Blurred Lines and Churned Butter

21 Feb

*Since writing this post, my computer has been repaired and returned to me. I survived, but my story is still worth sharing.*

“It will take about ten days – at the most – to fix your laptop, a chipper Irish woman told me over the phone.”

 “Miss?” she said. “Miss? Are you there?”
 I had gone silent. I was allowing myself a moment to grieve.

 “Shall I put you down for a pick-up tomorrow, then?” she asked.

 “Ok, sure, I guess,” I responded, reluctantly.

 The other night, I was watching The Big Short during a “code yellow” windstorm. (Neither my choice of movie, nor the fact that it was windy, is important to this story…but I wanted to put in a plug for the film because I learned a lot about the 2008 financial crisis. I also wanted to start this post with “It was a dark and stormy night…”)

 It was a dark and stormy night, and I was watching a movie on my laptop. After clicking away numerous “horny Russians” and “do you like Asian fun?” spam adds, I was finally streaming my film, a glass of white in one hand and a glass of red in the other.

 Then, suddenly, with NO warning, a bunch of reddish, brownish, rainbow-ish, fuzzy, vertical lines appeared on my screen.

 At first, I thought it was just a glitch. They’ll go away, I reassured myself. They always do. (This had never actually happened to me before, but I felt like being extra reassuring to myself.)

 They didn’t go away. I quickly texted everyone I know, so that absolutely no one would be left not knowing exactly what was going on with my computer at that very moment.

 “You’re a bad mom,” my sister, Lydia, responded. “You probably smashed the computer into a wall and that’s why it’s happening. Good luck having kids.”

 (When reading text messages, it is important not to be offended by people’s perceived tones…I’m sure she meant that text to be read in a kind, inoffensive manner.)

 For the life of me, I could not remember ever hitting or throwing or spilling Coke on my computer. The worst offense I commit is taking it into the kitchen with me when I cook, so that I can listen to Frank Sinatra and Etta James while cooking and sipping wine (basically pretending to be a woman of a certain age, getting over a bad divorce and learning how to live life to the fullest. AKA a Diane Keaton character. I even have a cream-colored turtleneck that I reserve for nights such as these. Just kidding. It’s more of a burnt orange).

 Actually, on second thought, maybe the worst offense I commit against my computer is using it to stream “The Bachelor.” This is probably payback for making it watch tiny, tanned women climb into helicopters and compete in relay races involving livestock.

 When these lines appeared, I felt my heart in my throat. I knew these bastards would pose problems.

 Were I at home, I’d make a plan to go to the mall and to visit a Genius Bar employee. I’d come in all nervous and they’d make fun of me being nervous and say things like, “Yup, it’s worse than I thought. Your computer has Rubyonistara Virus. We suggest you take it home and let it be with family,” and then we’d laugh and laugh and he or she would take it from me with both hands, give me a card, and send me on my way.

 Things are not so simple here.

 “Siri, where is the nearest Apple store?”

 “Mars. Would you like me to find directions?”

 “No thanks, Siri. I’ll just join a nunnery and forget I ever knew about technology.”

 In reality, the nearest Apple store is about 1.5 hours away…which is also where the nearest Starbucks is located. (Mars gets everything that’s good in life.)

 My kind friend, Melanie, suggested we take a drive out to the Apple store, and also locate this infamous Starbucks.

 What a wonderful idea! I’ll just call the store and set up an…

 No appointments in the foreseeable future.

 This is where my Irish friend comes in.

 “Hello, Cynthia, how may I help you today?”

 “Oh, um, hi, it’s actually Sophie.”

 “Oh, your surname is Sophie?”

 “No, my first name is Sophie. Cynthia is my mom.”

 “Alrighty, not to worry! And is the email address I have on file – ‘red berry girl’ – correct?”

 “Yes,” I said. “It is.”

 “And now, that’s ‘red berry grl,’ without an ‘I,’ yes?”

 “Yes,” I said, as I silently cursed my ten-year-old self for thinking that “red berries” had no other ties to “girls,” besides being their – our – favorite fruit of choice…

 “Well, yes, the store is all booked up, now isn’t it? Would you like to use our free ‘Collect and Repair’ service, dear?”

 “Is it free?” I asked (clearly, my listening skills were hindered).

 “Yes, absolutely.”

 “Ok, sure.”

 So basically, tomorrow, I have to wait around all day for someone from UPS to come collect my computer. The lady said it usually takes about ten days, from collection, to repair, to drop-off.

 Ten days without a computer.

 I am aware that on the scale of major problems, “ten days without a computer” should not even have a place.


 What if one of these days, I decide that I’m really interested in the mating habits of amphibians? Where will I go to get my amphibian mating habits fix?

 Or what if I want to memorize the names of all of Octomom’s children? You show me one French encyclopedia with that CRITICAL information, and I’ll show you a liar.

 To what will I turn when I want read my horoscope? How will I know my “Love Percentage Rating” for the week? (It’s probably still stuck at 0% – a glitch that I’ve been meaning to bring to the website’s attention – but YOU NEVER KNOW.)

 How will Buzzfeed know which Disney Channel hottie I should marry, based on a series of questions about my favorite colors and beverages? How will I know which hottie I should marry? I could spend these next ten days fantasizing about the totally wrong hottie, and I’d never know!

 And what about all of the television I’m going to miss? This week on “The Bachelor,” Ben is making the girls go swimming with pigs…pigs! There’s going to be SO much dumb yelling and fake shrieking, and I’m going to miss all of it.

 Not to mention all of the pornographic pictures of FOOD I’m going to go without. Nutella cheesecake, and peanut butter lard brownies, and chocolate heartburn surprise, and butter crusted cheese etc. etc.

 No, my life is going to go through a DRAMATIC change over the course of these next ten days. This is going to be perhaps the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced.

 When I mentioned the loss of my computer to some other people my age, the response was the same. “Oh shit, ten days is a long time. That really sucks.”

 When I mentioned this to some *more adult* people, they shrugged, and had responses like, “my kid has bronchitis and my mother-in-law is visiting,” or, “I just spent three month’s salary on a new weed wacker.”

 Okay, okay, I get it – my tech problems are not TECHnically problems (LOL SEE WHAT I DID THERE?)

 But if you become accustomed to something in life, it’s hard to give it up! What if you LOVED eating waffles for breakfast, and you ate breakfast every day, and then one day, a giant, red line appeared on your waffle and some strange man or woman came and took it away from you, and you weren’t able to eat waffles for ten days? WHAT WOULD YOU DO? (And don’t you DARE tell me you’d switch to Greek yogurt with berries.)

 I suppose that over the course of this new trial, I will have to reacquaint myself with some pastimes that I’d forgotten long ago…like knitting, or writing on my stone tablet, or practicing (learning) cursive, or making homemade grain, or churning butter, or sewing little Geppeto’s broken slippers, or stuffing the anus of a turkey, or imagingin what “The New World” will look like.

 Wondering how I found this varied list of activates?

 An “Activities of the Olden Days” Google search.

 It’s gonna be a long ten days.


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