Wednesday, December 05, 2012

First Generation

I was going to write a post about what my daughter calls my "First World Problems."

You know, like when I remote-start my car, I think the car should automatically sense that it needs to go into defrost mode because the temperature dropped 30 degrees overnight and now the windshield is frozen and the air conditioning mode it was left in actually is not needed, thank you.

My thinking is, if I'm going to the trouble of remembering to start my car while standing at the front door in my pajamas, I shouldn't have to drive down the street wasting windshield washer fluid in a desperate attempt to melt the frost off the glass before the cops see me because Cara's late and I didn't realize that was frost on the window, not just morning dew, until I was backing down the driveway.  You know?  The car should sense all of that.

To be honest, on the days when that happens, Cara hasn't broken out the snarky "First World Problems" expression.  Probably because of "self-interest" and the fact that a "poorly placed" snarky remark could land her "walking to school" (her First World Problem) or worse, landing a long-winded lecture on the way there about early morning snarkiness.

But Cara often uses that phrase when what she really means is, "Hmmm, yeah... can we change the subject?"

Like, let's say we're at the mall.  And let's say she's off having fun with a friend at one end of the mall.  While I'm, let's say, at the opposite end of the mall.  With Ryan.  Trying to find jeans that pass the school code of "no tears or holes" even if they're put there by the manufacturer and he's arguing through the dressing room door that they're not dark enough, or he doesn't like the greenish hue that's on the blue jean but he likes it on the black jean so can't I just find a black pair that has the green stuff with no holes??

Let's just say that's the scenario.

Then, a text from Cara comes floating in.

Cara's text: "Hey, where are you guys?"

My text: "Where you left us."

Cara's text: "STILL?????  My God, what's taking so long?!"

My text: "Don't ask."

Cara's text: "Well, I want to shop with you, too."

Translation: She's probably running low on money.

This is when my "First World Problem" kicks in.  Because I can't type what I want fast enough on the iPhone without it changing "you" into "Yiu." And "trade with me?!?" into "read ewith me?!?." And "party in here?!?" into "pert inherent?!?"

So I'm trying to fix the auto-"corrected" mistakes, and meanwhile Cara's texts are raining down onto my screen.

Cara's text: "Hello?"

Cara's text: "Are you getting my texts??  Whatever.  What's his problem?  He's a boy!  Why would buying jeans take so long?"

Cara's text: "Anyway, I saw a really cute sweater.  And I want you to see it.  Christmas, hint, hint."

Cara's text: "Plus, he's been with you for an hour, and I wanted to shop with you."

Translation: She's eyeing way more than the "Christmas gift" sweater.

Meanwhile, Ryan's sticking his head out of the changing room door.

Ryan: "Did you ask the guy if they have those black jeans with the greenish but no holes yet?!"

Me: "Cara's texting me.  Hold on.  I'm trying to type back to her."

Ryan: "Oh, God.  Here we go."

Me: "Give me a second. Please!"

Ryan: "I'm IN my underwear.  Who cares about Cara right now?  What does she want -- more money to go to Aerie?  Or to buy tea?!?"

And this is when -- in the olden days -- a parent would just go to a bar and regroup.

But instead, I press "send" and tell Ryan he can put the pants he owns back on and leave the dressing room.  That he is not, in fact, being held hostage in there.

Ryan: "This is bull.  You care more about her.  I'm IN MY UNDERWEAR!"

On cue, Cara's texting again.

Cara's text: "What?? Do I want to read with you?  What's a pert inherent??"

You know, she didn't even ask if I was having a stroke, or my long-held, self-prediction of an aneurysm brought on by high levels of aggravation colliding with the current American custom of trying to appear "not deranged" when in public with your own children.

And THAT'S when it would be easier to just CALL my daughter.  Except cell service is so spotty at the mall, half the time the calls don't even go through or the conversation sounds something like:

Me: "Hi, Cara.  Where are you?  Are you almost ready to go?"

Cara: "Umm, y... I jus.... w... then... st... ...ale... new shoes."

When we finally get back together again, I let her know how annoying I find her text bombardments.  And that it's made even more annoying because of the iPhone's idiotic auto-corrections when I try to write back to her.  And  why is it nearly impossible to make a cell call on the lower level of the mall?

Cara, with a big sigh: "First World problems.  Can we go down to Aerie?  ...And Teavana?"