Young affect, old attitude

After this in the Times today, I’ve started to worry that I’m acting old.

I recently had the opposite problem. I work as a “standardized patient” at local med schools, where I portray various conditions so the students can practice taking a medical history. My character was a much older woman, and I was told I had to work on my personality a bit because, they said, I had a “young affect.”

But are my possessions giving me away?

My shiny red Motorola Razr cell phone was quite the thing in its day, but I’ve dithered (thanks, Dick Cheney, for that evocative word) so long about whether to get a smartphone and if so should it be a Blackberry or an iphone and if I get a Blackberry which kind, with the keys or the touch screen, a Tour or a Storm 2 – anyway, I’ve dithered for so long that my shiny red phone goes dead after one, very short, call.

So I have to wear a watch, like old people, since my cell phone is always dead, and anyway it wouldn’t occur to me to check the time on it, because I have all these old-people watches. And I still have a landline, like old people, because my cell phone doesn’t work all that well in my house.

Or my communications? I know how to text, but I don’t, because typing an email is much faster, and I still leave voicemails, though I learned to my horror from the article that my kids may not be listening to them.

I don’t do Twitter or Facebook, which I’ve explained in a rather defensive way. In fact, I’m quite good at making excuses (in a very young-affect way) for why I act old, which may be because defensiveness, according to How Not to Act Old, is an “old attitude.”

So is cynicism, apparently. But I guess I’m just stuck with my old-fashioned cynicism, because you’ll never ever see me being its antonym. (It’s “respectful,” in case you’re wondering. I’m so far from it I had to look it up.)

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