We may soon apply for “historic preservation” designation.
I was making coffee the morning after some of the grands spent the night when one asked, “What’s that thing in your hand?”
“It’s a coffee filter,” I said. “I’m making coffee.”
“That’s not how my dad makes coffee.”
I know that’s not how her dad makes coffee. He uses a machine where you drop in a pod, puncture it and, seconds later, get coffee that puts hair on your chest like King Kong.
Known for tact (at least two or three times a year), I kindly tell her there are many ways to make coffee.
She gives me a skeptical look, then says, “Those white things in your hand are what we use for crafts.”
She thinks I’m pulling a fast one. Who can blame her? Drip-coffee makers are nearly before her time. She is growing up in the age of K-Cups, Nespresso and drive-thru designer coffees.
I am not pulling a fast one and she is correct, we have soaked coffee filters in water, dropped food coloring on them and molded them into flowers when they dried.
I cautiously explain the role of a filter in a slow-drip coffee maker, but she remains unconvinced. I should have taken a video of the conversation. It could have gone viral like videos of millennials trying to use rotary dial phones. They keep lifting the receiver and setting it back down attempting to reset the phone.
Fortunately, we have the rotary dial phone covered. The husband was given an ancient rotary dial phone, spray painted gold, by co-workers years ago in honor of all the long-distance calls we made to each other before we were married.
The grands all know how to dial a number on the rotary phone but would probably jump out of their skin should the thing ever be connected and let out a shrill b-r-r-r-r-ring, b-r-r-r-r-ring.
There is something endearing about explaining old technology to the young, watching their faces light up and understand how something was done before we all lived on screens. Likewise, we marvel as they explain the on/off button on the ice maker in the refrigerator and the program function on the thermostat.
The other day, I overheard the husband asking one of the grands if she knew what a party line was. She was no doubt thinking along the lines of doing the Baby Shark dance with friends; he was referring to shared telephone lines once common in rural areas eons ago. I intervened by saying we will explain history, but not ancient history.
I’m pulling for historic preservation designation, not dinosaur dig.
I take a final run at explaining that coffee filters had a utilitarian function long before they became a popular crafting material on Pinterest. She remains leery and stands her ground. I stand mine, too. Morning blend.
One day when she is my age, she can tell the story to her grands about how her grandma used to make coffee with craft supplies.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Her new book, “What Happens at Grandma’s Stays at Grandma’s” is now available. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.