Mack tossed his jacket on the bright yellow couch and placed his keys on the desk. "You com'in, Pops?" he asked as he waited for the computer to fire up.
The erratic tapping of a cane told him the elderly man was slowly approaching.
“I don’t know about this, Mackie.” George mumbled as he shuffled into the room. “Don’t go gettin all technical on me now. I just need to know some basics.” George squatted over the other chair and dropped into position. “Expect rain tonight. The ole joints are talkin to me,” he said as he rubbed his legs.
Mack swallowed the remainder of the cookie he had taken from the kitchen and brushed off his hands. “So Pops, what do you want to learn first? Got any hot dates you want to email?”
“What’s that you say?” George leaned forward. “I just need to know how to send a letter, Mackie. That’s all for now.”
“I think you mean an email, Pops” Mack laughed. “Look, you just click here on this icon that shows some envelopes and then click on Create Mail. A New Message box will pop up. You with me so far?” Mack looked over at his grandfather who was struggling to get his pen to work.
George looked up in confusion. “You gotta slow down there, Mackie! You lost me at ickon or whatever you called it. Now start over and go slow. I’m an old man, you know.”
For the next thirty minutes, Mack patiently showed his grandfather the process for sending a simple email.
“And then you just click ‘Send’ and your letter is off,” Mack exhaled as he leaned back in the chair. This weekly computer lesson was going to be more work than he had bargained for.
“Ohhh…I think I got it now. I just put in an address, type what I want to say, and click ‘Send’?” George read from his notes. “So, how many days does it take to get to the person?”
Mack rubbed his forehead. Maybe this wouldn’t work. Maybe his grandfather was beyond the ability to comprehend the modern world.
“I’m just messin with ya son,” George slapped him on the knee while laughing to himself. “I know it will get there by tomorra.” He dug for his wallet and held out a few bills to Mack. “Now you get on your way. You got better things to be doin than hangin out with an old duffer like me.”
“I don’t want your money Pops.” Mack reached for his jacket and slung it over his shoulder. “But, you’re right. No offense but I do have better things to do. I’m taking Emily to the Texas Roadhouse tonight.”
“Really now? You bringing her flowers, right?”
“Naw Pops. She’s not like that.”
“What do you mean, not like that? Do you like the girl or not?”
“Well sure I do, Pops.”
“Then you take this money and you buy her some flowers. Why I remember when I first started seeing your grandmother. God rest her soul.” George stared at the portrait on the wall with glassy eyes. “I took her flowers every time.”
Mack shifted his weight to the other foot as he glanced at the clock. “That’s great Pops. You were the man.”
“Mackie, listen to me. You got to show a girl respect. Take her some flowers. If you don’t respect her, she’s going to think you take her for granted. You like her, you show her, you hear?”
“Ohhh…I think I got it now. I buy her some flowers, she knows I respect her, we end up happily married for fifty-two years like you and Grandma, huh?” Mack smirked.
“You got it son. Now go on, get out of here. I got things to be doin, ya know.”
George watched Mack jog down the front steps. This weekly training session was going to take more planning than he had thought. Maybe his grandson wasn’t ready to listen to the wisdom of an old man. But he would press on. Mackie was worth the effort.
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