take my husband to the doctor.  It seems he ate a bad piece of homemade deer sausage one of his teammates brought to his baseball game on Sunday.  Late Sunday night he woke up with violent shivering, fever, and nausea.  So next morning I drove him to see Dr. Y, our family doctor.  Dr. Y. is a good doctor, but besides that, we like him because he actually spends time with you.  He talks and explains and listens.  He remembers everything you told him last time, whether it was related to your health or not.  He knows about your parents (he has been the GP for James' parents for years) and your childhood.  He doesn't have substitutes that take his place when he's out.  It's a one-man office.  His wife mans the front desk, so it's a family operation.  (I have forgiven her for recommending botox treatments last time I was there.)   

But there's a downside to all this attention.  You can spend a lot of time in the waiting room.  And Dr. Y has the most egregious selection of reading material I'd ever seen this side of the Mexican border.  There were tattered copies of obscure health magazines (Prosthetics Today), battered L.L. Bean catalogs, and a few copies of
Sports Illustrated that were at least eight months old.  Even so, you had to wait your turn for those.  Oh, and ancient copies of Highlights
magazines for the kids, although I don't recall ever seeing children there.

But on Monday, as soon as we walked into the waiting room I could see the difference.  There were neat stacks of
National Geographics, recent copies of Sports Illustrated, even a magazine I'd never heard of called More, subtitled "For the Woman with Style and Substance."  I leafed through More and didn't find anything interesting, so I guess I have neither style nor substance.  Finally I settled down with a National Geographic
.  By the time they called James' name, I had read all about the migrating habits of zebras in an obscure African game reserve. 

Even more enlightening, I read part of an article about "Luddites."  I'd heard the term before but never knew what it meant.  Now I realize that I
am
a Luddite!  No, it's not an off-the-wall religious cult.  It's a term for people who hate technology.  Back in the old days, they did things like take sledge hammers to printing presses.  Nowadays, I'm not sure what activities they pursue (I didn't have time to finish the article).  Maybe they just do what I do:  complain a lot about technology they don't understand and occasionally wail, "I hate technology!" 

For example, I don't have an iPhone.  I just recently got an iPod, only because my husband bought me one for my birthday.  I was the last person of my acquaintance to get a cell phone (except my brother John, who still doesn't have one).  I never feel the compulsion to upgrade to the newest computer, phone, or TV.  I still read regular books, not Kindles. 

The other day I was railing to my daughter about something I couldn't figure out on my computer, and in my despair I cried out, "I'm out of it and proud of it!"  So that's my new mantra. 

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