Maybe it's because she knew about my locking myself out on a hotel balcony wearing only a towel or the time lawgirl caught me testing the speed of our treadmill (she said I looked like a hamster traveling at top speed on its wheel) without knowing how to stop it.
But now I have a surefire way to win back Mom's albeit shaky confidence in my intelligence. It has to do with a story about a single wire.
I got Mom Netflix for the holidays and arrived at her retirement community when she received her first disc. Being anxious to show how simple it was to play a movie, I placed the DVD into her player, adjusted the TV input, and pressed "Play."
I started over and rechecked all my steps and then pressed "Play."
So I turned the player around and studied the hook-ups. Yes, the player was plugged into the wall. But the cord connecting the player to the TV was non-existent.
I referred to the manual which said that this cord was not supplied with the unit.
After stewing a few minutes that that was a crappy thing for a company to do to people who would be very anxious to test out their new device, I announced to Mom (and anyone else that was around--why not get more mileage out of my heroic measures?) that I knew what to do (I have to admit that I momentarily imagined myself donning a SuperGirl cape and flying off). I'd just have to go to Radio Shack and pick up a few things.
When I arrived back armed with the right cord, I attached the ends to the TV and the DVD player and voila, everything worked!
Mom used words like "brilliant" and " my smart kid." I prompted her to continue these profuse expressions of adoration and pride until we both had enough.
Disclaimer: This strategy works only on people who know little more than how to plug a cord into a wall or change a light bulb.