On one of the last days before the final weekend of summer, Daughter trained out to visit her homeland by default, our house in the suburbs. Daughter is a dedicated special ed teacher enjoying her sliver of free time between school terms, and I was thrilled to take up part of it. I picked her up at the station and was struck by how unmistakably Manhattan she looked. Before even seeing her face, I spotted her by her clothing. She was in a short, cobalt blue, cotton designer dress, the type she finds at city sample sales for a pittance. It was winningly paired with gladiator sandals in an almost identical color. Instead of coming off matchy-matchy, she looked striking.
DTR: (getting into car) Hello, Mom-a-doo!
OSV: You look amazing. Those shoes.
DTR: The shoes have a story but it’s tied to my new smartphone. I’ll tell you over lunch.
We took a table at our favorite sushi place, where Daughter smilingly endured my asking for a fork, as usual. Everyone who has ever eaten sushi with me has sworn they will be the one to teach me how to use chopsticks. Many have tried; all have failed.
DTR: Okay, so the shoes. I saw them in a window and figured they’d be marked down since it’s the end of the summer. I tried them on and fell in love, only to be told they were still $100. That’s where my new Droid comes in.
Here Daughter whipped out her smartphone and continued with the presentation, visual aid in hand. “This bad boy does EVERYTHING,” she said, excitedly. “You want maps? You want apps? Want to know the weather, the train schedule, the street two blocks over? It’s got you covered.” Here she brushed her fingers across the screen demonstrating each facet, turning the phone horizontally or vertically for greatest effect. It was like watching a TV commercial with a mouthful of mackerel.
OSV: Back up – what’s that calendar with all the pink markings?
DTR: That’s a menstrual calendar. It tracks your ovulation, your periods, their duration, and tells you when to expect it the following month.
OSV: THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT?!
DTR: Mom, you have no idea. Here’s the shoe story. So I told the salesman I had to think about it, and when he went into the stockroom I used the bar scan app to scan the label and see where else they were available in that size and color. The screen gave me three online shoe stores. By the time the sales guy came back into the showroom, I’d purchased them online with my Droid for $50 and free shipping. He came over to me and said, “Well, what have you decided?” I told him I’d decided to get them and left. They were delivered two days later.
OSV: Wow. That seems somehow, I don’t know, illegal.
DTR: Mom, it’s an app, not a Ponzi scheme.
Daughter’s Featured Fotos revisit this summer’s Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival