While at our daughter’s recent wedding, my wife Theresa became fast friends with Jackie, the mother of the groom. This is a vast improvement over our marriage as my mother referred to my bride-to-be as “The Princess”, but not in a good or regal way. They shared stories, recipes (even though my princess doesn’t cook), a mani/pedi, and all manner of other “mother” things.
In between giggles, Jackie would frequently check what appeared to be a rubber bracelet and report on the number of steps she had walked or the number of calories she had burned. The fact that this report came during the sharing of a milkshake did not seem to impact her enthusiasm. It seems that the bracelet was a device called a Fitbit.
Theresa, whose birthday was coincidently coming up, decided that she too, needed a constant flow of data regarding her bodily functions. Sensing my lack of interest, she began plotting to suggest that our three children chip in to get her one. She began doing research on the various versions and functions while I asked supportive questions like “Why would you need that?” and “How much does this thing cost?”
It all turned out to be unnecessary, because a few days later, she received a package containing the Fit Bit, and it contained exactly the features she wanted. It seems that Jackie had sold her new daughter-in-law Lilly on the idea and Lilly immediately involved her siblings. I know that they didn’t come up with it on their own since they ignore their mother even more than I do.
Theresa could not have been happier. She immediately opened her computer and began setting up the device. Yes, we still have a VCR and yes, it still blinks 12:00. This device, however, will change EVERYTHING! I imagined Captain Kirk saying, “Mr. Spock, send a probe into that nebula.”
“Yes, Captain, we will be receiving telemetry in a moment. The planetary cluster has taken 3700 steps today burning 675 earth calories or roughly the equivalent 3.5 liters of Vulcan plomeek soup.”
Every day, she finds a new bit of data.
“It has a GPS tracker.”
“So you can get lost, but your bracelet knows where it is?”
“It keeps my heart rate and my BMI.”
“So, do you think if I put on your Fitbit, will it automatically contact 911?”
“Fitbit says I woke up twice last night”
“Wait, aren’t you aware when you’re awake? And if you’re not, are you indeed awake? Is this thing just counting toilet flushes?”
I also mentioned that I was surprised that she wore it to sleep.
“I use the silent alarm to wake myself up,” she says.
The most disturbing feature of the Fitbit is that she can link it to Jackie’s and they can share their data.
“That’s the best part,” says Theresa.
“Are you nuts? It’s rare enough when in-laws are friends. You already have to deal with sharing Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there aren’t even any grandchildren, yet. What’s going to happen when Jackie and Earle decide to have a night of passion? You are going to be asking me why Jackie is doing wind sprints at 10:30 at night when it’s 37 degrees and raining in North Carolina.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Are you telling me that you aren’t going to be sending her a key lime pie as a ‘friend’ gift if she loses five more pounds than you at the end of the month? Actually, that’s not a bad idea for a side business, Fitbit Spite Gifts with automatic ordering.”
“You are completely insane.”
“Maybe, but I don’t need an electronic device to prove it.”
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