What’s a quasi-technically savvy middle-aged woman to do?

I think I can get by well enough in the internet-tech age. In some areas quite well, in fact. In many more instances I have blaring, gaping holes in my technical knowledge. Ah, life in the purgatory between being totally ignorant of technology, and a techno-whiz. Maybe I’d be better off in one of the two camps. It’s the in between that gets me.

Case in point: Two days in the life of me…

I am helping to host one of the baby showers for my pregnant daughter. I need to pick up shower invites right away.  I am running behind on this, I should have done it last week. I’ve got to get some invites sent off today!

  1. Mike drops me off at a party supply store, while he goes over to shop groceries. Surely, at a party store, there will be a huge variety of invitations to pick from. Not so; they carry just a few, and most of those are for either a girl or a boy, which won’t work. Not that this is an alien baby or anything–my daughter and husband have chosen not to know the gender of their baby in advance. A completely foreign concept today, but my daughter is a throw-back to quainter times. I must have read too many “Little House” books to my girls.
  2. I walk over to a craft store to see if they have invitations, but no, just the crafts to make them. I am a painter, not a craft person, so that will not work.
  3. Can’t call Mike to let him know where to pick me up, as my phone, which has been giving me nothing but trouble since I got it, finally bit the dust earlier today and I cannot turn it on.bad cell phone
  4. I walk to the store where Mike is grocery shopping and run into an old friend/acquaintance I haven’t seen for years. Of course there is the obligatory 10-15 minute catch-up. Which also means Mike has probably finished shopping and left the store.
  5. Can’t find Mike; after wandering in the parking lot and store for an hour (neither of our cell phones is working), we finally find each other. We are tired, but need to finish this errand, which has taken a lot longer than anticipated.
  6. We stop at another store; a cheap department store which I will leave unnamed so as not to invoke the ire of Fair Trade consciousness. The store’s smiley faces do not match my own as I discover there is neither a big selection nor the right colors (yellow and gray to match the nursery), and, even if I were to purchase some,  it would cost me $25 just to buy enough.
  7. Next store:  Hallmark, a sure-fire bet of success. We find out when we get there that it has moved.
  8. After asking, someone directs me to where in the mall it is now located. I walk for 10 minutes to find it. Surprisingly, Hallmark, the bastion of all things correct and lovely for every occasion, also has a very poor selection. I have by now given up on the gray and yellow theme and I compromise on a green diaper card (no, not that color of green) with whimsical caricatures on it. But the ones I settle on, I discover there are only two boxes. Not enough. Besides that, had there been enough, it would have cost me over $30. The other packages (of ten each) are a make-it-yourself kit.  Again, $30 dollars for the total amount I need as well. Hmmm, it’s more expensive to “make” my own? (using all their ideas and parameters.)
  9. I go home hungry and tired, after all my failed attempts….and then… Big Idea!  Why not really go original; design and paint my own? I have an idea for a slogan that I haven’t seen before. Besides that, I can create it in the right colors! I can cut down on costs by just copying the original.

(Next day) Today!

  1. Paint the picture! This is the easy part.
  2. Go to find the camera to take pic of painting—uh oh, , battery is dead.
  3. Look for the battery charger which we always keep in the car, but it’s not there. After scouring the house for it, I finally find it!
  4. Discover that the the battery to my new camera does not fit in this battery charger of my old one (which got lost about 6 months ago) even though it looked like the same size.
  5. Okay, another plan. I find Mike’s camera, although not quite as good as mine, it will have to do.
  6. Discover batteries are dead.
  7. Change batteries, then set it all up on the tripod to take pic.
  8. Discover that the shutter will not push down.
  9. After Mike looks at it and tries to fix it, decides that it’s irreparably damaged.mikes camara
  10. Go to Bi-Mart in our little town to buy a battery charger for my new camera.
  11. After looking for clerk for 10 minutes, I find her, only to find out Bi-mart does not carry those.
  12. Almost decide to drive into Eugene, 25 minutes away and $8 dollars of gas each trip. Decide to wait until we go in later, with a dinner date.
  13. New Big Idea: scan the painting into the computer! Why didn’t I think of that earlier? Of course!
  14. Bring laptop over to the scanner, plug in USB chord, but then battery goes dead on computer. Find the cord ( it only takes me 2 minutes, a record!) and electric outlet near scanner to plug into.
  15. Try to scan. After running for 10 minutes—scanning attempt failed. Try again, same amount of time. Try one more time to no avail.
  16. New Idea! Text daughter, Kayla, to see if I can borrow her camera out of her and Aaron’s house (they live next door)
  17. Although she is working, she will sometimes text back. Wait for awhile, no answer.
  18. Another idea, text Aaron (my son-in-law)! He always responds, you can count on him for that.
  19. I go to text Aaron (on Mike’s cell phone) and realize that I do not have Aaron’s number memorized, and discover that Mike does not have Aaron’s number  in his cell address book.  Mike does not have any numbers in his address data base. Mike has not set up an address book. Mike is less technically savvy than even I.
  20. I then see my cell phone on the table and without thinking, grab it to text Aaron– only to remember that my cell phone does not work now.messy-desk

Well, there you have it. Another productive two days in the life of Margaret Plumb. The Perils of Peggy.  You are either totally relating to this, or, if you’re a ducks-in-a-row type of person, reading this with appall and disbelief and mouth hanging agape. If the latter, you are probably itching to help me organize my life and point out a few obvious errors in my actions. But perhaps, you may have already decided that I’m a hopeless case, after discovering a clue to my existence on my list. (Hint: number 10– “I painted a picture, and that was the easy part.” )

Tonight I go to Staples to try to finish this job that has only taken me two days so far.

Who knows, that may be a whole other blog for tomorrow?


Please donate to the technically-challenged. Since I spent 1 hour and 2 days on this, figuring my time at $25 an hour, that makes these a $425 invitation. For a fraction of that, you can help me recoup my costs and order them for your own announcements or shower party: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-baby-on-the-horizon-margaret-plumb.html

Leave a comment


  1. Other than the battery part (which frustrated me so much when I lived with you guys that I became a battery addict; I always have batteries now) I completely relate to this. Replace camera with printer/computer dongle/remote control/etc. and it is an endless struggle to get technology to work with my real talents.


  2. Valerie

     /  April 13, 2013

    I could totally see this happening. To me. I too have tried to design announcements, invitations etc. I do mine in photoshop and it always ends up being more time consuming or difficult than I planned. Yours are darling and quite creative. What a lucky baby.


    • Thanks, Valerie! It’s amazing that we keep forgetting what the struggles were and go back for more punishment next time we get a creative whim. But kudos to us for trying to be original!


  3. Margo barranti

     /  April 13, 2013

    Oh my…just finished wiping the tears from my face…and stopping the laughter…I am starting to worry about the time frame for those invitations…or are you really going to let all the guest download there own? Funny funny you….Margo


    • Hi Margo, good to hear from you! Actually I was able to get them printed up at Staples, which did end up taking hours because of more snafus, but got it done finally!


  4. Cindy Manning

     /  April 22, 2013

    I can so relate to this. If you find the magic fairy that organizes things so our creative endeavors can be fulfilled in a snap, let me know. In the meantime… I do think that invitation is the cutest I’ve seen in a long, long time….Cindy


    • Cindy, we should have personal assistants. But I guess those are for the rich and famous. Meantime I’ll keep searching for the helper gnomes and let you know when I find them. (btw, thanks for the kudos on the invitation.)


  5. Okay, so I’ve read this blog post now and the only thing I’ve concluded is that you are a sad and pitiful creature. But probably better than everyone else.



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