Remote Control Blues

You never know about husbands, and when Tom died, he took a lot of secrets to his grave. I’m not gonna sing-the-blues about his being gone with this blog, because we are both at peace now, but I’ve gotta get this off my chest.

He forgot to tell me a lot of things that I needed to know, like passwords and combinations to lock boxes that probably contain nothing. I have punched in all the passwords that I know, his favorite being Password, but nothing worked. I hoped I would discover a secret bank account or winning lottery tickets, but that’s been a no show, too. I don’t think he kept things secret to annoy me, but nevertheless, I am annoyed.

The biggest thing he didn’t share was how to use a remote-control device. I can count on one hand the times I used a remote before he passed. He loved remotes and told me they were the answer to his dream, which made me wonder about what kind of dreams he had. If I picked up one of our TV remotes, he would nearly break his neck to snatch it from my hand. “I’ll do it,” he would say and flip through a cajillion TV channels that I had never seen before and would probably never see again. Faster than a wig in a hurricane.

He was a remote-control master, commanding televisions, fans, lights, garage doors, stereo systems, sprinklers, and every other electronic device off and on, synchronizing them as if they were a musical production. Up, down, off, on, backward, forward, stop, go, do a double plié, and take a bow. He loved remotes, and I suspect that he had a remote-control fetish, getting off on controlling little plastic boxes that had lots of buttons. Who knew?

Me, not so much. Remote controls all look alike. Sort of. They are usually black with lots of buttons and tiny print, and I have to find my glasses to read them, which can be another annoyance. Sometimes the letters and the background are both black and I have to retrieve a flashlight and magnifying glass to decipher whatever some designer designed without giving thought to my fading eyes. They have pictures and arrows and squiggles and red dots and green dots and blue lines and pink lines and sun emblems. And numbers, but I don’t know what the numbers are for. I am good at a few things, but remotes are my nemesis. When I turn the fan on, Netflix sometimes appears, or if I hit the light remote, the garage door might open. One time I thought I turned on my outside lights, but the sprinkler system came on. It’s been a joy.

I can only say that I miss Tom in a lot of ways, but the remotes are driving me nutty.

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