Guest Columnist - John Ropa
Posted: March 19, 2010
One of the many challenges facing grandparents, aside from waking up, is to try to stay current with the grandchildren. I don't mean to suggest that we should try to remain forever young. I simply think that we have to try to adapt or we will have no common ground.
There have been so many innovations in communications, for example, that kids speak (or text), an entirely different language than we older folks do. The other day I e-mailed my grandkids an old joke. Their reply "ROLF", seems somehow to have been misspelled, but I didn't want to show my ignorance by correcting them.
Every older generation has complained about whatever music is currently popular. I spent my childhood with the big bands and later got a high school introduction to rock and roll, followed by a period of country while in college. Since I enjoyed most of it, and I could understand the lyrics, I consider myself an eclectic listener. However, I have trouble with a band consisting of four guitars and a drummer whose only audible function appears to be keeping time.
All the kids have cell phones, so I purchased one a while back. The only time I tried to use it was to confirm directions to my son's home in northern Wisconsin, but there was no service.
It is even harder to be fashionable. I wear baggy pants which touch the ground, not so much to be in style, but mostly because my waistline keeps dropping.
When the grandchildren invited me to become a friend on Facebook, I thought I could establish a much better line of communication. I found that I see whom they were talking to and what they were saying. It seemed a lot like spying, which is probably why I enjoy being on Facebook.
I have found that staying current is just about as hard as remaining forever young.
John Ropa retired after 20 years with the International Division of Abbott Laboratories. His e-mail address is J.Ropa@yahoo.com
NCAA PREDICTIONS: As always, I offer my selections for the Final Four in this year's NCAA Mens' Basketball Tournament. My final four includes: top-seeded Kansas, number one seeded Duke, New Mexico to beat Wisconsin and Xavier to beat Butler to round out the final pairings. Last year, my friend's nine year old daughter won the pool, so I don't expect to be in the running - for the 15th year in a row. -Daniel J. Ropa