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Young pups, old dogs and dancing for the cookie

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    CONNIE CLEMENTS

Recently my gentleman friend and I engaged in some of that late night telephone bantering that we often do. After being gone all day, he got home late and we talked while he unloaded his car. His late arrival had interrupted the schedule of his little dog Jellybean, who is accustomed to an evening dog biscuit, or as he calls it, “a cookie.” Just like everyone else who likes to give a dog a treat, he makes her “perform.”

But Jellybean is not a young pup anymore. She has gray hair, lost her right eye to an infection, and has a cataract in the left one. My gentleman friend speculates she’s losing her hearing as well. It really wasn’t that long ago that during cookie time, you’d get a glimpse of the young pup version of Jellybean, but this night she wasn’t having it. It was late. She wanted her cookie and she really wasn’t in the mood for dancing for her supper, so to speak.

That sparked a conversation about old dogs, new tricks, etc., and the whole cookie ritual. Feeling a little old himself, my friend and I laughed as we traded a few one liners with each other like “I’m old. I don’t want to dance! Just give me the blankety-blank cookie!” or “What kind of power trip are YOU on that I have to dance and roll over for the cookie?”

After we hung up, I got to thinking about this dancing for the cookie business and I think there are a lot of companies out there that have us all dancing. For example, Apple, Microsoft, even my bank – anything involving technology.

People younger than I get excited about new phones, new versions, and updated websites. Like pups, they jump up and down, run in circles chasing their tail, panting and saying “I want the cookie! Gimmee the cookie!” Because they are pups and perhaps in their prime income earning years, they are able to keep dancing for quite a while. Rolling over, sitting and begging is a small price to pay. Heck, they don’t even see it as a price at all. It’s what you do to have the latest and greatest.

But then that first gray hair pokes through and you start to wonder when are these updates and new versions going to stop? Why didn’t they get it right the first time? What’s wrong with my phone, my computer or my bank’s website the way it is? I’m used to the way it is. In fact, I LIKE it the way it is! I don’t want to dance for the cookie anymore!

Eventually, like Jellybean, we get old. We get tired of that forced performance and the financial and mental cost of change. For instance, I got tired of satellite and cable’s rising costs eight months ago. I got tired of performing the cookie calendar dance where I had to call and beg to get my discounts. Why do I have to beg and chase my tail at all? If the satellite and cable companies could afford to give me the discount in the first place, why didn’t they just make that my permanent price?

Then there’s my phone. It’s been a little over six years since I traded my flip phone for an iPhone and I’m only on my second one. In the interim, there have been a lot of cookies dangled. Phones went smaller, then they went larger and the updates get more and more intrusive. And don’t get me started on bank website updates!

Suffice it to say, this old dog dances for very little these days. Just let me be with my monthly plan or my current version and quit tinkering with the website. Just gimmee the blankety-blank cookie!

Connie Clements is a freelance reporter for the Navasota Examiner and award-winning columnist. She writes feature news articles on a weekly basis and an opinion column as the mood strikes her.