February 05, 2005

Read this first. Yeah, right.

Today's household computer crisis led to five calls to tech support, two trips into the city to two different computer stores, and a couple hundred dollars of equipment. Attempting to do anything with my computer when I had a sinus headache was a bad idea. In fact, the whole timing was bad. Daughter, who will re-format a hard drive without hesitation, was at college and not available. Boy-in-Black, boy genius, was at an all-day academic competition for high school kids, along with several of our computer geek extras. All unavailable. So I figured that Shaggy Hair Boy and I would deal with the crisis as a tender mother/son bonding time. Skater Boy, Blonde Niece, and With-a-Why, who know better to get involved with something like this, made popcorn and watched with amusement while Shaggy Hair and I yelled and screamed at the two computers and at each other.

Shaggy Hair and I get along very well almost all of the time but we both get very easily frustrated when it comes to taking care of precise details. I like to work really fast, no matter what I do, and when I have to slow down and do anything step by step, it makes me want to scream. I never bother to read directions. I have no patience with inanimate objects. Shaggy Hair is the same way. We are way too much alike to work on this kind of project together.

Here is our typical conversation:

Me: Let's just try this.
Shaggy Hair: Wait, I'm trying this.
Me: Why would that work?
Shaggy Hair: LEAVE IT ALONE. I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING.
Me: STOP SCREAMING AT ME.
Shaggy Hair: Just hand me that cord.
Me: No, that's not the right cord! LET ME DO THIS PART!
Shaggy Hair: STOP SCREAMING AT ME!
Me: It's not working!
Shaggy Hair; (to computer): I HATE THIS!
Me: STOP SCREAMING IN MY EAR!
Shaggy Hair: STOP SCREAMING AT ME TO STOP SCREAMING!
Me: STOP SCREAMING AT ME TO STOP TELLING YOU TO STOP SCREAMING!

Well, at some point, we both realized how ridiculous the whole thing was and started laughing. Spouse, who knows almost nothing about computers but who has a calm, rational temperament, eventually swooped in and took the kids' computer off to a store to have an ethernet port installed, which was part of the problem. Shaggy Hair and I called a truce and got the other computer ready to go. A couple more calls to tech support, and we were done. The result of the whole morning's work was that now my computer is linked to the kids' computer, and I no longer have to use dialup!

Switching my ISP means of course that my old e-mail address is no longer valid, which means I have to get all my friends to update their address books. Some of them will forget to. Sigh. I hate feeling disconnected from all my long-distance friends. But still and all, it will be so much faster .... and of course, I had all that nice bonding time with my son.

5 comments:

dr. m(mmm) aka The Notorious P.H.D. said...

I'm great at these "discussions" that go into total tailspins like this. And they do always end in absurdity. And finally humor. And, oddly, a need to eat or buy a record. It's good to see this counterpoint to the cozy fireplace image I have of your day-to-day life. As vital as they are to my everday being, computers can cause high blood pressure faster than anything. Just ask my yidg (wink, wink).

Cheeky Prof said...

Hey, wait a minute. These are like our conversations at Chez Cheeky! lol You're stealing my conversations! ;-)

bitchphd said...

You sound a lot like me: work fast, don't read instructions, I'll figure this out. Mr. B. is plodding and detail-oriented. Gah.

I wonder if I'll have convos like that with my own shaggy-haired boy in a few years. I adore your descriptions of family life.

jo(e) said...

professor b, I knew we had something in common the first time I read your pseudonym.

Cut-Rate Parasite said...

That sounds just like conversations I used to have with my father and that I'm working up to having with my son. I blogged about that a while back and my dad read it and called to say that he pretty much remembered them that way, too. Maybe Shaggy Hair will blog this conversation himself some day. (Maybe he already has ...)