Why does it have to be so complicated? Which of the three remote controls turns the damn thing on? And how do you change channels, and why do we have hundreds of them? Lili, where are you when I need you?
I am getting rid of the TV. I will take the cable box back to Cablevision and say, good riddance, you plastic piece of junk.
How do you make the barbecue grill ignite? I’ve pushed the button 10 times, and nothing, other than the gusts of propane fuel that could kill me. Lili? Lili? What should I do? Take the rotten thing to the town dump and order another on Amazon? Will you accuse me of being wasteful, as you used to do so often?
Oh, how I miss you, my one and only child, my Lili. In the months before you left for college, friends would joke about how you did everything around the house, and I'd never survive on my own. You not only did the laundry, but you folded it neatly and left my stuff on my bed. And you are an expert griller, my child. And you know how to arrange food on plates in an artful way, while my arrangements are a mushy mess. When we are having friends to dinner, which is often, you clear the plates when it’s time for dessert, and then you bring out the dessert plates for the pie that Jeanne has made.
And why did we need to get those iPhones right before you left for college? How do I send text messages on the thing? How do I listen to my voice mail? What was so bad about our Blackberries?
And what am I to do about poor Sophie, who misses you so and continues to sleep on your bed? She’s an extremely needy, 7-year-old golden retriever, and she has no idea where you are. Yes, yes, I know, you think I rejected Sophie for Henry Longfellow, the evil piebald dachshund we got after your dad died five years ago. And Sophie thinks this, too. O.K., maybe it is a tiny bit true. But we had it all arranged perfectly. Sophie was your dog; Henry was my dog. We four were very cozy in the tiny bungalow we bought and renovated. Three is not a good number, as everyone knows. You have left us off balance.
Could you please call home right away? Do you know how to make a phone call? I know you want me to text, but the iPhone won’t let me. I — we — need to hear your voice. Even better, get into your blue Jeep and drive the four hours home. We need you. Who ever came up with the stupid idea of college?