Hello readers! I know my posts have been scarce lately, as I have been fine-tuning and finalizing my manuscript. I suppose it is worth it for me to neglect my blog for a bit so I can give my manuscript to my agent and (fingers crossed) get published. For real. A book with a jacket and everything, hopefully. Today I bring you a guest post from none other than the Interweb’s notorious Jacqueline Wilson (a.k.a. WritRams, short for Writer Ramblings). She writes blogs that tickle my funny bone. You should visit her blog. She just gave it a facelift, as someone told her it looked “very 1996.” Essay by WritRams, art by yours truly (drafted up during a meeting this morning per usual and edited via GIMP tonight). Without further ado…

Senior surfing

At the risk of sounding ageist, I think we should deny limit reduce monitor Internet and computer usage by senior citizens. Okay, maybe not all senior citizens. Maybe I just mean, um, my dad.

I’m really glad Chad asked me to guest post on his awesome blog because this is something I’ve needed to get off my chest, and I can’t say it on my own blog:

Dad: For the sake of all that is good, please stop using your computer.

You see, in 1997 my dad retired when he was in his mid-50s. This meant that he was young, in relatively good health, and was home.

All the time.

Around my mom.

Doing … n o  t   h    i     n      g.

One of the ways we encouraged him to get out of the house was to take some courses offered through his old company. One of the courses was (you guessed it) a computer class.

Don’t get me wrong. My dad is a pretty bright computer guy for just taking a couple of courses through a business. He knows way more about hardware than I do and can pretty much figure out anything that needs fixing on his own. He’s savvy on the Internet and finding his way around. However, he’s also sure he knows much more about computers and the Internet than the rest of us (including you, even though he’s never met you).

There are some days that I call my parents’ house and he answers the phone. I cringe when I ask him what he’s up to and his response has the word “computer” in it. This means the next 40 minutes will be filled with a diatribe about some aspect of his computer or a software program not working the way he thinks it should, with me interjecting a periodic “Hmm” or “Oh really” while I secretly surf reality TV reruns.

I learned a long time ago that he really doesn’t want my help. If I give him input, I usually get back an annoyed, “You know, don’t tell me. Your old dad knows a thing or two about computers.” (Now that I think of it, that’s usually his response to input on any topic — including my background and experience in health care.)

Email is another problem when it comes to my dad. I have multiple Web sites that filter many different emails into one account. Right now, I have over 3,000 emails in that account. No matter how delicately and intricately I’ve explained this to my dad, he ignores it and still sends me a barrage of forwarded junk email. Which I never read. He knows this, but he still likes to test me. On occasion, he asks something like, “Hey, did you read that email I sent you about those two Cambodian kids that built a rocket ship from banana leaves and flew it to Florida?” In response to my silence he says, “Yeah, you can’t take time for your old dad. I know.”

But the truth is, I do take time for my old dad. I spend hours a week cleaning out those old emails and listening to computer issues on the phone. If that’s not taking time, I don’t know what is.

And, just in case my dad makes his way over to this guest post: Hi Dad! Love you! Chad totally made me write all of this. (waves innocently)

(Note from CTJ: I did not make Jacqueline write any of this. Purely her idea. Pinky swear.)

Jacqueline Wilson is a published academic author turned WAHM writer and blogger. As you may have guessed, she sarcastically writes about life on her blog, Writer Ramblings on Parenting Imperfectly [http://www.writrams.com]. Follow her on Twitter as @WritRams.