Gary Gardner (grgardner) wrote,
Gary Gardner

Mrs. George Gardner

In my last post, I included a picture of my mother taken from a newspaper article that was printed in 1963 in which she was identified only as "Mrs. George Gardner".  Apparently women back then didn't have first names and were only someone when "attached" to their husband.  I remember an old I Love Lucy episode where Lucy's in a fashion show and all the women are introduced as "Mrs Ricky Ricardo" and so on.  Mom even says she used to sign her checks as "Mrs. George Gardner" for a long time, but quit sometime in the early 1970s she thinks.  We laughed about that on the phone the other day.   You may note that Mother actually posted a comment on my last LJ entry, which is a first for her and big step.  She initially emailed me saying how much she liked the piece and it made her cry in a good way.  Her email said she was going to comment on LJ but couldn't "figure out how" and that I "should call your Mother sometime".    I sent her an email explaining how to post comments on here.  It's so much easier and quicker than calling -- which I know irritates her to no end, which is probably why I do it, but someone needs to drag her and my step-father kicking and screaming into the modern age.

A couple of days ago I was working in my office, and as usual had Face Book on in the background (I need to leave it on because too many friends, not to mention work colleagues use it to communicate that if I don't I miss out).  At the insistence of my step-sister Tammy, Mom and Ron opened up a Facebook account, but they rarely use it.  Well, I see Mom is logged in, so I pull her into Facebook Chat and say "Hi -- how are things going, and this COUNTS as a phone call."  A few minutes (and I do mean mintues) later, I get a note back "How did you know I was on?"  So I typed back how I knew, and asked how things were.  A few minutes (and I do mean minutes) later, she again types back.  "I'm OK, and trying to figure out how to post the comment on your LJ page."  I can just picture her sitting in front of her little I-Mac trying to figure it out.  Mom was a professional secretary before they became "Administrative Assistants".  She can do shorthand and types like gangbusters.  It shouldn't take her this long to type back chat or post an LJ comment.  This picture was taken a year or so ago when she was being frustrated at the computer over something (sorry Mom, but it's a perfect picture for this story.)
So I message her back how to do a comment post on LJ, proud that Mom is finally getting on line and learning how to chat on line, and as I'm typing it the phone rings.  The phone is to my back, but I said to my friend Garland garlandj who's using one of my computers to look for a job in Seattle, "I'll bet you twenty dollars thats my Mom calling".  Sure enough, I turn around and the caller ID says "Ronald Mumford" (ironcially once again she's nobody 40 years later unless she's attached to her husband, but I digress).  I answer -- "Hi Mom".  She says "THAT does not count as a phone call, THIS does and it doesn't really count since I called you, and besides why type when we can talk."  I answer "Because we can multitask and chat and work at the same time."  "I don't like it, I think its silly".  So I proceed to tell her how to do an LJ comment post, and she tells me all the gossip from back home in Salt Lake, and the latest family drama and the mudslide at Uncle so and so's house in Logan, and on and on as Mom's tend to do. 

She's right when she says texting/facebooking/chatting isn't the same as a phone call, but it is a great way to stay in touch instantaneously and immediately, albeit lacking in a personal touch I suppose.  It's sort of amazing how I can post pictures I just took on my Face Book page from my cell phone of the workmen in the driveway as they fix the plumbing as it happens, and let everyone know right then and there!  The younger generation is growing up in a different world, and one I fear that simple conversation and voice communication will slowly wither away, and who needs a "personal touch"?  Everyone texts or twitters, and communication is instant.  You can't really say much that way, and I'm afraid "discussion" is almost impossible, not to mention longer more thought out written expressions like here on LJ (as opposed to the 140 character max on Twitter).  Have you noticed how the postings on LJ have withered in the past year as Twitter and Facebook have taken off?  Maybe now is not such a great time to leave the lobbying profession and become a full-time writer.  I wonder if it might be like opening up a buggy whip plant right after Henry Ford comes out with the Model A.

Well,  Mom's written post was sweet, and I'm glad she posted it and hope she does some more.  In our phone conversation she commented on the "Mrs. George Gardner" designation, and how silly she thought it was back then but "everyone did it", and boy didn't she "look cute back then".  (All I can say is I hope I age as well as she does.)  She said she can't remember when or why she stopped, but one day she just started signing "Carol Gardner" on her checks, and never looked back.  I thought it was very funny however when the caller ID said "Ronald Mumford" though -- bringing it full circle again.   Indeed we've all come full circle over the years.  Mom stopped signing "Mrs. George Gardner", then stopped being Mrs. George Gardner when she and Dad got divorced.  For more than 20 year she's been "Mrs. Ron Mumord" if we still did things that way.  But to me, she'll always be Mom.   So to make up for the computer pic, here's a much better one with the three of us, Mom, myself and Ron (or should we say "Mr Carol Mumford").


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