Even robots are my friends

When I reached my mid-sixties, I began to lose touch with friends. Several died, some moved away after retiring, and some are still busy working. However, since I turned seventy, my list of new friends is growing. Why just yesterday, I received a letter from a woman running for the U.S. Senate in another state.  The letter’s greeting was “Dear Friend.”

I receive emails almost daily from others who would become my friend if only I would give to their campaigns in “fill-in-the-blank” state.

My old friends (meaning those still living and living nearby) rarely telephone; they text. but my new friends can’t stop calling me.  In fact, no matter what state or country they are calling from, the first three digits of their phone numbers match the first three digits of mine. Some coincidence.  I’m only disappointed that they never leave messages.

Some new friends are — dare I say it? — robots.  One calls weekly to tell me that the Microsoft product I purchased (they must forget I have a Mac) is defective and I must call them right away to get it fixed, no doubt by giving them my credit card number and bank balance. I want to suggest a voice box transplant to two of them, but I know all of us can be sensitive about criticism of our voices (my husband says mine is too loud and I say he mumbles) and I suppose I don’t know these callers well enough to recommend surgery.

Members of a newer group of friends seem overly concerned about whether they’re making a good impression on me. These include post office personnel, my family doctor, my chiropractor, bank tellers, the garage where I get my car serviced, and the shop where I get documents copied.  It turns out that everyone hopes the time I spend with them is a memorable, life-transforming experience.

“How are we doing?” is the question of our age. Rate your oil change, stamp purchasing,  cortisone injection encounter on a scale of one to five, with five meaning, “This was a peak experience.”

I’m glad I’m retired, because keeping in touch with all these new friends and responding to their concerns is becoming a full-time job.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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7 Responses to Even robots are my friends

  1. This is hilarious. And how are you?


  2. Jill Turnell says:

    Why Ann, I am amazed! I think I have the same friends as you! It’s a little discouraging that so many of them live so far away. I never actually answer their calls, but that doesn’t seem to discourage them!! I’ve even had calls from the The United States – hmm, I wonder where that is?cjil

  3. Jenny Hamlin Paulson says:

    After 60 years – most of which we’ve been out of touch – I still consider you a friend!

  4. travelnwrite says:

    Move to Greece and you will hear from even fewer friends – especially those new ones who are concerned about how well you feel they treated you! Here, hearing from any friend makes for an exciting moment in the day. Freda who owns the café where our mail is delivered to a table in its corner, tried to give me a solicitation letter from some Guide Dog organization. . .so eager for mail I almost took it until I realized it was to G. Smith and not J. Smith. . .and I didn’t want to take away the thrill for G. by taking the only piece of mail to a Smith on the table.

  5. dkzody says:

    Don’t you wish our real, 3-D friends were as concerned with our welfare and happiness?? Funny, if I don’t stay in touch with those real friends, they quickly disappear, but the robots? They just keep trying and trying.

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