Be Kind. Rewind.

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Be Kind. Rewind.

My kids are always telling me I’m not old. I tend to agree with them. I’m only 37. While that might’ve seemed ancient to 20-year-old me, it’s just a number now. It’s a little strange to think about the years past since, say, high school. It can’t possibly have been almost 20 years. It doesn’t compute. Seventeen years ago, I already knew my husband. We were only friends then, but we never dated anyone after I got back from my summer in NYC. My children are 10 and eight. It’s hard to believe The Boy is a fifth grader. I can say the whole “it seems like yesterday” bit, but you get it.

The Boy is the most reassuring. When we compare hands (do y’all do that? We do it all the time.), I’ll say something like, “We do have the same hands. Mine just look a little older.” He always says, “You are NOT old.” I wasn’t saying anything about my age, but thanks kiddo. On my birthday this year, he told me not to worry (I wasn’t), because I was still young at heart.

The Girl tells me often, and without provocation, that I’m not at all old. I agree with her wholeheartedly. I remember being 8, and my parents were right around my age, and their ages didn’t matter. On the flip side, when my grandfather turned 65, a birthday I remember well, he seemed ancient.

I don’t think about it much, unless a birthday passes. The other day, I thought about it.

I walked in to find one or the other all up in arms, because their electronic device wouldn’t charge. They’d tried this way and that way and other cords and outlets, but it still said low battery. I hate to admit it, but the kid was in a panic. There were tears over said electronic, for fear it was dead forever.

I didn’t think twice before I snatched the device away and unplugged the cord. Rather than scrap it or call technical support, I did what any self-respecting, smart child of the ’80s would do: I blew into it.

Disclaimer: this story is very difficult to tell without heading directly for the gutter. It’s all benign. By “blowing” I mean pushing air from my mouth, making a wind type phenomenon. By “hole” I mean the hole where one would plug a charger cord. By “charger cord” I mean the cord that plugs in to the “hole,” providing power to the device.

They gave me that WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU IDIOT look. I tried again and plugged it back in. BAM. It worked. I could almost hear The Police singing in the background. “Every little thing she does is magic…” I walked away smiling, pleased with my success. A hero!

As it turns out, my trick was a fluke. If you’re under 25, you’ll think I’m an idiot for trying. Everyone else gets it. If Zelda freezes, get mad, yell, take the cartridge out and blow in it. For good measure, open the door to the Nintendo and blow in there, too.

Watching “The Goonies” on a Friday night and lines appear across the TV screen? Hold your breath while you wait to see if the tape is tangled. If not, blow on it. Blow in the VCR, too. When laser discs came out, we blew on those too, just in case.

My method could still work, and I’ll try every time, just before I call the 800 number for help. There might, just might, be lint in there. Or whatever used to clog things in the 1980s.

Upon further investigation, we discovered the charger cord for this specific device simply died at the same time as the cube into which it was plugged. No blowing necessary. I don’t mind being made fun of for such tricks. Some day it’ll endear them to hear my stories of dial-up internet and phones that didn’t have cameras in them. Life was so easy, when banging on the TV and adjusting the antenna got you extra channels for free. One of the most important parts of the weekend was remembering to “Be Kind. Rewind.” I may be older, but I’m supposedly wiser, too. Is there a trick for refilling the wine bottle without going to the store? Be Kind. Re Wine.

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