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I had an encounter with a friend the other day that I have to record for posterity. She is...a luddite in the true sense of the word. She vehemently refuses to even consider getting a cell phone. (She doesn't completely understand cell phones, either, as I learned last night when it took me ten minutes to get her to understand that if she did get a cell phone, and then moved out of state, she wouldn't need to go get a new account, because she could just take the phone with her). I tried to set up an AIM account for her (to use on her Mom's computer -- she has no interest in owning one for herself) but it never panned out because I couldn't manage to help her grasp the concept of logging in.

She's sweet and dear and one of the nicest people I know, but she is, as my mom says, an odd duck. She is also, on occasion, hilarious.

We meet at Starbucks once a week. This week, I got there before she did, so I got my drink and grabbed a table and set up my laptop to write, like I usually do. When she arrived, we greeted one another enthusiastically and hugged, and then she snatched up a placard on the table announcing Starbucks' new free unlimited wifi and declared happily, "They have free wifi now!"

"I know!" I said. "I'm on it already!"

"I don't even know what that is!" she declared.

Yeah, I giggled. But that wasn't the best of it.

The part where I really lost it was when she was telling me about a customer at the restaurant where she works as a waitress. "Randy's been coming in a lot to watch sports," she told me. "I guess there's some big soccer match going on."*

Poor thing, she really didn't understand at all when I immediately burst out laughing.

The internet and its culture of information and connection is so much a part of my life that it always startles me when I encounter people who are just not part of that culture at all.



*Why, yes. Yes, there is. And the Olympics are just some sporting event.